ClearFlame Ignites Excitement at the Advanced Clean Transportation Expo

May 18, 2023

The Advanced Clean Transportation Expo (ACT Expo) featured many vehicle and technology announcements over four days of networking and education, and the 12,000 attendees had another opportunity: To see a ClearFlame engine up close and personal for the first time.

The diesel engine retrofitted to run on cleaner fuels is undergoing testing by five of the ten largest fleet operators, with expectations to begin sales next year. Staff of Geneva, Illinois-based ClearFlame drove the working International LT 650 into the ACT Expo hall in Anaheim, California, dirty fifth wheel and all, for the four-day show May 1-4. ClearFlame booth attendees had the chance to see the technology under the hood via demos by ClearFlame CTO and co-founder Julie Blumreiter.

Dr. Julie Blumreiter, CTO and Co-Founder, giving a technical demonstration of ClearFlame's converted engine.

Visitors to the ClearFlame booth were among the 2,700-plus fleet operators and other commercial transportation stakeholders who gathered to talk about the state of advanced clean vehicle technologies and interact with 145 trucks, buses and vans.

"The ACT Expo continues to be a premier event for communicating new vehicle introductions, technologies, and industry insights,” praised Julie Blumreiter, CTO and Co-Founder of ClearFlame. “The heart of ClearFlame's presence was centered around one powerful word: 'GO.' Go Fast. Go Strong. Go Power. This dynamic theme embodies our unwavering dedication to delivering innovative solutions to propel our customers forward.”

Going Fast: Attendees Excited by ClearFlame Retrofit Technology’s Swift Impact

Topics that dominated conversations and conference panel discussions included recent advances and challenges for battery-electric, hydrogen fuel cell and other renewable fuels; the shifting regulatory landscape at the local, state and federal levels; and opportunities to access funding for implementing more sustainable fleet technologies.

The refrain at the Expo was one of optimism with urgency: It’s going to take the rapid adoption of many carbon-reduction technologies, and not one perfect solution, to slow the rate of climate change in time to avoid the worst predictions being made by the world’s leading scientists on the subject. 

Visitors gather to learn more at ClearFlame's booth.

Visitors to the ClearFlame booth were intrigued by the technology—here and now— that requires no retraining of maintenance techs and no shop retooling because it is nearly the same engine the industry works on now, with about 15% modifications.

"Fleet operators are considering a range of solutions to address diverse duty cycles," shared Kirk Roller, COO of ClearFlame. "We're thrilled to see the enthusiasm around our potential solution, particularly its ability to effectively serve the over-the-road segment for distances exceeding 500 miles per day."

Driving Change: ClearFlame Leads the Conversation on Renewable Fuels and Technologies"

ClearFlame’s CEO and co-founder BJ Johnson underscored the importance of diversified solutions in the pursuit of success during the "Driving Emissions Reductions: Renewable Fuels and Technologies" panel. "Our best shot at success lies in embracing a range of solutions, specifically prioritizing renewable fuel alternatives," Johnson articulated. "It's paramount that fleets can affordably adapt to this change." Johnson shared these insights alongside industry experts Carrie Song, VP Americas, Renewable Road Transportation for Neste, and Hernan Henriquez, VP of sales for BayoTech.

A range of solutions offers the best chance for success, emphasizing renewable fuel alternatives and ways fleets can embrace change affordably, said ClearFlame CEO and co-founder BJ Johnson. Johnson joined Carrie Song, vice president Americas, Renewable Road Transportation for Neste, and Hernan Henriquez, vice president of sales for BayoTech, on a panel titled "Driving Emissions Reductions: Renewable Fuels and Technologies."

Dr. BJ Johnson, Carrie Song, and Hernan Henriquez on the "Driving Emissions Reductions: Renewable Fuels and Technologies" panel at ACT Expo.

The diesel engine is central to the world economy: Trucks move nearly three-quarters of United States freight by weight, and more than $100 billion is spent each year on diesel fuel, Johnson said. He further pointed out that diesel fuel accounts for 26% of on-road greenhouse gas emissions, marking it as a critical area for reduction efforts.

Johnson passionately asserted the merits of retrofitting durable and powerful diesel engines to run on sustainable fuels like ethanol and methanol. "These engines haul significant weight over vast distances. Making them fuel adaptable and able to utilize sustainable liquid fuels not only makes operational sense but also allows users to choose the fuel that best suits their needs, potentially saving money while decreasing their environmental footprint."

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