ClearFlame engine technology achieves major milestone


ClearFlame engine technology achieves major milestone

31902D, Chain Reaction Innovations and Argonne Design Works portraits: Bernard Johnson

A company whose technology enables semi-trucks to operate on biofuels recently celebrated a major milestone.

ClearFlame CEO BJ Johnson tells Brownfield they outfitted a Cummins 500-horsepower engine to run on ethanol and during road tests in late December the truck performed the same as if running on diesel.

“It’s a huge validation, both to all the R&D that we had done to date, and then also a massive step forward in ClearFlame from being able to go from showing data from a lab to actually driving (a truck) around on the road that we’ll be able to handoff to customers in a few months or so.”

He says ClearFlame will begin commercial testing with Midwestern truck fleets that move corn, ethanol, and DDG’s around the country.

“The demand impacts here are absolutely massive. There are 4 million semi-trucks on the road (that) consume a tremendous amount of fuel. Every 40,000 of those trucks, or every 1 percent of the market that would switch over to something like E98, is another billion gallons of ethanol.”

Johnson says the technology has a wide range of hard-to-electrify applications, from long-haul trucking to agriculture.

Brownfield reported last month ClearFlame, based in Geneva, Illinois, is partnering with John Deere to bring lower emission diesel engines to the ag sector.