A pioneering, environmentally-friendly biofuel is undergoing a first-of-its-kind trial right here in Cornwall.

Redruth-based oil supplier Mitchell & Webber is the first distributor to deliver the new, low carbon heating fuel for UK trials, which, it claims, could “revolutionise” both the domestic heating market and agricultural sector.

MD Robert Weedon said: “We’re so excited that Cornwall is leading the way in these national trials. This is a huge and much-needed step in the right direction for lowering carbon emissions across the country.”

The fossil-free renewable fuel, called Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (HVO), is produced from certified waste fats and oils. Unlike previous biofuels, HVO is manufactured by a synthesised process with hydrogen to create a greener, renewable fuel.

HVO, which has been officially certified as a sustainable fuel by the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC), has previously been used and tested in diesel engines, offering net greenhouse gas CO2 reductions of up to 90% in such engines. It is also a non-toxic and non-carcinogenic.

Riviera Produce Ltd, a family-run farming company in Hayle, is the first to trial HVO in a tractor in the UK. Mitchell & Webber filled the New Holland Tractor with the fossil-free fuel, while local tractor dealer Truro Tractors also assisted with specialist testing.

In the domestic heating market, the first property in the country to run on the renewable HVO fuel is a bungalow in Scorrier, which previously relied on oil for heating. In order to switch the property to the new HVO supply, Mitchell & Webber installed a nozzle change and pump pressure adjustment to the oil tank and boiler.

Director John Weedon said: “We are delighted with how the trial is progressing so far. There were no snags during the installation switch and everything’s looking extremely promising.”

Other homes in the UK will undergo similar trials this winter and through next year, under the guidance of liquid fuels trade associations OFTEC and The UK and Ireland Fuel Distributors Association (UKIFDA).

If the trial continues to be a success, Mitchell & Webber will be calling upon the Government to support a widespread public transition to this fossil-free fuel, with Mr Weedon stating that householders could “convert with little expenditure or capital costs”.