On-road field trial: B100 can help decarbonize heavy-duty trucking

A recent study found that 100 percent biodiesel, or B100, can help decarbonize Class 8 heavy-duty over-the-road trucks.

Colin Huwyler is the CEO of Optimus Technologies, the company that manufactures a fuel system technology enabling existing diesel engines to run on B100.

“At a high level what we found was an improvement in fuel economy with the 100 percent biodiesel trucks. Compared to traditional diesel, we saw a slight improvement in the miles per gallon that the biodiesel trucks were getting compared to diesel trucks. That’s a pretty outstanding result considering that some conventional wisdom would assume that you would get a slight reduction in fuel economy. The emission system, the particulate filter, preformed better on biodiesel than it did on diesel. That improvement in operation of the emission system and the combustion efficiency that you get with biodiesel contributed to that better fuel economy result compared to baseline diesel.”

The 16-month on-road field trial involved 10 Class 8 Mack trucks and covered nearly 1.3 million miles. Five B100 trucks were compared to five identical trucks that operated on ADM’s conventional diesel fuel, an 11 percent blend of biodiesel.

Using ADM trucks equipped with Optimus’ Vector System Technology, the study confirmed environmental benefits.

“One of the really critical outcomes here is the ability for 100 percent biodiesel to reduce carbon emissions dramatically in these heavy fleet operations,” he says.

And, Huwyler says B100 can help decarbonize heavy-duty fleet operations using existing equipment and infrastructure.

“Biodiesel can be dispensed from the same infrastructure that is pumping diesel today,” he says. “So, as fleets look to make a transition to a low carbon future and move toward net zero emissions, the ability to leverage existing trucks and assets to reduce carbon emissions is critical.”

According to the study, Vector System B100 trucks reduced scope 1 carbon emissions by over 940 metric tons throughout the trial.

Other results include: Vector System equipped trucks saw a reduction in the ash accumulated in the diesel particulate filter (DPF), an overall reduction in the total number of active DPF regenerations, and improvements in a variety of engine crankcase oil parameters.

Huwyler presented on the study at the recent Clean Fuels Conference in Tampa, Florida.

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