As part of a pilot programme, Brazil's national oil company, Petrobras, has recently produced hydrogen-treated co-processed vegetable oil (HVO, also known as renewable diesel or "green diesel" in Brazil) with a chemical composition virtually identical to that of petroleum diesel. As a result, diesel engines can run on any blend percentage of the fuel without modification. HVO's production facilities also produce biokerosene (biojet), which has attracted considerable interest from commercial airlines and government regulators seeking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the aviation industry.
Petrobras used 2 million litres of soybean oil to produce 40 million litres of diesel with renewable content (probably 5% by volume) at its Repar refinery in the state of Parana. The results will be analysed by ANP (Brazil's National Agency for Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels), which must publish the final specifications for HVO before it can be sold commercially in Brazil.
There is currently no HVO market in Latin America and, apart from this Petrobras pilot, there is only one production facility under construction. Omega Green, a Paraguay-based HVO plant with a capacity of 16.5 thousand barrels/day (958 million litres/year), plans to start operating in 2022 and export to California and Europe.
In Brazil, the possibility of acquiring HVO will be possible once Vibra starts marketing its product through its service stations.