For more than fifteen years, New Holland has led the development of more sustainable products within its product range thanks to the “Clean Energy Leader” strategy, exploring new fuels and propulsion systems. The commercial launch of the new T6.180 Methane Power -propelled by renewable natural gas- is a milestone within the company because it represents the first and only tractor of these characteristics to enter production worldwide.
Official presentation – Green Gas Mobility Summit
Within the framework of the Green Gas Mobility Summit, an annual conference held in Madrid on September 21 and in which the latest advances in mobility with more sustainable alternatives are presented, New Holland has presented the T6.180 Methane Power, as its cutting edge launched within the aforementioned “Clean Energy Leader” strategy.
José Llopis – Marketing Director of New Holland for Spain and Portugal – commented on the variables that currently make this tractor a key piece in the global puzzle of a circular agricultural and livestock industry that is more respectful of our environment.
Issues such as the high price of fuel, pollution from large livestock farms, or climate change are currently very topical and all three could have a common solution, at least partially.
Biomethane or renewable natural gas can be obtained through the waste generated by farms or agricultural operations. Through a fermentation process, the gas that is extracted can be used to generate electricity, but also to convert it into natural gas through a purification system. In this way we find that an agricultural operation of certain dimensions would be capable of producing its own fuel while processing waste that would otherwise have a great polluting power.
But not only that, at the same time it would be generating a negative carbon footprint. Firstly, because it prevents the methane from excrement from escaping into the atmosphere, and secondly because if this bioCNG is used for the fleet of tractors or delivery vehicles, its use is located very close to where the fuel has been obtained, saving a large amount of CO2 that is generated in the production and logistics of diesel, for example.
But the T6.180 Methane Power has additional advantages, as explained by Álvaro Almarza -high power product specialist for the Mediterranean area- during the presentation of the tractor, and which make it unique in the world.
Being powered by natural gas (whether renewable or not), its engine emits much less pollutants than its Phase V diesel counterpart (the cleanest on the market today) and with an exhaust gas post-treatment system, extraordinarily more easy. Specifically, this model is capable of emitting 98% less particulate matter (PM) or 62% less nitrogen oxides (NOx) with the sole presence of a simple three-way catalyst. This avoids particulate filters and their regenerations, SCR systems with AdBlue or even EGR valves.
All this with the same features as its equivalent diesel version in terms of torque and power, but with a much lower noise level, which is an advantage when used in public spaces.
Regarding the autonomy section, the new T6.180 Methane Power has enough capacity to work several days in light tasks without refueling, provided that the optional front tank is installed, which adds 270 liters to the 190 that the tractor has as standard. In heavy tasks there will also be no problem if the CNG supply point is nearby or, even better, if the farm has its own compressed biomethane supply point.
First tests in Spain
An important market niche in which the T6.180 Methane Power can offer a differentiating argument is that of municipal maintenance and cleaning contracts, already accustomed to the use of this type of fuel in their fleet of trucks and very interested in numerous tractors involved in road maintenance or beach cleaning are also more environmentally friendly.
Within this peculiarity, New Holland has wanted to go hand in hand with one of the largest companies at the national level, FCC Environment, a company that has provided the machinery manufacturer with the opportunity to carry out performance and autonomy tests on the beaches of Vigo with equipment that is commonly used.
FCC Environment is the FCC Group company that, for more than 120 years, has provided municipal services and comprehensive waste management, serving more than 60 million people in 5,200 municipalities. It carries out a wide variety of activities for citizens, such as comprehensive waste management, street and beach cleaning, maintenance of green areas or energy efficiency services, among others.
The results have been exceptional, managing to carry out maintenance work in the same way as its diesel equivalents, but with less noise and much lower pollution levels.
Operators who regularly work with these teams have also praised the exceptional performance, which has nothing to envy to the diesel versions that are used today.
In short, an interesting alternative that places New Holland as a pioneer in sustainable alternatives with a solution already in production and ready for sale in Europe.