ClearFlame secures partnership with John Deere on lower emission diesel engines

Source: By Rhiannon Branch, Brownfield • Posted: Tuesday, January 18, 2022

An Illinois start-up company has partnered with a major ag equipment dealer to bring lower emission diesel engines to the ag sector.

BJ Johnson, co-founder of ClearFlame Engine Technologies based in Geneva tells Brownfield John Deere’s investment at the end of last year will help them expand from semi-truck engines to offroad ag and construction equipment.

“Unlike with trucks, ag is very decentralized and reliant on the distributor network, so having a partner like John Deere to not just co-develop the technology but also distribute it to the market is something we are really excited about.”

Johnson says they are modifying a 9-liter John Deere engine to run on decarbonized liquid fuel like ethanol and plan to test the engine in the field later this year.

“Once we have that field validation complete, which will be in a couple of years, you’ll be able to go to your local John Deere dealer and say instead of the regular diesel engine, I’d like the ClearFlame enabled one so it can run on the ethanol fuel that I helped to produce.”

Johnsons says electric vehicles are not a silver bullet when it comes to large equipment, and he sees ClearFlame as a complementary technology to reduce climate impacts.

“A small piece of John Deere power construction equipment may be able to be electrified in a way that a 450-horsepower tractor could not. ClearFlame is here to take on those parts of the market that need a low cost and practical solution that can mitigate carbon emissions without compromising farmers’ bottom lines or abilities to get their jobs done.”

Pierre Guyot, Senior Vice President of John Deere Power Systems says the investment was made “to stay on the leading edge of developments in renewable fuel technology” and the ClearFlame engine “has the potential to reduce carbon emissions while continuing to provide the performance and durability customers expect from John Deere engines.”