Who doesn't enjoy chowing down on deep-fried food? From chicken wings, french fries to crispy pata as well as lechon kawali, fried food will always be a delight to eat. However, they're not exactly the healthiest of food as they have a higher fat content, and can cause long-term negative effects on the body.
However, the used cooking oil from frying food can now be put to good use. That's because Ford recently approved the use of a new form of fuel for the Transit people carrier.
“Enabling our vans to run on fuel made from waste, including used cooking oil, may sound far-fetched but using Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil is, in fact, a very real way in which Transit drivers and fleet operators will soon be able to help everybody enjoy improved air quality,” said Hans Schnep, General Manager for Commercial Vehicles, Ford of Europe.
You can't just pour your used cooking oil into your tank and make the car run. The oil still needs to be processed before it can be used as fuel. The oil needs to be subjected to hydrogen to remove the oxygen component from the oil to make it into Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO), a renewable diesel fuel.
HVO is a renewable form of diesel that aims to reduce consumption of or eventually replace conventional fossil-based fuels. Compared to typical diesel fuel, HVO is based on used cooking oil and other byproducts resulting from cooking food.
Using a 2.0-liter EcoBlue turbo-diesel engine, Ford was able to test HVO and found out that the engine ran cleaner. In addition, the engine was able to run purely on HVO without having to change anything on the engine. Ford also mentioned that HVO and traditional diesel fuel can mix in the tank without causing any problems. With it, fleet operators in Europe have started adopting to switching to HVO in order to have better emissions.
When used on a diesel engine, HVO is claimed to produce 90% fewer greenhouse gases, and produce less nitrogen oxide (NOx) as the fuel contains no sulfur or oxygen. Aside from being cleaner than diesel fuel, HVO also has animal fat in it which helps diesel engines start more easily in cold temperatures.
For the moment, only the European version of the Transit can run on the said fuel, particularly in Scandinavia and the Baltic States. Why? Well the PH-spec Transit comes with the 2.2-liter turbo-diesel Puma engine. Over in Europe, they have the 2.0-liter EcoBlue turbo-diesel which can run on HVO.
With the prospect of getting to use HVO instead of diesel on some commercial vehicles, maybe Ford Philippines can offer the EcoBlue version of the Transit soon that can run on HVO. Heck, it might even save on the fuel bills too.