Global news: New Holland introduces T7 Methane Power LNG

New Holland used parent company CNH Industrial’s Tech Day to introduce an updated methane-powered tractor prototype

The T7 Methane Power LNG offers a powerful engine and New Holland’s standard tech features

A major prototype launch from CNH Industrial’s Tech Day was New Holland’s T7 Methane Power LNG.

Operating on liquified natural gas, the tractor offers 270hp (201kW), which CNH says is the same power and torque as a diesel tractor.

By converting methane into liquified fugitive methane, it prevents methane from entering the atmosphere and reduces a farm’s carbon footprint by becoming a “better than zero carbon” biofuel.

While this is not New Holland’s first methane-powered prototype, it has significant improvements to previous versions, including a four-fold increase in fuel capacity over the previous iteration – the T6 Methane Power CNG.

It’s also fitted with a host of New Holland features such as the PLM Intelligence precision technology, IntelliView touch screen, and SideWinder Ultra armrest.

New Holland Agriculture tractor product management Oscar Baroncelli says the operator will receive the full New Holland experience, with all the manufacturer’s innovations, plus providing the world with an insight into future tractor design.

He says he’s most proud of “its ability to run effectively and reliably on a fuel independently produced on farm, outstanding operator environment with best-in-class cabin, and the cutting-edge styling which includes LED lights and skydome roof which, while a prototype, provide a glimpse into the possible future styling with benefit for our customers.”

Refuelling is as easy as with a diesel tractor

Having already been tested on a variety of farms across many applications, CNH says it plans to mass produce and commercialise the prototype, saying it will be the world’s first LNG tractor.

CNH partnered with UK-based company Bennamann, acquiring a minority stake in its research, development, engineering, and manufacturing arm in 2021.

It’s through Bennamann’s approach that New Holland could develop this tractor.

Firstly, the livestock manure is transferred to a covered slurry lagoon or tank where the emitted fugitive methane is captured, purified, and converted into liquified methane.

Bennamann’s cryogenic storage tanks keep the methane as a liquid at -162 degrees, which produces a source of clean power for the tractor.

This method also means LNG can be transported to farms, similar to how diesel is transported, and enabling easy in-field refuelling where needed.

Aesthetically, the T7 Methane Power LNG – along with the T4 Electric Power tractor also released at Tech Day – has a new ‘clean blue’ colour scheme to add an extra point of difference to conventional diesel tractors.

Baroncelli sums things up by saying the T7 Methane Power has all the benefits of a diesel tractor, plus more.

“It offers the same autonomy and power as its diesel counterpart,” he says. “When it’s time to refuel, the process is also exactly the same.

“What makes it different, however, is its vastly better sustainability, as it’s able to run on liquified biomethane produced on farm.”

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