Chicago-based ClearFlame reported it successfully completed the first in a series of on-road pilots in conjunction with one of the largest fleets in the U.S. The company has a second pilot in progress and a third slated to start in September, it said in a press release.
ClearFlame's engine modification technology allows existing heavy-duty engine platforms to run on a range of renewable fuels in place of diesel fuel. The key, ClearFlame co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Julie Blumreiter told HDT, is improved thermal management in the engine, along with specialized fuel injectors and other components. She said ClearFlame's technology enables alternative liquid fuels, like ethanol, to behave like diesel fuel. Better yet, she explained, the engines are able to do this with no loss of efficiency, range, or power. For those reasons, ClearFlame is focused on ethanol as the fuel for their first generation of engines, based on its lower cost, and widespread availability.
The pilot programs document and validate the roadworthiness of ClearFlame’s upfitted engines and their ability to use ethanol to match the performance of traditional diesel while cutting fuel costs and carbon by more than 40%.
“First pilot results validated that our upfit delivers the critical outcomes we’ve been working diligently to achieve,” said ClearFlame CEO and co-founder BJ Johnson. “The truck’s uptime hit 98% and it delivered 100% of its loads, its fuel savings averaged 42%, and carbon emissions fell by 45%. We welcome the opportunity to demonstrate that renewable, homegrown fuels like ethanol give fleets a profitable, sustainable, and immediate solution to meet government and customer demands for lowering Scope 3 emissions.”
Founded in 2016 by engineering entrepreneurs, Johnson and Blumreiter, ClearFlame Engine Technologies' patented FuelAdaptive engine technologies reduce carbon and cut costs with initial products in the trucking and power generation markets.