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  • Writer's pictureRon Kotrba

Technical data from ADM, Optimus B100 pilot program to be released in 2022

Photo: Optimus Technologies

Technical data from a nearly 18-month pilot program that tested B100 biodiesel in five of Archer Daniels Midland Co.’s Class 8, over-the-road (OTR) trucks outfitted with Optimus Technologies’ Vector System will be released in 2022, according to the National Biodiesel Board. The data will include fuel economy, performance and a look inside the engines themselves to evaluate fuel injectors and general engine wear. The trucks’ aftertreatment systems, designed to cut NOx and particulate-matter emissions, will also be investigated.

“Today, most diesel-engine manufacturers allow biodiesel up to B20 in their engines, but as we look toward the future and carbon-reduction needs, we are looking for opportunities to run higher blends in this very necessary market,” said Scott Fenwick, NBB technical director. “The Optimus Vector System, an aftermarket system, allows engines to run on almost entirely B100 fuel year-round. And, run they did.”

The trucks logged more than 623,000 miles and used more than 73,000 gallons of biodiesel during the program, enduring temperatures as low as minus 23 degrees Fahrenheit with no operational challenges reported. The soy-based fuel for the pilot program was supplied by an ADM biodiesel facility in Mexico, Missouri. The effort began in February 2020 and concluded this July.

According to Optimus CEO Colin Huwyler, the pilot was able to reduce CO2 emissions by nearly 1.4 million pounds, effectively demonstrating the impact biodiesel can have on carbon reductions moving forward. “The results of this study, including the fuel-mileage parity observed by the drivers, continues to demonstrate a pathway forward for B100 in the commercial-trucking sector,” he added.

The Optimus Vector System is already used in local fleet applications that run fewer miles than OTR trucks, but the company is working to expand use of its system in longer-haul commercial-fleet operations. The purpose of the pilot was to evaluate the Vector System’s performance in OTR systems, demonstrating that the technology provides a cost-effective alternative to electrification for decarbonizing commercial fleets.

“Our U.S. supply chain depends on long-haul trucks and we don’t see that changing anytime soon,” said Steve Finn, vice president of ADM trucking. “This study helps give us and other fleets the data they need to feel secure in implementing new fuel blends to add to their sustainability efforts without sacrificing efficiencies.”

ADM and Optimus Technologies collaborated with the Illinois Soybean Association, American Lung Association, and the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council for the pilot program.



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