Cow manure as fuel source? THIS tractor teases alternatives for polluting diesel farm vehicles

An Italy-based company is stepping up to replace pollution-causing diesel tractors with one that completely runs on Methane, usually sourced from animal waste such as cow dung in a large farm. 

Methane is the byproduct of almost every organic decomposition and accounts for about 20 per cent of global warming-causing emissions. 

What Methane-run farm tractor like?

The tractor is reportedly dubbed New Holland T6. It weighs 21,000 pounds (or nearly 10 tonnes) and claims to have a 180 horsepower (hp) engine. Its 185 liters tank gives out 62 per cent less nitrous oxide and up to 15 per cent less carbon dioxide, Bloomberg reported.

All of it is sourced from the manure of roughly 75 cows.

What does it mean?

Heavy-duty agriculture equipment emits nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide. They continuously emit a cloud of methane, which contributes to global warming at a rate 80 times more than carbon dioxide. While electric vehicles are coming up to solve the issue amid heightening climate change concerns, a need for ‘alternative fuels’ has been felt too.

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“Electrification has a role … but it’s not likely to replace diesel,” Chief Executive Officer of CNH, the Italy-based company that made New Holland T6, told Bloomberg . “But a medium-sized farm is going to produce more methane than it can use,” CNH CEO Scott Wine further said. 

Methane-powered tractor: Big costs a cause of concern

The T6 cost $203,000, about 30 per cent more than a typical diesel tractor.

However, the company claims that the customers can cover the huge costs in less than a year due to the cheap sourcing of methane fuel via cow manure refills. 


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