A new biofuel conversion system from Optimus Technologies is being field-tested as the company awaits EPA approval for the system. According to Optimus, the Vector system can reduce fuel costs by as much as 25% and cut emissions by up to 80%.

“We expect Vector to be used on intermediate- and beyond-useful-life engines initially,” said Colin Huwyler, CEO and founder.  “That said, we see the day when biofuel solutions will be provided by engine manufacturers on new trucks as well.  This vision is driven by the knowledge that other alternative fuel solutions are prohibitively expensive and do not provide the same results as biofuels.” 

Optimus is seeking certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to use the system with model year 2004-2006 Navistar DT466 engines.  Certification and full production shipments are expected in the second quarter of this year, the company said.

Field trials, certifications and shipments supporting other engines are planned for later this spring and summer.

The city of Pittsburgh, PA, is currently testing the system in a field trial.

“We are very impressed and very happy with the Vector systems’ operations, especially during this harsh winter we have had,” said Paul Ostrowski, fleet contract manager of Office of Management and Budget. “We were pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to add the conversion systems and by the emission improvements they provide to our road maintenance trucks. We can see how Optimus could help meet emissions mandates for municipal fleets.”

Field trials are being conducted on dump trucks, day cab tractors and construction equipment, Optimus said, but the company sees the system being used on a wide range of home-fueled fleets in the commercial and government sectors including retail/wholesale delivery and transport, waste services, on-road construction and road maintenance vehicles.

Vector runs in parallel to a truck’s existing diesel system – without significantly modifying, replacing or rebuilding the engine. Vector enables the engine to run almost exclusively on biofuel to optimize fuel savings and emission performance, with diesel being used during startup, shutdown or fallback operation, if necessary. It is compatible with all modern emission after-treatment systems such as selective catalytic reduction systems (SCRs) and diesel particulate filters (DPF).