Bi-Fuel Biofuel Solution for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Trucks Making Strides

Optimus Technologies has developed a biofuel conversion system, the Vector, targeted at medium- and heavy-duty truck fleets.

A proprietary hardware and software suite enables a truck's existing diesel system to run in parallel with Vector as a bi-fuel solution without significant engine modifications. Vector enables a diesel engine to run ‘almost exclusively on biofuel,’ the company says, with diesel fuel being used for startup, shutdown or fallback operation, if needed. Optimus notes that Vector is compatible with all emissions after-treatment systems, such as selective catalytic reduction systems and diesel particulate filters.

‘We expect Vector to be used on intermediate- and beyond-useful-life engines initially,’ says Colin Huwyler, CEO and founder of Optimu. ‘That said, we see the day when biofuel solutions will be provided by engine manufacturers on new trucks, as well.’

The Vector system has been in field trials in applications such as dump trucks, day-cab tractors and construction equipment.

‘We are very impressed and very happy with the Vector systems' operations, especially during this harsh winter we have had,’ says Paul Ostrowski, fleet contract manager of the City of Pittsburgh's Office of Management and Budget. ‘We can see how Optimus could help meet emissions mandates for municipal fleets.’

Optimus is currently seeking U.S. Environmental Protection Agency certification for Vector for use with Navistar DT466 engines between model years 2004 and 2006. Certification is expected in the second quarter.

The company notes that system prices start at $9,000.

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