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HMRC internal manual

Hydrocarbon Oils Strategy

From
HM Revenue & Customs
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Detection and assurance of biofuel plants

Concerns over issues such as global warming, pollution and mineral fuel sustainability have given rise to an increasing interest in alternative fuels. Biofuels are seen as an attractive renewable energy source because they have a considerably lower net carbon dioxide output than conventional fuels.

There are several types of biofuel currently available in the UK:

  • Biodiesel - biodiesel is generally considered to refer to Fatty Acid Methyl Esters (FAME) produced from vegetable oils.
  • Straight vegetable oil (SVO) and waste vegetable oil (WVO) - these oils can be used without further conversion (beyond cleaning) as biodiesel, though they can cause difficulties in some engines.
  • Bioblend - mixtures of biodiesel and heavy oils (generally ULSD).
  • Bioethanol - ethanol produced from the fermentation of plant carbohydrates.
  • Ethyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (ETBE) - produced by the reaction of bioethanol and isobutylene. ETBE/petrol blends are treated as bioethanol blend.
  • Bioethanol blend - mixtures of bioethanol and hydrocarbon oils (generally ULSP).

As, encouraged by Government policies, the use of biofuels increases, a series of practical challenges for revenue protection will arise.

Detection of statutory markers in road fuels containing biofuels

(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)

(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)

Use of markers for rebated biofuels

(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)

Use of Vegetable Oils and Biofuel as Extenders or Substitutes for Diesel

Biofuel for use in bioblend is intended to consist of fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs) produced by chemical modification of vegetable oils and/or animal fats. However, diesel engines will run on a wide variety of liquid fuels, including unmodified vegetable oils and animal fats. (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)

(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)

In order to protect revenue, it will be necessary to be able to identify the nature of mixed fuels, ideally both at the roadside and in the laboratory.

Analytical issues to be addressed therefore include:

  • how much biofuel is present in diesel ?
  • is any unmodified animal or vegetable oil present and, if so, how much ?
  • what other fuels are present and in what proportions ?

Use of ethanol in petrol

(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) Ethanol in various forms is available as a commodity, but is already tightly controlled to protect the revenue associated with alcoholic beverages. (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)

(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)