ClearFlame, Alto in ethanol demo project

By Mike Brezonick17 May 2021

ClearFlame Engine Technologies, an Illinois-based startup dedicated to the development of clean engine technology, has announced a partnership with Alto Ingredients, Inc., a leading producer of specialty alcohols and essential ingredients, to conduct pilot demonstrations of its solution for diesel engines using ethanol in Class 8 trucks.

ClearFlame ClearFlame, which has extensively tested its decarbonization technology on the test stand, is partnering with Alto Ingredients to test it in Class 8 trucks.

ClearFlame will provide Alto with a Class 8 truck retrofitted with a 500 hp heavy-duty demonstration engine, which the company said can match diesel torque and efficiency through diesel-style combustion of any decarbonized fuel. Alto will provide fuel and fleet support, which will enable real-world testing on the road.

ClearFlame anticipates its engine running on ethanol can reduce GHG vehicle emissions by more than 45% and offer an estimated 15 to 30% total cost of ownership (TCO) savings when compared with a diesel-fueled solution.

“This is an important milestone for us as we can now offer fleets a widely available fuel solution so they can begin to test our technology easily in real-world environments,” said Dr. BJ Johnson, ClearFlame CEO and co-founder. “Alto provides the important logistical infrastructure critical to ensuring successful demonstration – everything from tank installation to dispensing of the fuel, with a well-established existing liquid fueling infrastructure already in place. We look forward to working with them to drive forward our mission of quickly decarbonizing heavy-duty industry with a practical, cost-effective solution that is available today.”

ClearFlame’s engine technology is designed to enable low-carbon and carbon-negative fuels to be easily integrated into existing diesel engine platforms, offering a sustainable and cost-effective solution while utilizing existing liquid fuel infrastructure. The company said it provides the same performance, efficiency and practicality associated with diesel engines, while eliminating the need for complex aftertreatment solutions.

“Alto Ingredients is partnering with ClearFlame on its engine project to support our customers’ CO2 reduction efforts by displacing 100% of the diesel in the tank,” said Mike Kandris, CEO, Alto Ingredients. “We are proud to partner with ClearFlame in such a transformative project within the fuel industry, promoting the increased use of ethanol and contributing to material improvements in the decarbonization of our environment.”

ClearFlame-enabled trucks will begin driving in late 2021, for fleet testing to begin in the first quarter of 2022.

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