Fuelled by HVO: Our next step in reducing emissions

One of our top priorities is, and always has been, keeping our environmental impacts to a minimum.

Shred Station has held CarbonNeutral® certification since January 2019, covering emissions from 2018 onwards. Each year, we undergo an independent assessment of our emissions to receive this certification, offsetting the CO2 we produce through Climate Impact Partners. But offsetting alone isn’t enough.

To ensure sustainable growth and protect the environment, we have already taken many measures to reduce emissions. For example, we recently replaced diesel forklifts with electric models, we only use Euro 6 Low Emission trucks, we generate solar power at our head office, and much more.

Our next step in emission reduction is HVO. Each year, our carbon assessments show that our fleet emissions are our largest emission source. We are now incorporating HVO fuel into our day-to-day travels. This means our existing fleet can operate as efficiently and cleanly while we continue to trial electric trucks.

What is HVO?

Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil, or HVO, is a cleaner and more efficient diesel alternative.

It is a paraffinic fuel and is made from biomass materials like rapeseed oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil and other oils. Because HVO is made from renewable resources rather than fossil fuels, it is a much cleaner fuel than diesel or petrol.

Why is HVO more environmentally friendly than diesel?

Diesel, like petrol, is refined from crude oil. Crude is a fossil fuel found deep underground. Combining both the well-to-tank emissions and usage emissions of diesel, the average carbon emissions created per litre of diesel sits at around 3.31kg. This includes roughly 610 grams per litre from well-to-tank and 2.7 kilograms per litre from actual usage.

HVO on the other hand emits much less carbon for both well-to-tank and usage emissions – around 0.388kg per litre. This includes roughly 352 grams from well-to-tank and 36 grams for usage. This is approximately 88.3% less CO2e per litre than regular diesel – a phenomenal environmental saving.

At Shred Station, we also use selective catalytic reduction systems. These systems can significantly reduce emissions and have been found to result in around 90% less particulate matter and 75% less nitrogen oxide emissions than vehicles without selective catalytic reduction. Using these systems combined with the lower emissions of HVO means we can keep vehicle emissions very low.

Other advantages of HVO

Another perk of HVO fuels is efficiency. Different types of fuel have different cetane numbers. A cetane number indicates how well a fuel burns in the combustion chamber. The higher the cetane number, the more efficient that fuel is. To compare regular diesel and HVO, regular diesel has a cetane number of 51, whereas HVO is usually between 70 and 90. As HVO ignites very quickly, vehicles using HVO benefit from improved engine performance and a reduction in GHG emissions.

HVO also has several advantages over regular diesel and biodiesel in that it is not prone to bacterial growth or diesel bug. This gives it a very long shelf life, reducing the risk of waste.

Another advantage of HVO is that it can be mixed with regular diesel. The unit cost of HVO in the UK is higher than diesel. Being able to mix the two gives consumers the option to gradually incorporate HVO into their fuel mix and reduce overall fuel emissions as budgets allow.

As we incorporate HVO fuel into our own fuel mix, we look forward to delivering a greener and more sustainable service to our customers, who already benefit from having a CarbonNeutral® certified shredding service with Zero to Landfill guaranteed.

If you’d like to know more about the ways we are reducing emissions, please see our Corporate Social Responsibility pages or feel free to get in touch with our team.

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