John Deere’s strategic investments in alternative fuel solutions 

John Deere Power Systems is making strategic investments in a diversified range of powertrain solutions to support customers in future-proofing their equipment operations.
Bauma 2022 / October 28, 2022
bauma 2022

 

This includes renewable fuel solutions that can address customers’ pain points and give them a competitive edge in the off-highway market.

Collin Krantz, John Deere Power Systems OEM implementation manager, said the company is committed to bringing “the most advanced, affordable and effective renewable fuel solutions” to its customers, so they know the equipment they are using is setting them up for future success.

“Petroleum-based fuels have been the industry standard for years, primarily due to the lack of acceptable, cost-effective and reliable alternatives,” said Krantz.  

“However, with growing interest in sustainable energy, renewable fuels are becoming more widely adopted and readily available. Within the variety of available renewable fuels, we believe biodiesel and renewable diesel fuel will integrate most effectively within the heavy equipment industry.”

The company has made significant progress in testing engine compatibility with renewable diesel fuel such as hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO), which is a biofuel made from hydrocracking or hydrogenation of vegetable oil.

Ethanol, a renewable fuel made from corn and other plant materials, is another option of interest. Ethanol is widely used in the industry, with the most common blend being E10 (10% ethanol, 90% gasoline). The use of biofuels such as ethanol, biodiesel and renewable diesel, said Krantz, has contributed to significant reductions in carbon emissions for existing vehicles in the past decade.

Biodiesel is a renewable, oxygenated fuel made from a variety of agricultural resources such as soybeans or rapeseeds. It contains no petroleum but can be blended at any level with petroleum diesel to create a biodiesel blend. As a renewable, domestic energy source, biodiesel can help reduce dependence on petroleum imports.

To support this goal of providing differentiated powertrain solutions, John Deere has made an equity investment in ClearFlame Engine Technologies, a growing start-up dedicated to the development of clean engine technology.  

ClearFlame’s solutions enable low-carbon fuels such as ethanol to be easily integrated into compression ignition engines, offering a more sustainable solution without compromising engine performance.

“The John Deere investment is in line with its strategic vision to accelerate and lead the industry in low- and near-zero-carbon powertrain technology,” concluded Krantz.

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