What’s Old is New

Teresa Olson
By Teresa Olson October 17, 2017 09:04

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The preferred choice for farmers of Agricultural Tracks

The concept is not new.  In fact, Bombay, India, is credited with using farm manure to generate methane gas in the 1930s.

During World War II, the fuel shortage in Germany brought on the development of methane plants in rural areas, where tractors were powered with this until fossil fuels became available again.  Many farmers in France and Germany still use home digesters to produce their own methane fuel gas

Well, cow dung isn’t going away, and so exploration regarding its use in terms of creating alternative fuels for farm equipment continues.  Envision if you will, the amount of manure that our bovine friends create…120 pounds/per day for one dairy cow and 75 pounds/per day for a beef cow.  That’s a lot of waste going to waste, and so New Holland Agriculture in its long term focus on alternative fuels, unveiled a concept vehicle powered by methane or natural gas at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur , IL.  The burning of methane could mark a notable increase in sustainability for farmers who can use biodigesters to convert animal waste, food waste, or crop residues into fuel, resulting in a reduction of operating emissions.

Some features of this prototype are:

  • New cylinder heads and manifolds were designed for spark ignition
  • High temperature resistant materials for greater reliability
  • A six-cylinder engine designed to minimize engine vibrations
  • Lower noise levels (by 3 dBa) than that of diesel-powered engines
  • An engine that can manage major differences in methane’s properties
  • Windows designed to provide 360-degree visibility
  • Connectivity supported by an integrated Precision Land Management receiver that’s mounted on a floating glass domed roof
  • The ability to run on methane or natural gas (Propane)

Take a look at the video below.  Can you see yourself using a tractor of this sort in your farming operations?

 

 

As with all concepts, there are advantages and disadvantages – and the debates over the production and use of alternative fuel sources continue between parties on both sides.  It’s important to understand these pros and cons when considering methods to power your life and livelihood.

-Terry Olson, Titan Outlet Store Team

Resources:

http://www.kingdombio.com/history1.html

http://learningstore.uwex.edu/assets/pdfs/a3601.pdf

articles.sae.org/15610/

https://sciencing.com/advantages-disadvantages-alternative-fuels-4779842.html

 

Teresa Olson
By Teresa Olson October 17, 2017 09:04
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2 Comments

  1. Iowa gal October 20, 16:36

    Methane fuel sounds ecologically amazing However are the startup costs of breaking the waiste into fuel so expensive it makes it unattainable for most farmers?

    Reply to this comment
    • Teresa Olson Author October 23, 10:45

      That’s a very good question, and I could find no “specifics” on costs when researching the subject. I suppose those investment expenses can vary widely. I did read a comment on how smaller farmers in close proximity to each other could consider sharing one facility. One would have to speak to the “experts” and take into consideration the long term plans for your farming operation and the point at which something like this would pay for itself. Thanks for your question, and for reading our newsletter.
      -Terry Olson, Titan Outlet Store Team

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