GROWMARK & Optimus Technologies Partner on Decarbonization Effort

The partnership aims to find potential pathway for transitioning entire fleets to low-carbon fuels as part of an ongoing effort to pilot biodiesel programs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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GROWMARK, Inc. has partnered with Optimus Technologies, Inc. to test biodiesel in five semi-tractors in GROWMARK’s Manito Transit fleet as a potential pathway for transitioning the entire fleet to low-carbon fuels as part of GROWMARK’s ongoing efforts to look for decarbonization opportunities within the GROWMARK System.

Optimus Technologies is an innovation company dedicated to creating a suite of technology solutions fleets can deploy to immediately reduce carbon affordably and sustainably. Their engine upgrade ensures heavy-duty diesel engines operate dependably in all weather conditions on either biodiesel or traditional diesel.

Steve Kubsch, director of Manito Transit and asset management said one of the most compelling reasons to pilot biodiesel is the ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. “Our fleet drives five million miles annually, even this pilot with five heavy-duty trucks is going to significantly lower carbon dioxide emissions and the other pollutants found in traditional diesel,” he said. “Biodiesel can also help us improve air quality in communities near busy trucking routes.”

The U.S. Department of Energy cites a life cycle analysis by the Argonne National Laboratory study that concluded biodiesel emissions for 100% biodiesel are 74% lower than emissions from petroleum-based diesel. “We are delighted to team up with GROWMARK, an organization firmly committed to agricultural and environmental sustainability practices, and show what we know from more than ten million miles of proof -- that decarbonization is financially and environmentally sustainable for heavy-duty fleets today,” Optimus Technologies CEO Colin Huwyler said. “Our upgrade to the Kenworth T680s using PACCAR MX-13 12.9L powertrains is reducing GROWMARK’s Scope 1 emissions.”

Since the pilot began in the summer of 2023, thousands of gallons of biodiesel have been used in the five Manito Transit trucks. Kubsch also says the drivers of the trucks using biodiesel have detected no change in performance. “Our drivers have indicated no complications using the biodiesel, the trucks are performing in the same way as when they were using petroleum-based diesel,” he said. The pilot is expected to run through 2027.