Call for Corn Bids

Graettinger, IA

Lee Carpenter

(712) 859-3663 Ext. 202

Lake Mills, WI

Pete Wollin

(920)648-2377 Ext. 18

    

 

 

Wednesday, October 21, 2020  
 
Weather |  Futures |  Futures Markets |  Market News |  Headline News |  DTN Ag Headlines |  Charts |  Portfolio |  Options |  Corn News |  Soybeans News 
Home
About Us
Login/Register
Delayed Futures
Discount Schedule
Local Grainbids
Newsletters
USDA Reports
Calendar
LDP
Daily Commentary
Feedback
Admin Login
Cash Bids
 
- DTN Headline News
Company Advances Ethanol Diesel Engine
By Todd Neeley
Friday, October 16, 2020 3:54PM CDT

OMAHA (DTN) -- A start-up company developing a heavy-duty truck engine able to run on straight ethanol has reached a milestone in a series of tests performed to validate its technology.

ClearFlame Engine Technologies reported in a news release on Wednesday it matched the torque and power of a commercial diesel engine using ethanol in place of diesel.

The company said the technology delivered 500 horsepower and more than 2,500 foot-pounds of torque, "while eliminating the need for additional aftertreatment such as selective catalytic reduction or diesel particulate filter systems."

ClearFlame said it achieved the latest results on a Cummins X15, a 500-horsepower, 15-liter heavy-duty engine using the company's high-temperature stochiometric combustion process.

The process leverages higher temperatures to achieve diesel-style combustion of any decarbonized fuel.

ClearFlame Engines CEO B.J. Johnson told ethanol industry representatives at the National Ethanol Conference in Houston in February 2020 the technology has the potential to create a large market for ethanol. He said even an optimistic 20% market penetration into the $231 billion heavy-duty diesel market would create 15 billion gallons of demand for ethanol per year.

"The results from ClearFlame's first commercial platform tests are extremely promising and demonstrate a real world, sustainable solution for diesel engine manufacturers as decarbonization requirements continue to evolve in the off-highway, heavy-duty and industrial sectors," Johnson said in a statement.

The reason ethanol's application in diesel engines hasn't happened is because the performance and simplicity of the diesel engine is tied to its dirty emissions, Johnson said.

Cleaner alternatives like spark ignition lack the performance required in many heavy-duty applications. ClearFlame's engine, Johnson said, is the only option to provide both high performance and low emissions.

The engine, still in the demonstration phase of development, can run on 98% ethanol straight off the rack or even on E85 so long as the fuel is close to 85% ethanol.

"The results we've seen on the Cummins engine mark a critical milestone in the commercialization of ClearFlame's technology," said Julie Blumreiter, chief technology officer and co-founder of ClearFlame.

"Achieving these key targets without the use of complex aftertreatment systems helps diesel engine manufacturers to preserve their core engine technology requirements, driving a cost-effective, rapid-to-market solution that addresses evolving emissions regulations."

A selling point for the ClearFlame technology is it has the ability to replace petroleum fuels with ethanol in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as particulate matter and smog, at the same time reducing overall engine cost.

ClearFlame is working with Cummins Inc. and Argonne National Laboratory to develop the technology. Johnson said diesel fleets would have the potential to achieve a 40% reduction in carbon emissions and a $45,000 cost savings.

All the while, the ClearFlame engine has 30% more torque than engines running on diesel.

The diesel sector spends about $3.3 billion in aftertreatment each year. Using ethanol in a diesel engine could save the sector $2.5 billion in aftertreatment costs, Johnson said.

Although gasoline demand is expected to decrease in the next 20 years, he said, demand for diesel is expected to remain high. In addition, he said the price of ethanol is expected to remain low relative to diesel prices for decades to come.

The ClearFlame engine is the only diesel engine that would meet California regulations on reductions in nitrous oxide emissions, Johnson said, and ethanol would help the state accomplish that goal.

The company has about two to three years of demonstrations to complete, starting in 2021. Johnson said ClearFlame plans to scale up the technology in 2026 or 2027 and hopes to sign a license agreement with an engine manufacturer.

Johnson and Blumreiter are graduates of Stanford University and started ClearFlame based on work from their dissertations. The Chicago-based company received $25,000 in seed money from Ag Startup Engine at Iowa State University Research Park in 2019.

Johnson and Blumreiter have been participating in Chain Reactions Innovations, an entrepreneur program with the U.S. Department of Energy at Argonne National Laboratory.

The company has received several small-business research grants totaling nearly $2 million.

In April 2020, ClearFlame closed on a $3 million initial round of financing from Clean Energy Ventures, along with other investors to help accelerate the development of a diesel engine that can run on ethanol.

ClearFlame recently completed a proof-of-concept demonstration on a Caterpillar engine at Argonne National Laboratory and is preparing for a commercial prototype demonstration on a Cummins 15-liter engine.

Todd Neeley can be reached at todd.neeley@dtn.com

Follow him on Twitter @toddneeleyDTN


blog iconDTN Blogs & Forums
DTN Market Matters Blog
Editorial Staff
Monday, October 19, 2020 11:43AM CDT
Friday, October 16, 2020 8:37AM CDT
Monday, October 12, 2020 11:36AM CDT
Technically Speaking
Editorial Staff
Monday, October 19, 2020 8:43AM CDT
Monday, October 12, 2020 9:29AM CDT
Monday, October 5, 2020 7:51AM CDT
Fundamentally Speaking
Joel Karlin
DTN Contributing Analyst
Tuesday, October 20, 2020 11:12AM CDT
Friday, October 16, 2020 8:17AM CDT
Thursday, October 15, 2020 10:40AM CDT
DTN Ag Policy Blog
Chris Clayton
DTN Ag Policy Editor
Tuesday, October 20, 2020 5:12PM CDT
Thursday, October 15, 2020 2:29PM CDT
Wednesday, October 14, 2020 6:51AM CDT
Minding Ag's Business
Katie Behlinger
Farm Business Editor
Tuesday, October 6, 2020 11:26AM CDT
Thursday, August 27, 2020 9:04AM CDT
Tuesday, May 19, 2020 8:02PM CDT
DTN Ag Weather Forum
Bryce Anderson
DTN Ag Meteorologist and DTN Analyst
Tuesday, October 20, 2020 11:34AM CDT
Friday, October 16, 2020 8:49AM CDT
Thursday, October 15, 2020 12:46PM CDT
DTN Ethanol Blog
Editorial Staff
Thursday, October 15, 2020 2:59PM CDT
Thursday, October 15, 2020 2:59PM CDT
Wednesday, October 14, 2020 11:02AM CDT
DTN Production Blog
Pam Smith
Crops Technology Editor
Friday, October 16, 2020 3:38PM CDT
Tuesday, October 13, 2020 3:13PM CDT
Tuesday, October 6, 2020 9:02AM CDT
Harrington's Sort & Cull
John Harrington
DTN Livestock Analyst
Monday, October 19, 2020 2:53PM CDT
Monday, October 19, 2020 2:53PM CDT
Wednesday, October 14, 2020 2:50PM CDT
South America Calling
Editorial Staff
Thursday, October 15, 2020 2:29PM CDT
Thursday, October 15, 2020 2:29PM CDT
Tuesday, October 6, 2020 4:11PM CDT
An Urban’s Rural View
Urban Lehner
Editor Emeritus
Monday, October 19, 2020 11:00AM CDT
Monday, October 12, 2020 10:39AM CDT
Thursday, October 1, 2020 2:57PM CDT
Machinery Chatter
Dan Miller
Progressive Farmer Senior Editor
Friday, October 16, 2020 5:10AM CDT
Friday, October 9, 2020 8:57AM CDT
Friday, October 2, 2020 12:39PM CDT
Canadian Markets
Cliff Jamieson
Canadian Grains Analyst
Tuesday, October 20, 2020 3:29PM CDT
Tuesday, October 20, 2020 3:29PM CDT
Monday, October 19, 2020 3:45PM CDT
Editor’s Notebook
Greg D. Horstmeier
DTN Editor-in-Chief
Friday, September 4, 2020 3:48PM CDT
Thursday, August 13, 2020 11:42AM CDT
Monday, June 29, 2020 1:35PM CDT
 
Copyright DTN. All rights reserved. Disclaimer.
Powered By DTN