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What is the difference between Neste MY Renewable Diesel™ and biodiesel?

Neste MY Renewable Diesel™ is a high quality diesel fuel made from renewable raw materials. Neste MY Renewable Diesel’s chemical composition is similar to fossil diesel and there is no need to modify the engines, just refuel and drive. Biodiesel, on the other hand, is known as FAME*: fatty acid methyl ester. The composition of biodiesel differs from fossil diesel and therefore biodiesel cannot be refueled immediately.

What does renewable diesel mean?

Renewable diesel, also called HVO (hydrotreated vegetable oil), is sometimes confused with biodiesel or FAME (fatty acid methyl ester). Created using a hydrotreating process, renewable diesel is a pure hydrocarbon diesel fuel with a similar chemical composition to fossil diesel, which is what allows the fuel to be used as a drop-in replacement for fossil diesel. The two big differences are that renewable diesel does not have the most harmful components of fossil diesel (like aromatics), and it is made from renewable feedstocks instead of crude oil. Fossil and renewable diesel do have a similar chemical composition, unlike other biofuels such as biodiesel.


Higher purity, lower emissions 

Suitable for cold, even arctic conditions

Can renewable diesel be used in cold temperatures?

Neste MY Renewable Diesel’s cloud point, which indicates when fuel will start to be affected by cold temperatures, is as low as -22°C. Unlike biodiesel - which, depending on the raw materials used, can have properties greatly affected by cooler temperatures - Neste MY is made for cold, even arctic conditions.

Truck on highway

How does the manufacturing process affect the properties of the fuel?

Neste MY Renewable Diesel is a hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO). In the production process, impurities are removed, and oxygen molecules are replaced with hydrogen. With this process, it is possible to produce a clean-burning fuel with similar chemical composition as fossil diesel from a variety of raw materials. The quality of the final product is always the same, regardless of the raw materials used. Other biofuels can be produced using the esterification process, and the properties of the final FAME (fatty acid methyl ester) product may depend on the raw materials used.

What are the differences in usability between renewable diesel and other biofuels?

Thanks to its chemical composition, Neste MY Renewable Diesel can be used neat (100% concentration). There is also no need to modify the engines, just refuel and drive. This makes it easier to meet the requirements for the use of biofuels. On the other hand, the maximum permissible concentration of FAME biodiesel in a mixture with fossil diesel is usually 7%*. Sustainable alternatives such as biogas, ethanol and FAME biodiesel require either additional modifications to the diesel engine and/or infrastructure, or even new vehicles. In all cases, this leads to additional investments.

Tank pistol

How long can the fuel be stored?

Neste MY Renewable Diesel can be stored for extended periods without decisively changing its properties. Unlike biodiesel, Neste MY Renewable Diesel does not attract water, which means there is zero risk of product quality deterioration or microbial growth with proper handling and storage.

What do engine manufacturers recommend?

Renewable diesel is the bio component recommended according to the latest and most stringent specifications in the Worldwide Fuel Charter (WWFC). WWFC 5 does not allow the use of traditional biodiesel, but thanks to its high cetane number, purity and stability, renewable diesel is recommended. WWFC 5 also specifies strict emission limit values, particulate filter life, long-term engine durability, engine performance and cold weather performance. Neste MY Renewable Diesel is certified by engine manufacturers including Volvo Trucks, John Deere, Caterpillar, Scania, Mercedes-Benz, DAF, MAN and many others. Tests continue to show that the combination of modern diesel engine technology and renewable diesel can decrease total cost of ownership by enhancing vehicle performance and preventing engine wear and tear - all while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

"We saw the potential of HVO early on. We carried out tests and both our old and new engines were approved for HVO100 usage”.
- Lars Mårtensson, Environment and Innovation Manager at Volvo Trucks


"At Scania, we approved the use of HVO in all the engines of our vans and trucks in accordance with Euro 5 and Euro 6. Our ambition is to encourage the transition to a fossil-free transport system. HVO is an important part of the sustainable alternatives”.

- Jonas Nordh, Head of Sustainable Solutions at Scania Trucks

Neste MY has a high cetane number

Neste MY Renewable Diesel’s cetane number, indicating its ignition properties, is very high, greater than 70. That makes it easier for engines to start when the weather is cold, and contributes to cleaner, more efficient combustion. The cetane number for biodiesel is usually no more than 50-60.

How pure is Neste MY Renewable Diesel compared to fossil diesel?

Neste MY Renewable Diesel does not contain sulphur or aromatics. That's why lower exhaust emissions are generated during combustion in an engine, especially in older vehicles. Neste MY Renewable Diesel reduces vehicle emissions of particles, hydrocarbons and NOx. Since virtually no ash is generated by the combustion of Neste MY, the lifetime of the particulate filter can be extended.

Cleaner fuel is easy to store

* The European standard for diesel (EN590) limits the proportion of biodiesel to max. 7%. In fact, many engine manufacturers do not recommend using conventional FAME-style biodiesel for fear of potential engine damage.

Learn more about Neste MY Renewable Diesel