New biodiesel-based system helps trucks reduce emissions


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Today, biodiesel is one of the cleanest alternatives to petroleum diesel, the main culprit responsible for greenhouse gas emissions in medium and heavy-duty trucks. Biodiesel, readily available in current refueling infrastructure, can be used in any diesel engine, and is often blended at 20% (also known as B20). BXX refers to a blend of biodiesel fuel mixed with regular petroleum diesel. For example, B20 is a blend of 20% biodiesel with 80% petroleum diesel, while B100 is 100% biofuel without petroleum diesel. Optimus Technologies, a clean energy technology company based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has developed The Vector System, a new fuel system that enables diesel engines to run on the B100. Designed specifically for medium and heavy duty fleet applications where it is very difficult or impossible to achieve affordable emissions reductions through other means, the Vector System integrates with existing vehicles and infrastructure, enabling a seamless transition towards low- and near-zero carbon fuels, with Reduce operating costs as well. Besides carbon emissions, biodiesel use reduces particulates by up to 50%, hydrocarbons by approximately 70% and removes a variety of other toxic exhaust emissions. This technology can be applied to both currently operating trucks (through retrofits) and completely new trucks. Either way, the vehicles are prepared to run on the B100 through a simple addition that works in tandem with the components of conventional diesel vehicles. The engine starts and stops on a conventional diesel. Operation with 100% biodiesel is activated only after the vehicle has reached optimal operating conditions. Biodiesel is a clean, renewable source of energy for all diesel vehicles. In fact, biodiesel can be obtained by recycling a mixture of wastes such as cooking oil, animal fats and agricultural by-products. In the United States, biodiesel is the first domestically produced and commercially available advanced biofuel in the country. As a viable, clean and sustainable alternative to conventional petroleum diesel, biodiesel is able to provide an outstanding engine with environmental and economic benefits. Although most engines manufactured today are capable of running on B20 (20% biodiesel blend), with the Vector System diesel engines can use 100% biodiesel. Optimus Technologies Founded in 2010, Optimus Technologies has built The Vector System, an advanced fuel system technology that allows medium and heavy-duty diesel engines to run on 100% biodiesel, reducing carbon emissions to nearly zero relative to existing engines and infrastructure to refuel. Optimus Technologies’ goal is to help medium and heavy duty fleets reduce operating costs, while eliminating carbon emissions and achieving long-term sustainability goals in a cost-effective manner. “Our fuel system uses most of the components you’d find in a conventional diesel fuel system. There’s a fuel tank, there are pumps, sensors, electronic controllers, and there’s also a telematics device for the Internet of Things,” said Colin Howler, founder and CEO of Optimus Technologies. It is responsible for collecting data on the engine and sending back reports.. Biodiesel Biodiesel is an energy-dense liquid fuel with properties similar to base oils and the fatty feedstocks derived from them; for this reason, biodiesel fuel tends to harden in cold climates, but is The dual-fuel solution of the Vector System is fully heated, ensuring that vehicles operate reliably at any temperature.This is because the system always starts and shuts down on conventional diesel, using the waste heat from the engine to condition biodiesel and switch to biodiesel just in case Certain operating conditions are met.Waste heat from the engine is redirected to a series of heat exchangers and heated filter assembly to bring the biodiesel into The right temperature, which eliminates any problem even with the harshest winter weather conditions. “An essential aspect of our technology is that it is a hot dual-fuel system, which uses waste heat from the engine to condition the biodiesel. Additionally, because biodiesel is not compatible with the emissions control equipment installed on new diesel engines, our technology integrates with the control systems “Our technology will always start and shut down the engine with conventional diesel, but otherwise, it uses biodiesel to run,” said Colin Howler. The Vector System is the only EPA compliant biodiesel engine system (EPA) for medium and heavy-duty trucks available on the market and is the only fuel system that does not require significantly rebuilding, replacing or modifying existing engines, making it unnecessary to purchase a new vehicle or purchase new engines for fleets to achieve near-zero carbon emissions. Ready-to-use, all-in-one The Vector system, shown in Figure 1, can be installed in less than 12 hours and can be easily integrated into any diesel engine application. Eliminate emissions, cost savings, and petroleum offsets while automatically optimizing biodiesel usage when operating conditions are met, all without any driver intervention. Vector System and Information Technologies remotely monitors more than 150 major systems and engine parameters that are provided to fleets in real time via the customer dashboard. Figure 1: Optimus Technologies Vector System The fuel tank includes an in-tank heat exchanger, fuel capture, and return lines. The Vector system can take advantage of existing or new tanks, allowing for an easy retrofit process for any fleet. The Vector Manifold includes a heat exchanger, fuel pump, sensors and a custom biodiesel fuel filter, while the user interface provides the driver with system information, including operating status, fuel level and alerts. As shown in Figure 1, the system can be accessed remotely through web-based user applications that allow real-time wireless access to system data, service information, and performance metrics. The electronic control unit (ECU), shown in Figure 2, communicates with the engine control unit, vector manifold, and remote user applications to optimize biodiesel use and record system operating data and engine performance. Figure 2: The Vector System ECU The Vector system offers several related benefits, including improved fleet sustainability, full automation, upgrade/modification of existing engines, quick and easy installation, and meets the needs of heavy-duty applications that are difficult or impossible to electrify. “Our technology has already been deployed with a variety of clients such as the City of Washington, DC, which is one of the largest entities using our systems. There, the city’s fleet operates garbage trucks and snowplows using our technology. We also have business partnerships with the Renewable Energy Group. and Archer Daniels Midland. These partners also use technology in their fleet, and in those applications, they operate large Class 8 tractor-trailers,” said Colin Hoeller. The Vector system has been successfully used in a variety of applications across multiple sectors, including construction equipment and agricultural machinery. “We believe that our technology is best applied in those markets that present a real challenge to achieve emission reductions in other ways. We provide a suitable carbon reduction solution for any heavy industry. Our main focus so far has been on road transport because that is where the greatest amount is used. of diesel but we’ve seen a huge increase in interest in these other sectors,” said Colin Wheeler.


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