New Holland has just revealed its methane powered concept tractor, taking a step to provide a self-sufficient fuel and lower carbon emission future for farmers.
In practice, this means farmers with all the necessary resources won’t have to rely on fossil fuels to power their machinery, but can be energy independent, utilizing natural gas from waste and manure on the farm.
“The New Holland methane powered concept tractor reflects the increasing importance and viability of alternative fuels in farming, and of creating fuel from crops, agricultural waste and waste from a wider food industry.”
Using methane for combustion is a step in the right direction to lower carbon emissions. Methane combustion releases much less carbon dioxide compared to hydrocarbon fuels like petrol or diesel, for the same amount of heat being released, and with much less noise.
Another advantage of producing their own fuel, is that farmers will not be subjected to fluctuating international fuel prices.
New Holland promises that its tractor will allow farmers to complete the same on-farm tasks as with equivalent diesel powered designs.
The tractor will deliver 180 horsepower and a maximum torque of 740 Newton per meter. This is equivalent to a diesel power plant, “delivering ultra-low emissions and high efficiency.”
The tractor is specifically designed to run on biomethane – produced from a process of natural fermentation of organic materials in a biodigester.
The gas can also be used to create electricity if the farmer has the necessary means to produce his own methane. However, if farmers don’t have the resources to produce their own fuel, the tractor can run on “conventional” network methane.