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Technical Committee Fuel Oils

Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil as a substitute for domestic heating oil low sulphur

The utilization of hydrogenated vegetable oils (HVO) as fuel oil is up to the particular requirements of the domestic heating market, such as year-round uniform cold flow properties. The aim of this project was therefore to investigate and optimize systematically the production of HVO and its applicability as a blend component in low-sulfur fuel oil. For the assessment of HVO as a substitute for fuel oil a coupling between production, physico-chemical properties and application technology was required. One key aspect of the work regarding the hydrogenation of vegetable oil was to develop a process simulation model, which is suitable both for the hydrogenation of vegetable oils in a separate unit (stand-alone) as well as for the joint hydrogenation with straight-run middle distillates (co-processing). Furthermore, new nonsulfidic catalysts have been developed for the stand-alone process. Isomerization of HVO was deliberately omitted, because the requirements regarding cold flow properties according DIN 51603-1 permits the admixture of non-isomerized HVO and thereby significant cost savings can be generated. With respect to the technical assessment of HVO as a fuel substitute fundamental physical and chemical properties of HVO and mixtures thereof with low-sulfur fuel oil were determined by and compared with the normative requirements. Combustion studies showed the basic applicability of selected fuel blends in standard market fuel oil burner systems. In long term combustion tests deposit formation was found on the nozzle filter for mixtures of low-sulfur fuel oil and HVO. Here further examinations are recommended to check the usability in real-world applications.

Sebastian Feldhoff, Andrej Awgustow, Sven Kureti, Thomas Kuchling
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