New Holland, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of farm equipment, already has a propane farm tractor and has now developed one that uses methane fuel.
It’s being marketed as a “sustainable” farm tractor that burns farm-generated methane, but it can just as easily work off conventional natural gas, of course. New Holland already has a propane powered farm tractor, so this is the next logical step. It’s one sleek blue farm machine and provides one of those examples where renewables and natural gas overlap and are mutually supportive. I can’t wait to see one in action.
Here’s the background from the New Holland announcement (emphasis added):
The new methane powered concept tractor builds on the foundations of the previous T6 Methane Power prototypes to achieve a significant technological advance. It features a powertrain that uses a groundbreaking efficient combustion technology specifically developed for agriculture applications by FPT Industrial, a brand of CNH Industrial that has pioneered natural gas traction for more than 20 years.
The 6-cylinder NEF methane engine delivers 180 hp and 740 Nm: the same power and torque as its standard diesel equivalent. It has the same durability and service intervals, and generates up to 30% running cost savings. The innovative tank design, using a composite layered tubular structure, enables a full day’s autonomy in line with an equivalent diesel model.
The powertrain of the methane powered concept tractor has the added benefit of quiet operation, with engine noise level reduced by up to 3 dBA. This translates to around 50% reduction in drive-by-noise, which makes it ideal for municipality, yard and transport operations.
In real field conditions, the methane powered concept tractor produces at least 10% lower CO2 emissions and reduces overall emissions by 80% compared to a standard diesel tractor. Its environmental performance further improves when fueled by biomethane produced from crop residues and waste from farm-grown energy crops, which results in virtually zero CO2 emissions.
This new New Holland farm tractor will reduce emissions 80% and even more when methane from natural gas is combined with methane from farm-grown crops. Once agin, we see how renewables are made possible and backed up by natural gas. Its a good lesson in how they naturally work together. Imagine, if you will, a farmer pulling up to a CNG fueling station in Bradford or Susquehanna County with this beauty:
Hat Tip: Bob Nolan