Farm industry must shift towards renewable, carbon-neutral biofuels

Crown Oil has invested in a stock of carbon-neutral, renewable and sustainable HVO biofuel in a bid to shift demand in the UK agricultural sector from diesel and gas oil to an alternative with a vastly reduced environmental impact. This makes Crown Oil the only UK fuel supplier that can supply the farms with synthetic premium biofuel in any quantity, within the same delivery times as all its other products.

According to the most recent data from the Office of National Statistics, in 2017 the UK consumed the equivalent of 35.21 million tonnes of gas oil and road diesel1. For every tonne of fuel used, 2.6 tonnes of CO2 are produced resulting in a total of 95.95 million tonnes of CO2 being released into the atmosphere.

Managing Director, Crown Oil, Matt Greensmith commented: “Our commitment to the environmentmakes us acutely aware of the impact the fuel industry has on global warming, so we are always looking to reduce our footprint in every way we can. We are still working towards reaching our own in-house goal of net zero emissions, but at the same time, we can help other businesses achieve their targets too.”

Mr Greensmith added, “We’reaware that the current supply of biofuels cannot sustainably match that of fossil fuels in a large economy such as the United Kingdom. So, we call on the Government to look at sufficient incentives for businesses and domestic customers to use biofuels, as aside from environmental concerns, there is little reason to choose renewable fuels.What’s more, if business want their fuel supply to be environmentally friendly, a premium on biofuel price is unavoidable.”

“At Crown Oil we believe renewable sources are part of the solution to the current climate crisis, and we want to encourage businesses to switch to this versatile fuel. For that reason, we have invested in an industrial-sized supply of HVO fuel, as we expect demand for greener fuels to increase as British businesses become more environmentally conscious and we want to be able to cater to that demand,” Mr Greensmith noted.

He also added: “Currently, we are the only supplier in the UK that can supply customers with HVO biofuel in any quantity they require, directly to their site in the same lead time as all of our other fuels. With the UK Government’s 2050 net zero target, now is the perfect time to look at ways to reduce a business’ carbon footprint.”

What is HVO biofuel?

Hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) is a second-generation premium biofuel made from renewable and sustainable sources, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90% when compared to regular diesel. Unlike many other types of biofuel, HVO can be used as a drop-in replacement for regular diesel and gas oil with the approval of several major OEMs.

This means there’s no need to make any modifications to your engine; you can simply fill your existing diesel tank stocks with HVO. Some companies, such as Crown Oil, also carbon offset the delivery mileage, further reducing the fuel’s environmental impact.

Why should farms choose HVO biofuel over regular diesel?

The second-generation biodiesel hydrotreating process used to produce HVO produces a product which is totally compatible with mineral diesel fuels and does not have the disadvantages seen with first generation biodiesels such as poor low temperature performance, incompatibility with mineral diesel and susceptibility to microbial attack.

By law, mineral diesel must contain up to 7% of FAME which gives the product a shelf life of about one year. Contrast this against HVO’s shelf life of up to 10 years, and the advantages of the second-generation biofuel grow still further. Other key factors include:

  • Meets EN15940 standards for paraffinic fuels.
  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90%
  • It’s renewable, sustainable and Crown Oil offset the carbon used during delivery
  • Complete drop-in replacement for regular diesel
  • Odourless
  • 10-year shelf life
  • Excellent cold weather performance
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About The Author

John Swire - Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.