A British business has created the world’s first tractor that is entirely powered by cow dung. The T7 vehicle, which runs on liquid methane gas, is claimed to be the first of its kind and might pave the way for a more efficient energy supply on UK farms. The ground-breaking 270-bhp tractor operates on fuel derived from farmyard excrement and is touted to outperform normal diesel-powered models.
“The T7 liquid methane-fueled tractor is a genuine world first and another step towards decarbonizing the global agricultural industry and realizing a circular economy,” said Chris Mann, co-founder of Bennamann.
The fugitive methane gas is processed, compressed, and converted into low-emission fuel. A cryogenic tank installed on the tractor keeps the methane liquid at -162 degrees, providing the vehicle with the same power as a diesel but with significant emission reductions. Bennamann, a Cornish business that has been researching and improving biomethane production for over a decade, created ground-breaking equipment.
Methane also has more than 80 times the atmospheric warming power of carbon dioxide over 20 years, so by removing it and putting it to good use, we are helping to rapidly tackle global warming.
The farmyard equipment was developed in collaboration with New Holland’s parent company, CNH Industrial, and Newquay-based Bennamann. The methane gas is first collected and stored in one of Bennamann’s on-farm biomethane collection and storage systems before being converted into liquified fuel.
Government-funded technologies are used to seal slurry lagoons to trap methane that would otherwise escape into the atmosphere. The company is also looking into wider applications for the technology, with the goal that it will one day be used to charge electric vehicles in remote areas. According to the company, it will increase overall farm sustainability while more than doubling autonomy over a CNG design.