John Deere invests in clean engine tech

By Andy Brown02 November 2021

John Deere has made an equity investment in ClearFlame Engine Technologies, a start-up dedicated to the development of clean engine technology.

ClearFlame’s solution enables low-carbon fuels like ethanol to be easily integrated into compression ignition engines, offering what is said to be a more sustainable solution without compromising engine performance.

The US-based OEM said that its investment was in line with its strategic vision to accelerate and lead the industry in low and zero carbon powertrain technology.

“We made this investment to stay on the leading edge of developments in renewable fuel technology,” said Pierre Guyot, senior vice president, John Deere Power Systems.

“ClearFlame’s compression ignition engine technology has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions while continuing to provide the performance and durability our customers expect from John Deere engines.”

Sustainability and the journey to carbon neutral is one of the biggest trends in the world – at COP26, the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference world leaders are talking about how to reduce carbon emissions.

The construction industry is increasingly looking at alternative fuels such as JCB’s investment in hydrogen, Volvo CE’s expanded electric equipment range, and industry heavyweight Caterpillar recently announced its first ever sustainability officer.

John Deere added that it will also supply an engine to use in conceptual testing, which will help validate the technology currently under development by ClearFlame. Using ethanol in place of petroleum diesel fuel in diesel engines significantly reduces carbon emissions and air quality emissions. Ethanol is widely available and can offer a high-efficiency, liquid alternative fuel option.

“Compression ignition engines have a long life ahead – in terms of both the current source of diesel and a wide variety of alternative fuel types,” added Guyot.

“John Deere already offers biomass-based diesel compatibility on our engines. These investments are the right thing to do for environmental, economic and rural-development benefits.”

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