Diesel Gets Fired, Ethanol Is Hired

Apr 1, 2022

Dump the diesel and bring on the corn juice.

‘Cause your tractor may soon be running on ethanol.

ClearFlame Engine Technologies, the Chicagoland-based startup, recently announced it will be running a field test of its technology on a 9-liter John Deere diesel engine.

The goal? Completely transform the heavy-duty engine industry.

So… what’s that mean? By modifying an existing diesel engine using its proprietary injection technology, ClearFlame converts the engine to run on… you guessed it… ethanol.

Basically, diesel engine ≠ diesel fuel.

How does it work? Well… that’s a secret. But it does work.

Big Rig on the road: In February, ClearFlame announced a successful “on-road” demonstration of a Class 8 semi-truck with a 500hp Cummins engine running on E98. 

The funding to fuel up its long-haul trucking program was provided last October through a Series A partnership led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures and the jolly green giant itself, John Deere.

When the John Deere trial (and a possible future with more ethanol demand) was announced last week at a Nebraska Ethanol Board forum, you can bet those cornhuskers’ ears perked up.

Rolling coal? Don’t think so: By switching diesel engines to run on renewable ethanol, the resulting emissions are out of this world.

Like, literally… they barely exist.

Burning ethanol means less CO₂, 90% fewer nitrous oxides, and virtually no soot coming out of the exhaust pipe.

Where this goes: With equal power and cheaper overall operating costs, the future may be closer than we think—ClearFlame has hinted at a tractor and combine demonstration later this year.