Iowa Corn Supports New Engine Technology

Iowa’s corn farmers are backing new technology to power heavy-duty engines with clean, renewable fuels.

Thanks to support from Iowa Corn, Chicago-based ClearFlame Engine Technologies recently raised $30 million in Series B funding to move from pilot to product in key markets. The new funding will help demonstrate how ClearFlame’s unique engine modification technology powers diesel engine platforms with renewable liquid fuels like ethanol in place of diesel fuel, helping to advance carbon and climate goals more immediately and cost efficiently.

“ClearFlame continues gaining momentum with technology that heavy-duty equipment users can deploy to more quickly and affordably meet critical ESG goals,” said BJ Johnson, ClearFlame Chief Executive Officer and company co-founder. “Federal Department of Energy funding moved us from concept to patent. Series A funding propelled us from patent to pilot. This latest investment round can accelerate us from pilot to proven product in multiple markets, starting with long-haul trucks.”

By maintaining over 85% of the original diesel engine design, the company’s patented technology can efficiently adapt to markets like long-haul trucking, agriculture, power generation and mining, offering the same power, durability and performance as today’s diesel engines while readily integrating into existing manufacturing, fueling, maintenance and repair ecosystems.

“Ethanol and other clean renewable fuels represent a critical part of our overall zero-carbon strategy,” said Johnson. “Our strategy puts these sustainable fuels to work powering diesel engines, the workhorses of our economy who also contribute significantly to transportation emissions. We look forward to continuing our long-standing partnerships as we move from pilot to product.”

Johnson and ClearFlame Chief Technology Officer and co-founder Julie Blumreiter dedicated their doctoral research at Stanford University to finding solutions to mitigate climate change and achieve carbon reduction goals by freeing heavy-duty diesel engines from their reliance on fossil fuels. Diesel fuel consumption accounts for approximately 26% of overall CO2 emissions from the U.S. transportation sector. While electric powertrains face significant barriers for heavy-duty applications, the technology ClearFlame developed can meet heavy-duty performance requirements while offering better lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions reduction than EV by nearly 61% using low-soot renewable fuels.

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2 responses to “Iowa Corn Supports New Engine Technology”

  1. Is there any plan to utilize cellulosic ethanol with these engines? Or is it just corn based ethanol that will power them?