Clean Energy Ventures leads financing round to challenge existing diesel technology, expand partnerships and jumpstart market presence
ClearFlame Engine Technologies, the developer of an innovative clean combustion engine technology, today announced the closing of a $3 million initial financing. Clean Energy Ventures led the financing with participation from several other investors. The funding allows ClearFlame to accelerate demonstrations of its breakthrough engine technology, which offers the same performance as a diesel engine with up to 90 percent lower CO2 emissions, pursue instrumental partnerships and expedite commercialization. ClearFlame recently completed a proof-of-concept demonstration of their technology on a Caterpillar engine at Argonne National Laboratory, and is preparing for a commercial prototype demonstration on a Cummins 15L engine.
“Heavy-duty transit sectors like long-haul trucking, shipping and rail are in need of cost-effective alternatives to diesel fuel to reduce their emissions, while maintaining the high-quality engine performance required to meet customer needs,” said Daniel Goldman, managing director of Clean Energy Ventures. “The global market for low emissions engine technology is growing at an extraordinary rate due to the limitations of electricity-based options in long-haul use cases. ClearFlame’s innovative technology has the potential to reduce well over five gigatons of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and to disrupt freight transportation and other hard-to-decarbonize sectors such as construction, mining, agriculture and distributed power generation.”
ClearFlame’s engine technology easily integrates into existing engine platforms, allowing it to retain the same high torque, fuel efficiency and durability benefits currently associated with diesel engines, while eliminating the need for expensive after-treatment installations such as Selective Catalytic Reduction systems. By replacing high-carbon, petroleum-based fuels with 100 percent low-carbon, renewable fuels, ClearFlame’s technology significantly reduces net CO2, along with NOX (smog), SO2 and particulate matter emissions to meet increasingly rigorous industry regulations like California’s “near zero NOX” standard while simultaneously reducing overall engine costs.
“Freight transportation and other heavy-duty industries have demanding performance requirements for their engines and tight weight restrictions that make electrification largely impractical,” said BJ Johnson, CEO and co-founder of ClearFlame. “We’ve partnered closely with both the public and private sector to develop a combustion engine technology that easily drops into any OEM’s existing diesel engine manufacturing process and distribution supply chain and achieves better carbon mitigation levels than other diesel fuel alternatives like fuel cells. Our technology is designed specifically to serve these heavy-duty and industrial markets and can dramatically and expeditiously reduce emissions.”
The $3M in funding will support ClearFlame as it prepares its technology for pilot demonstrations in the transportation and power generation sectors. The company plans to develop and expand strategic partnerships with OEMs, many of which have expressed a keen interest in the potential for technologies that will help them meet future low-carbon and near-zero emissions regulations.
“For decades, diesel engines have become more complex and expensive, and have compromised efficiency in order to meet ever-more-stringent emissions challenges,” said John Wall, a former engine industry CTO and ClearFlame Board Director. “ClearFlame’s innovative technology decouples the diesel engine design from the fundamental challenges of petroleum-based fuels and enables almost-zero emissions while delivering high efficiency with a range of renewable fuels.”
ClearFlame Engines has previously received over $2M in non-dilutive grant funding from the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the Department of Agriculture, the Midwest Energy Research Consortium, and Stanford University.