Italy: New Holland presents tractor running on biomethane

The T6 was introduced to the world at this year’s World’s Fair, Expo Milano, which has the theme “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”.  

A short distance outside of Turin, Italy, in the small town of Venaria Reale, rolls a a tractor fueled from a hefty mix of chicken manure, bovine slurry from local farmers, and corn and triticale silage from the 1,100 acre farm known as La Bellotta. Luca Remmert, who owns the farm, keeps 9,000 hens for organic eggs and grows corn, wheat, and cereal grains. In an effort to save his farm, which was not making income enough from crops, he installed a digester, selling excess methane to the local grid. He also profits from using digestate, the liquid byproduct in his fields, saving more than $300,000 per year on fertiliser.

His farm is the testing ground for the T6, a second-generation prototype and the world’s first methane-fueled tractor, designed by New Holland Agriculture. Jarrod Angstadt, New Holland’s manager for growth initiatives, says the tractor, expected to roll out internationally in the next five years, produces 80% less CO2 pollution than one running on diesel. By that time, Remmert hopes to have all eight of his tractors running on methane made on the farm.

Designed for a more environmentally-aware generation of farmers, the T6 includes all the features that come with modern tractors: an expansive bubble-windowed cab, intricate computer systems with touch screens, and great sound systems.

Around the world, farmers are installing anaerobic digesters. These digesters ferment manure and plants into biomethane. Many farmers use the fuel for heating homes and buildings, selling their excess to local grids. Soon, however, many European farmers hope to fuel their machinery via anaerobic digestion, making themselves greener and fuel-independent.

Source: Renewable Energy Watch
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