ClearFlame secures $17 million to decarbonize long-haul trucking

By ClearFlame Engine Technologies | November 04, 2021

ClearFlame Engine Technologies, a startup dedicated to the development of net-zero engine technology, announced on Oct. 28 that it has secured $17 million in Series A financing, which will enable commercialization of the company’s innovative engine technology for the long-haul trucking, agriculture and power generation sectors. The financing was led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures with participation from Mercuria, John Deere and Clean Energy Ventures.

The company’s unique engine technology enables low-carbon, renewable fuels such as ethanol to be easily integrated into existing diesel engine platforms, offering a lower-emission, lower-cost solution than diesel fuel. A ClearFlame-enabled engine meets the performance and efficiency requirements for diesel engines while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions and particulate matter, helping to improve air quality and mitigate climate change.

“Our technology will enable the rapid decarbonization of diesel-dominated sectors, and this funding advances our path to commercialization with demonstration trucks on the road by the end of this year, in parallel with agricultural equipment and generator set deployments in 2022,” said BJ Johnson, ClearFlame CEO and cofounder. “Our investors share a common mission to support solutions that drive rapid carbon mitigation and ClearFlame’s technology is achieving that through a platform that can be deployed globally this decade.”

“While we’re excited about greater adoption of EVs and hydrogen-fueled mobility, we need different types of innovation to address hard to decarbonize industries,” said Carmichael Roberts, Breakthrough Energy Ventures. “ClearFlame’s engine modification technology makes it easy and economical to move away from fossil fuels, while keeping the efficiency and durability of the diesel engine – it’s a win-win.”

“As one of the world’s largest commodities traders, Mercuria was an early adopter of bringing environmental products, including ethanol, into its trading portfolio. Biofuel refining enables Mercuria to directly manage quality, supply and price risk. Mercuria’s strategic investment in ClearFlame’s technology complements its continued commitment to biofuels as part of the energy transition,” said Boris Bystrov, Mercuria. “We strongly believe ClearFlame is positioned to make decarbonization in heavy-duty industry cost-effective by using existing liquid fueling infrastructure as the catalyst, which can drive more rapid market adoption.”

Previously, ClearFlame has received $4 million in non-dilutive and grant funding from the Iowa, Minnesota, Kansas and Illinois Corn Growers Associations, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and others. The company completed its $3 million Series Seed financing in early 2020, led by Clean Energy Ventures.