Unbiased research confirms price financial savings & emissions benefits for heavy-duty vans operating ClearFlame’s engine know-how


ClearFlame Engine Applied sciences, a startup creating net-zero engine know-how (earlier publish), introduced the publication of an unbiased research that finds ClearFlame’s know-how may assist fleet house owners and different heavy-duty truck operators decrease complete prices whereas assembly sustainability targets ahead of presently obtainable options.

The research was performed by Gladstein, Neandross & Associates (GNA) and commissioned by ClearFlame, whose traders embrace Invoice Gates-founded Breakthrough Power Ventures, John Deere, Mercuria, and Clear Power Ventures.

ClearFlame has developed a know-how that enables a heavy-duty engine to proceed to function utilizing MCCI-based combustion when fueled on a wider vary of fuels, together with ethanol. Traditionally, clean-burning fuels, and people which are straightforward to make from waste CO2 streams or syngas, have did not ignite utilizing MCCI.

ClearFlame’s answer, grounded in know-how developed throughout doctoral research at Stanford College and validated utilizing greater than $3 million in grant funding, addresses this downside by elevating combustion temperatures so as to allow use of non-traditional fuels with out sacrificing efficiency. In reality, it will increase energy by 25%.

As a result of this know-how permits the engine to proceed to function on an MCCI diesel-like cycle, the engine maintains the excessive thermal effectivity and torque of conventional diesel engines.


ClearFlame-based engine know-how makes use of MCCI to take care of diesel engine cycle effectivity and torque

Ethanol’s shorter hydrocarbon chains (two-carbon atoms vs diesel’s twelve- carbon atoms) cut back or remove soot formation below typical engine circumstances. The inherently decrease soot forming propensity of ethanol in comparison with diesel gas would permit ClearFlame to function the engine nearer to stoichiometric circumstances, enabling the usage of three-way catalyst (TWC) aftertreatment programs to regulate NOx emissions.

TWC programs are lighter and cheaper than SCR programs, and don’t require the usage of diesel emission fluid (DEF), leading to decrease capital, working, and upkeep prices for the aftertreatment system.

The ClearFlame system is presently being demonstrated on the Cummins X15 diesel platform by a retrofit technique that entails the modification of some EGR and consumption air elements, in addition to gas injectors and different gas system elements.


EGR and air stream element modifications

An evaluation of the anticipated emissions efficiency and complete price of possession for the ClearFlame enterprise mannequin versus diesel, CNG, BEV, and FCV choices within the over-the-road heavy-duty truck market introduced on this paper signifies that:

  • The TCO of ClearFlame-based vans may very well be, on common, $0.08 per mile decrease than diesel vans in over-the-road functions.

  • ClearFlame’s price per mile on this utility is anticipated to be considerably decrease than BEV and FCV platforms, primarily because of the excessive buy prices of those platforms.

  • ClearFlame’s know-how has the potential to cut back well-to-wheels GHGs and tailpipe emissions relative to conventional diesel gas considerably. ClearFlame is estimated to offer a 42% lifecycle carbon discount in contrast with diesel, in addition to roughly 22% decrease GHG than battery electrical automobiles primarily based on the nationwide common grid combine.

  • The fee per mile for battery-electric and fuel-cell applied sciences in long-haul trucking is presently excessive, making applied sciences like ClearFlame vital choices to instantly present cost-effective GHG and tailpipe emissions reductions.

The TCO evaluation was performed when diesel gas’s nationwide common was $3.48 per gallon in October 2021 and located that ClearFlame-enabled vans would have a decrease TCO than diesel by $0.08 per mile, decrease than pure gasoline by $0.09 per mile, decrease than electrical by $0.97 per mile, and decrease than hydrogen platforms by $0.61 per mile.

The report additionally highlights the potential for even larger GHG reductions utilizing different feed sources developed by the ethanol trade with decrease carbon intensities. As an example, additional enchancment to ethanol manufacturing processes—akin to using extra corn fiber and stover, or including carbon seize to manufacturing amenities—would end in GHG emissions reductions of 69-83% in contrast with diesel, relying on the area.

The report additional highlights that ClearFlame can considerably cut back tailpipe PM2.5 by 99%, DPM by 100%, and SOx by 95% relative to conventional diesel gas. Whereas ClearFlame’s know-how is anticipated to satisfy all the identical emissions laws for contemporary diesel engines, it is usually absolutely anticipated to satisfy the stricter requirements being enacted by California’s Low NOx Heavy-Obligation Omnibus Regulation and proposed by the US EPA, with out the extra price and complexity going through diesel engines.

This research clearly exhibits that ClearFlame’s know-how can present vital and cost-effective GHG and tailpipe emissions reductions within the instant future. Whereas a lot of the dialogue round sustainable fuels right now focuses on compressed pure gasoline, battery-electric, and hydrogen gas cell automobiles, alcohol fuels have the potential to play a invaluable function in sustainable transportation. ClearFlame’s engine know-how and ethanol gas provide mannequin may handle the historic limitations to the adoption of ethanol fuels within the heavy-duty market.

—Patrick Sofa,, GNA research writer

The unbiased research was commissioned by ClearFlame Applied sciences and performed by GNA Clear Transportation & Power Consultants. ClearFlame was allowed to touch upon the research protocol and was supplied with a report of the outcomes. The research outcomes weren’t impacted aside from recommendations for clarification.

The mannequin evaluates numerous platforms in Class 8 over-the-road functions, a market that’s assumed to be properly suited to the ClearFlame know-how as car vary, weight, gas prices, gas availability, and fueling time are key considerations on this utility.

The TCO mannequin evaluates the next price elements for every know-how: Automobile Buy Value, Federal Excise Tax, State Gross sales Tax, Automobile Upkeep, Automobile Insurance coverage, Gas Prices, Depreciation Tax Advantages, Incentives (RFS and Low Carbon Gas Customary), Residual Worth.

The online money stream over the helpful lifetime of the truck (8 years) is used to calculate the typical price per mile (CPM) for every of the applied sciences. The common annual mileage for this evaluation is 101,000 miles, primarily based on the US EPA MOVES mannequin default worth for Class 8 long-haul semi-tractors.


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