New Holland T6 methane tractor available in Brazil

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New Holland presented the world’s first methane gas powered T6 tractor during the 23rd Sugarcane Production and Mechanization Seminar, held in Ribeirao Preto (SP) Brazil. Built in Basildon, UK, the T6 was  launched this year in Brazil and presented at the agricultural trade shows in the country.  It is available for the market now.

The T6 bio methane tractor is powered by environment friendly fuel. It can use the gas from sugarcane operations as fuel. As one of the sectors that most generates organic matter as a byproduct, the sugarcane sector has great potential for the generation of bio methane, becoming one of the main users for this type of tractor.

For sugarcane mills, with the gas generated from the decomposition of sugarcane waste, the advantage is that they will have a significant reduction in diesel costs. Since sugarcane mills demand many operating hours from its machines, the tractor pays for itself faster.

New Holland Agriculture vice president for Latin America, Rafael Miotto, said: “We are very proud to present this new technology, which reinforces our efforts in the development of alternative fuels that are more environmentally friendly and deliver the same energy and operational efficiency as a conventional tractor, as well as having a better cost-benefit ratio for the farmer.

The biomethane tractor had been tested in Brazil since 2017, as a prototype, with positive results. Recently, the T6 Methane Power was elected “Sustainable Tractor of the Year 2022” during the EIMA International trade fair,  last October in Bologna, Italy.

“This type of tractor gives the farmer or the sugarcane plant the possibility of using the biogas generated within the property (from animal manure or cane operation waste, for example) to fuel the tractor, thus creating self-sufficiency and saving the environment.

And as an extra you have the reduction of your operational costs and being free from all the uncertainties of the fossil fuel market,” says Claudio Calaça Junior, Product Marketing Director of New Holland Agriculture for Latin America.

Biomethane technology offers numerous environmental advantages, including the reduction of up to 80% of emissions compared to a standard diesel engine. By using biomethane, the carbon footprint is virtually zero, and a cost reduction of between 25% and 40% can be achieved when compared to conventional fuels.

Equipped with an electronic FPT 100% natural gas engine, the T6 Methane Power has a 16 x 16 Semi Powershift transmission. In addition, the tractor has a suspended front axle and cab suspension. The cab offers a 360º view and together with the LED lights it enables comfortable work at night.

The tractor is also equipped with the latest New Holland digital technology. It comes standard with the IntelliSteer integrated guidance system, which offers complete machine steering control at the touch of a button. It also features the ISOBUS class 2 system, which brings information directly to the tractor monitor and Intelliturn, which automatically ensures headland movement. Furthermore, the T6 Methane Power is connected to MYPLMCONNECT, New Holland’s official telemetry portal for Farm Management, which enables farmers to monitor their fleet and analyse agronomic data regardless of farm size and type. It also offers the support of the Service Intelligence Centre, which optimises machine down time.

First unveiled in 2017 and officially launched two years later, the T6.180 Methane Power features a redesigned FPT NEF six-cylinder engine, producing 175 hp as its diesel equivalent. Gas injectors and spark plugs replace the diesel injector, with gas injected into each cylinder for constant, clean and maximised combustion.

Compared to the limits allowed by EU Stage V emissions rules, carbon monoxide emissions from the methane-powered T6.180 are 80% lower, while the level of non-methane hydrocarbons is reduced by 90%. Particulate matter is down by 98%, nitrous oxide by 62% and CO2 by 11%. However, the T6.180 Methane Power has the same maximum output of 175 hp as its conventional version and produces maximum torque of 740 Nm. Operating costs are up to 30% lower.

In other respects, the tractor resembles its diesel-powered counterpart, but the main change is in the replacement of the fuel tanks with a combination of ten tanks arranged around the chassis. The front-mounted ‘range extender’ unit can be replaced by a hydraulic front lift and PTO if required or removed for loader work. With 455 litres of gas capacity, equivalent to 79 kgs, the tractor has enough fuel for around eight hours of road transport or field / PTO work.

According to Bruno Belorini, Product Marketing Manager for New Holland Agriculture, the biomethane-powered tractor will surprise customers with its similar power and torque to a diesel tractor. Refuelling is also simple and very similar to that of a CNG-powered car or truck.

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