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ClearFlame Engine Technologies secures $2.5M to advance diesel-free truck demonstration; ethanol-fueled MCCI

ClearFlame Engine Technologies, a growing startup dedicated to the development of clean engine technology (earlier post), secured $2.5 million in additional financing from several investors, including the Iowa, Minnesota, Kansas and Illinois Corn Growers Associations. The new funding will help ClearFlame deploy pilot Class 8 trucks with its patented technology. The company plans to have demonstration trucks on the road by the end of 2021.

The ClearFlame solution leverages diesel-style mixing-controlled compression ignition (MCCI). Historically, clean-burning fuels, and those that are easy to make from waste CO2 streams or syngas, have failed to ignite using MCCI.

ClearFlame’s solution, grounded in technology developed during doctoral studies at Stanford University and validated using more than $3 million in grant funding, addresses this problem by elevating combustion temperatures in order to enable use of non-traditional fuels without sacrificing performance. In fact, it increases power by 25%.

Jacobs Vehicle Systems, a worldwide manufacturer of engine retarding and valve actuation systems for the commercial vehicle industry, recently teamed with ClearFlame to advance the company’s heavy-duty decarbonized engine solution. Jacobs provided installation support of its patented Cylinder Deactivation (CDA) technology, which complements the ClearFlame high-temperature, carbon-neutral strategy.

ClearFlame’s engine technology enables low-carbon and carbon-negative fuels to be easily integrated into existing diesel engine platforms, offering a more sustainable and cost-effective solution than diesel fuel while utilizing existing liquid fuel infrastructure.

ClearFlame’s solution provides the same performance, efficiency, and rugged practicality associated with diesel engines, while eliminating the need for complex aftertreatment solutions. By replacing 100% of the petroleum fuel used in engines with decarbonized fuels such as ethanol, ClearFlame’s engine technology significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions, particulate matter and smog, helping improve air quality and mitigate climate change, all while reducing overall engine cost.

ClearFlame has previously received more than $2 million in R&D funding from the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the Department of Agriculture, the Midwest Energy Research Consortium, and Stanford University, as well as $3 million in equity funding from Clean Energy Ventures.


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