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Expo 2015: New Holland bio-methane

The manufacturer has presented a tractor prototype powered by bio-methane in Milan in the impressing setting of their Sustainable Farm Pavilion at the Milan 2015 as an ideal model for energy self-sufficiency farm

by Marcello Ortenzi
November 2015 | Back


The Milan 2015 Universal Exposition has taken up many issues associated with the earth and bio-methane has been under the focus of conferences as well as appearing in practical examples of use. As is known, bio-methane is a renewable energy methane gas obtained by upgrading biomass which can be added with no additional cost to the present distribution network for motor vehicles powered by methane. In Italy, following a decree of December 5, 2013, a deliberation of the Energy Authority of May 7, 2015 put in place decrees for connecting bio-methane plants to natural gas networks and passed measures to determine the quantities of bio-methane qualifying for incentives. The Energy Services Management (GSE), in turn, published on its website, on August 5, the procedure for applying for incentives and the method for filing the request. In this connection, a number of industries have set significant initiatives in motion, including the agricultural machinery manufacturer New Holland with their Sustainable Farm Pavilion at Expo 2015. Unveiled here was the T6 Methane Power tractor designed for switching to bio-methane with no modification of the engine or the fuel distribution network. On display is a T6.140 prototype, based on the T6.175 and developed with considerable work as a second generation Methane Power tractor. Though the new tractor is not expected to come to the market not before 2020, it marks an important step towards sustainability and the optimization of energy consumption on farms. The T6.140 prototype is equipped with a four cylinder, three liter engine rated at 175 Hp which can claim performance which equals that of  the T6.175 Stage 4A diesel power plant. The methane engine also qualifies for emissions Stage 4B type approval.

Torque reaches 740 Nm and options include a transmission compatible with this new engine. Nine methane tanks with a total capacity of 300 liters equal to 52 Kg are mounted in three different locations on the tractor to ensure autonomy for half a day of operation. The tanks have been integrated into the overall design to provide excellent visibility. Refills take about ten minutes, com­pa­rable to the time for a refill for the diesel engine. The co­st of using me­thane, New Hol­land repor­ted, comes to 20% less than the fuel costs of a standard die­sel engine and the reduction reaches 40% with the use of bio-me­thane pro­duced on the farm whe­re the tractor operates. Presenting the prototype, Bran­d President of New Holland Agriculture Carlo Lam­bro affirmed, “The presence at Expo 2015 has allowed us to move up to a new level by providing a perfect platform for bringing to an exceptionally wide public our vision of how we can contribute to a future in which the production of quality food, clean energy and profitability is part of the same virtuous cycle, as demonstrated by our project for energy independent farms.”


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