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ADM trucks used to demonstrate viability of 100% biodiesel fuel

A partnership led by ADM and Optimus Technologies plans to carry out a year-long validation project of new biodiesel technology to demonstrate its viability in real-world, high-mileage fleet applications.

Five trucks owned by ADM will be fitted with Optimus’ Vector fuel system, which enables diesel engines to run almost entirely on sustainable biodiesel (B100). The trucks will be used in daily fleet operations for one year, with each vehicle expected to travel 160,000-180,000 miles, reducing up to 500,000 pounds of carbon dioxide.

Using advanced monitoring, the partners will compare the performance and results of the new technology with five other trucks comprising a control group operating on conventional fossil-based diesel. The biodiesel used in the project will be sourced from ADM’s biorefinery in Mexico, Missouri.

The Optimus Vector system is designed to allow conventional diesel engines to run on 100% biodiesel in a range of climates. The system is already in use in shorter mileage, local fleet applications such as distribution and waste removal.

The new project will evaluate its use for longer-haul fleets and could open a pathway to significantly higher volumes of biodiesel in the US truck fleet. ADM and Optimus are being supported by project partners the American Lung Association, the National Biodiesel Board, the Illinois Soybean Association, and the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council.

“Our commitment to global sustainability includes reducing emissions, and we have a great opportunity here to validate a technology that could, in theory, expand the use of environmentally-friendly biodiesel in diesel trucks by five-fold or more,” said Steve Finn, ADM’s vice-president for trucking. “Going forward, we expect over-the-road trucking miles in the US to continue to increase, so we have an opportunity to use innovative technologies to multiply the environmental and economic benefits of biodiesel. That’s what we are working towards together in this new partnership.”

“We’re excited to announce this partnership with ADM and commend their commitment to sustainability and leadership in both the biodiesel and transportation sectors,” noted Colin Huwyler, CEO of Optimus. “Trucking is the backbone of the American economy and carbon emissions from transportation continue to rise. Optimus’ technology coupled with ADM’s fuel provides heavy-duty fleets an immediate pathway to reduce these emissions over 80%. While the promise of heavy-duty fleet electrification is still decades off, this project demonstrates the ease, low cost, and efficacy of integrating biodiesel into existing fleet equipment and operations.”

“Biodiesel blends have been utilised successfully in millions of miles of real-world applications across the diesel sector over the last two decades, but this project is especially exciting as more fleets look to take it to the next level,” added Kaleb Little, director of communications for the National Biodiesel Board. “Biodiesel’s recognition as a low-carbon fuel option has fleets pushing the envelope, increasing their use of even higher blends, B20 all the way to B100, and this technology makes it easier than ever for users to do just that.”




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