Ricardo and CNH Industrial to develop biomethane powered tractor

September 5, 2019. Work for CNH Industrial by Ricardo forms part of the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) UK funded Low Carbon Tractor (LoCT) project, which aims to develop a commercially viable agricultural tractor capable of operation on sustainable locally sourced biomethane

The diesel tractor is the backbone of many farming operations worldwide. With its requirements for high power and torque, as well as versatility, it is understandable that diesel is currently the fuel of choice for this ubiquitous agricultural workhorse. Biomethane, however, is a fuel source that is increasingly being harnessed by many medium- to large-scale farming operations, through the process of anaerobic bio-digestion of waste vegetation. While much of the biomethane produced by such units is used in renewable energy generation schemes, a clear potential pathway exists to produce sustainable fuel for tractors and other powered agricultural equipment, thus displacing at source the mineral diesel that would otherwise be used.

In the APC UK funded LoCT project, CNH Industrial – one of the world’s leading capital goods companies – is partnering with exhaust after treatment technology specialist Eminox and thermal management and ceramic coating specialist Zircotec. The project aims to design and demonstrate a commercially viable tractor capable of operation on biomethane while conforming to the latest European & US emissions standards.

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