• Optimus Technologies

Optimus Technologies authorized to pilot B100 biodiesel fuel systems in California


Photo: Optimus Technologies Inc.

The California Air Resources Board Emissions Certification and Compliance Division has recently determined that Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based Optimus Technologies Inc.’s Vector System does not reduce the effectiveness of applicable vehicle pollution control systems and, as a result, issued Executive Order D-864 on May 23. The Vector System is an advanced fuel-system technology that enables diesel engines to operate on 100 percent biodiesel (B100) and is designed for medium- and heavy-duty fleet applications to enable decarbonization of the transportation sector.

The recently issued EO D-864 provides an exemption for the use of the Vector System in the state of California in model years 2010-'19 on-road diesel engines ranging in size from 6.7 liters to 16 liters.

CARB’s Oil and Gas and GHG Mitigation Branch previously issued to Optimus EO G-714-ADF-ST1-01, which authorizes an Alternative Diesel Fuel Stage 1 Pilot Program to use the Vector System with 100 percent biodiesel fuel upon receipt of an EO from the Emissions Certification and Compliance Division.

With receipt of both EO D-864 and EO G-714-ADF-ST1-0, Optimus is now authorized to begin its Stage 1 Pilot Program for the Vector System in California. To Optimus’ knowledge, both executive orders are the first of their kind to be issued by CARB.

According to CARB’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard Pathway Certified Carbon Intensities data, 100 percent biodiesel fuel has carbon-intensity values as low as 8.6*, due to the biogenic sources from which it is derived. When compared to California average refinery diesel fuel with a carbon intensity of 100.5, B100 provides up to a 91 percent reduction in carbon. In addition to the carbon-reduction benefits, biodiesel fuel also has a higher cetane rating, increased lubricity, and generates 58 percent less engine combustion particulate matter**, all of which contribute to a reduction in operating and maintenance costs, improved efficiency, and extension of engine life.

“Climate science is clear—the planet is warming at an alarming rate, and the biggest contributor to that change is greenhouse gases produced by industry,” said Colin Huwyler, founder and CEO of Optimus Technologies. “Carbon emissions are cumulative in the atmosphere, and we know that reductions made now have a greater impact than reductions made in 20 years. At Optimus Technologies, we know that the drive to carbon neutrality will take multiple technologies and recognize that electrification has made great progress in light-duty vehicles. The reality though is that electric vehicles just aren’t well suited for the demanding requirements of heavy-duty applications like long-haul shipping, refuse collection, snow removal and many other basic functions our society relies on every day. The Vector System is already hard at work providing an immediate pathway to achieve carbon neutrality—from Washington, D.C., to Portland, Oregon. Biodiesel is ready today, it is available at scale, and the Optimus Vector System brings the benefits of B100 to heavy-duty fleets. We are excited to have secured the necessary executive orders to begin Optimus’ Stage 1 Pilot Program in California.”

Optimus is partnering to deploy the first Vector Systems in California with Valley Pacific Petroleum, a family-owned fuel distributor that has been fueling California since 1947. Valley Pacific embraces the advances that B100 and Optimus Technologies unlock for sustainable, responsible heavy-duty fleet operations.

Biodiesel is a domestically produced advanced biofuel made from renewable plant and animal materials such as soybean oil and beef tallow, as well as recycled used cooking oils. Biodiesel is readily available in California today as a blended product with traditional and renewable diesels but, until now, the maximum usable blend has been limited to 20 percent.

*“California Air Resources Board.” LCFS Pathway Certified Carbon Intensities | California Air Resources Board, California Air Resources Board, https://ww2.arb.ca.gov/resources/documents/lcfs-pathway-certified-carbon-intensities.


**California EPA “Multimedia Evaluation of Biodiesel” Multimedia Working Group, May 2015.

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