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New Holland Agriculture unveils methane-powered concept tractor

New Holland Agriculture, a global agricultural equipment brand of CNH Industrial, unveiled a methane-powered concept tractor at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Illinois.


Developed by the New Holland design and engineering teams, this concept combines alternative fuels and advanced agricultural technology with readily available powertrain innovation from CNH Industrial sister brand FPT Industrial.

The new methane powered tractor uses an FPT Industrial engine which has been specifically developed for agricultural applications and delivers maximum power of 180 hp and maximum torque of 740 N·m—identical to the equivalent diesel powerplant. The engine features stoichiometric combustion technology, which has been developed by FPT Industrial, and was first introduced in 1995; it is applied across the entire natural gas engine portfolio as it enables comparative performance to diesel engines, while delivering ultra-low emissions and high efficiency.

To make optimal use of space, the tractor’s fuel is stored within tanks produced using a composite layered tubular structure within a sleek and integrated storage structure fitted at the front of the tractor, together with two tanks on the left and right of the machine. This new layout enables a full day of farm-work autonomy. The tractor is as easy to refuel as one powered conventionally with diesel, using a single nozzle, and with comparable filling time.

When using biomethane as fuel, a farm has the ability to become completely energy independent, satisfying all of its own fuel and energy requirements, as well as those of the local community by using waste products in a closed-loop virtuous cycle. It is the next step in realizing the farm of the near future, one that moves away from fossil-fuel powered vehicles and embraces renewable sources.



The issue with biomethane in this application is that the sources tend to be more or less continuous, the demand is highly seasonal and storage is difficult at best.  It really needs conversion to a liquid fuel.

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