The 270bhp tractor is powered by capturing the methane that would otherwise escape from cow manure – called “fugitive methane” – then treating and compressing the gas for use as liquid fuel. Its cryogenic fuel tank keeps the methane as a liquid at -162C.
The technology has the potential to combat climate change by removing large amounts of methane from the atmosphere, which “has more than 80 times the atmospheric warming power of carbon dioxide over 20 years”, added Mr Mann.
Gilles Mayer, a member of New Holland’s global management team for alternative fuels, told The Telegraph: “A 150-cow farm would balance the CO2 emissions of 140 households in the UK per year.”
He explained how the tractor is currently limited to using cow and pig manure, but that New Holland is working to expand the fuel’s source to other livestock manure such as that of poultry.
Last year, Bennamann conducted a pilot study in Cornwall which saw the T7 prototype tractor successfully reduce its carbon emissions from 2,500 tonnes to 500 tonnes, without sacrificing performance against its diesel alternative.