life’s a gas

New Hol­land has pre­sented its meth­ane con­cept trac­tor

Farms & Farm Machinery - - News -

New Hol­land has un­veiled a meth­ane-pow­ered con­cept trac­tor that re­duces over­all emis­sions by 80 per cent. Pre­sented at the re­cent Farm Progress Show in the US state of Illi­nois, the meth­ane-pow­ered trac­tor con­cept reimag­ines trac­tor de­sign and a vi­tal piece in the sus­tain­able farm­ing puz­zle, New Hol­land says.

“The new meth­ane-pow­ered con­cept trac­tor is the lat­est de­vel­op­ment in New Hol­land’s pur­suit of sus­tain­able and ef­fi­cient tech­nol­ogy through in­no­va­tion,” New Hol­land agri­cul­ture brand pres­i­dent Carlo Lam­bro says.

“Its ground-break­ing en­gine de­liv­ers the same per­for­mance and has the same dura­bil­ity as its standard equiv­a­lent but with much lower run­ning costs,” Lam­bro adds.

“It com­bines al­ter­na­tive fu­els and ad­vanced agri­cul­tural tech­nol­ogy to cre­ate a vi­tal link that closes the loop in the

En­ergy In­de­pen­dent Farm’s vir­tu­ous cy­cle by run­ning on the en­ergy pro­duced from the land and waste prod­ucts.”

New Hol­land sees the farms of the fu­ture as be­ing com­pletely en­ergy in­de­pen­dent; farms that pro­duce not only food, but also the biomass they need to gen­er­ate the en­ergy used to run their op­er­a­tions and power their ma­chin­ery.

This isn’t the first al­ter­na­tively fu­elled trac­tor from New

Hol­land – the com­pany was the first to of­fer 100 per cent biodiesel com­pat­i­bil­ity in 2006. It also de­vel­oped the world’s first hy­dro­gen trac­tor con­cept, the NH2, in 2009.

In 2012 New Hol­land cre­ated its first propane-fu­elled trac­tor pro­to­type and fol­lowed this up in 2013 with its first T6 methanepow­ered trac­tor pro­to­type.

The new meth­ane-pow­ered New Hol­land builds on the foun­da­tions laid by the previous T6 meth­ane power pro­to­types, the com­pany says, adding: “It fea­tures a pow­er­train that uses a ground-break­ing ef­fi­cient com­bus­tion tech­nol­ogy specif­i­cally de­vel­oped for agri­cul­ture ap­pli­ca­tions by FPT In­dus­trial.”

Un­der the bon­net of the new con­cept trac­tor is a 6-cylin­der NEF meth­ane en­gine which de­liv­ers 180hp and 740Nm – the same power and torque specs as its standard diesel equiv­a­lent – while gen­er­at­ing up to 30 per cent run­ning cost sav­ings, New Hol­land says.

The com­pany claims that, in real field con­di­tions, the methanepow­ered con­cept trac­tor pro­duces at least 10 per cent lower CO2 emis­sions and re­duces over­all emis­sions by 80 per cent com­pared to a standard diesel trac­tor.

The ob­vi­ous con­nec­tion be­tween meth­ane and farm­ing is a large fac­tor for New Hol­land’s de­vel­op­ment of this tech­nol­ogy.

“Biomethane as a sus­tain­able fuel is par­tic­u­larly well suited to farms, as they have the raw ma­te­ri­als and the space to house a bio-digester to pro­duce the gas,” the com­pany says.

The bio-digester is fed with specif­i­cally grown en­ergy crops, an­i­mal waste, food waste or crop residues. The bio­gas pro­duced in the bio-digester is trans­ferred to a re­fin­ing sta­tion where it is trans­formed into fuel-grade meth­ane to power the farm’s ve­hi­cles and ma­chin­ery.

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