Methane-Powered Agricultural Tractor Trials in Spanish Vineyard

| Spain, Madrid

NewHolland tractor trials in SpainBodegas Torres, a historical wine growing company located in Pacs del Penedes, Spain has conducted the first trial in Spain of a second-generation New Holland T6 methane tractor under a collaboration agreement with the Italian manufacturer, part of CNH Industrial. New Holland first unveiled the prototype T6.140 Methane Power tractor at Agritechnica 2015 as part of its sustainability approach to ‘Energy Independent Farming’, a goal shared by Bodegas Torres.

The winemaker is performing tests throughout the month of May on the Bodegas farm in L’Aranyó, in the heart of Les Garrigues, in the province of Lleida, where it has an area of 175 hectares of vineyards and 80 ha of olive trees.

The test tractor is a standard design with 6-cylinder engine and 175 hp, which uses natural gas gas or biomethane (RNG) to run, stored in nine cylinders. It has a total capacity of 300 liters of compressed methane, equivalent to about 60 liters of diesel, which gives the tractor a range of approximately half a day in normal activities. The tractor has three catalysts and thus meets the Tier 4B emissions regulations, without resorting to additional after-treatment systems.

New Holland methane T6.140 agriculture

Field trials at La Bellotta, Turin

The test tractor emits 80% less emissions than a standard diesel tractor – and may represent a fuel saving of 20 to 40%. CO2 emissions can be further reduced with the use of biomethane, which the farmers could produce themselves in the same building where the tractor is provided.

The generation of alternative energy sources is fundamental to New Holland’s concept of energy independent farming, developed experimentally at La Bellotta, Turin where trials have been carried out on a sustainable farm. Ramon Maya, Director of Marketing New Holland for Spain and Portugal explained to Bodegas Torres that using methane as a fuel for working in the vineyard would be a way to close the production process circle and reduce CO2 emissions, the main concern of the winery being to minimize the effects of climate change.

“You could exploit agricultural residues and derivatives from our own making of wine or brandy to generate biogas using anaerobic digestion. Thus, not only would we cease to emit gases into the atmosphere but that fuel would be used for work in the vineyard,” says Xavier Sort, production manager of Bodegas Torres.

(Source: New Holland)

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