In today’s blog, we’ll be exploring one of the latest trends in the agricultural sector: dual fuel engines. You may only be familiar with this alternative fuel phenomenon in the context of cars, but don’t miss out! You can now use them for tractors too - particularly those with a few years behind them. Hop aboard as we explore the ins and outs of dual fuel for tractors, from the range of benefits to the most fit for purpose tires.
Dual fuel systems offer a plethora of economic and environmental advantages. In the 21st century, our global focus has shifted onto our fight against the climate crisis. As one of the key contributors to carbon emissions, the agricultural industry is continually searching for innovative ways to make day-to-day processes greener. Machinery operations are, naturally, a significant contributor to greenhouse gasses - and we simply couldn’t farm without our tractors! Dual fuel offers a more sustainable alternative for vehicles across all industries, which now extends to the farming sector.
First things first, let’s talk about methane (for once, not in relation to cows harming the planet!). Methane is well regarded as a more environmentally friendly alternative to run combustion engines. It burns more efficiently than coal, and is therefore perceived as a “bridge fuel” between more harmful greenhouse gasses and a carbon neutral future. Methane, in fact, offers a better ratio of energy release to carbon dioxide emissions. In addition, concentrations of nitric oxides are less than 95% compared to diesel fuel.
What’s more, the dual fuel system focuses on both the user and the environment, since it offers a high level of efficiency, an optimized use of biomethane, and emission control. It is, therefore, environmentally friendly but also owner-friendly. To their delight, the latter can also count on a significant reduction in fuel costs.
The debut of the dual fuel system is an essential step forward, and you can use biomethane even for your existing diesel-powered agriculture vehicles on the farms.
Dual fuel tractors can run on diesel only, or on a 50% diesel-methane mixture. The mixing ratio of the two fuels is optimized by a controller to find the right balance between performance and consumption. A specific common-rail supplies the methane by means of indirect injection. In other words, methane is mixed with the suction air, while diesel is directly injected into the combustion chamber. Thanks to the ease of this system, no interventions on the engine’s mechanical parts are necessary and no auxiliary devices for spark plug ignition are needed. Pretty neat!
Excitingly, more recent technological developments have led to the launch of the world’s first hydrogen-powered tractor! The H2 Dual Power runs on a fusion of hydrogen and diesel, which provides the same high levels of torque and power, alongside far less greenhouse gas emissions! So, it’s a win-win! Keep your eyes peeled for further developments in hydrogen power; all we can say is, the future certainly looks greener!
The good news is: any farm vehicles can be dual fuel operated. However, the best performance is expected on older machinery with high fuel consumption levels. So, get your well-loved and weathered vehicles at the ready for dual fuel!
Regardless of your tractor’s age and size, you can get biomethane either free of charge or at a lower price compared to your traditional fuel. Experts are also currently experimenting with options for storing methane: for example, one potential solution is storing it in a tank on the front loader. This type of ballast would avoid the installation of any gas cylinder on board, directly integrating the methane management systems.
Does your dual fuelled-up vehicle have the right at-tire? (See what we did there?). Having fit for purpose tires enhances your vehicle’s performance - and are also an excellent opportunity to save money! In this case, we recommend Agrimax RT 657, which you can use both in the fields and on the road. Agrimax RT 657 is made of a special compound for long distances allowing substantial savings on fuel and operating costs. Comfort, excellent grip, and resistance are the main strengths of this versatile tire, which is available in 22 sizes. Discover them all on our website!
To keep updated with all the latest trends in the ever-evolving agricultural industry - particularly as we strive to meet Net Zero - stay tuned for our weekly blog posts!