Methane proves powerful in New Holland tractor tests

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New Holland T6 Methane Power tractor prototype New Holland T6 Methane Power tractor prototype New Holland T6 Methane Power tractor prototype

New Holland is reporting significant progress in the testing and development of its innovative 100 percent methane powered tractor, with a second-generation T6.180 Methane Power prototype completing extensive testing across Europe and a first-gen T6.140 beginning a new testing cycle in Brazil.

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The company says the second-gen prototype has been extensively tested by customers in Italy, Spain, the UK, Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands.

The first-gen T6.140 Methane Power tractor is involved in a joint project between New Holland and clean and renewable energy producer Itaipu Binacional, touring farms and agricultural cooperatives in the West Paraná region in Brazil.

"It is being field tested to collect data on the viability of bio-methane as a fuel for agricultural equipment," New Holland says.

"The project also includes a series of activities aimed at promoting the development of a supply chain for biogas generated from urban and agricultural organic waste."

The company is also using the T6 Methane Power tractors to raise awareness of the opportunities alternative fuels present for sustainable agriculture by making public appearances at a variety of events.

 The T6.180 Methane Power tractor is fitted with a NEF6 engine produced by FPT Industrial and has a configuration very similar to that of currently manufactured diesel tractors, New Holland says.

"The compressed methane is stored in nine tanks that are integrated into the overall design, with operational ground clearance as per standard models," it says. "The 52-kilo tank capacity delivers approximately half a day of autonomy during normal operation."

The company is claiming fuel cost savings up to 25 percent compared with diesel or agricultural diesel machines, and 80 percent lower polluting emissions than a standard diesel tractor.

It says carbon dioxide emissions reductions and up to 40 percent fuel cost savings can be further achieved by using biomethane produced on the farm itself.

"The T6 Methane Power tractor is one of the cornerstones of our Clean Energy Leader strategy, which we launched 10 years ago to increase farming efficiency and sustainability," New Holland brand president Carlo Lambro says.

"At New Holland we saw early on that alternative fuels are key to achieving a low carbon future for agriculture, and we have invested accordingly. Today we see methane and propane as the fuels with the greatest potential for the development of technologies that deliver on all fronts: performance, costs and sustainability."


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