A number of manufacturers are now increasing their offering to include tractors fuelled by biogas (methane), hydrogen or electricity, cutting emissions when compared to diesel machines, however these have yet to be widely adopted in the UK.
A hybrid option
Volunteer climate change focus farmer David Barron, has trialled an hybrid option through the Farming for a Better Climate initative. David retrofitted a hydrogen electrolyser to his diesel fuelled tractor, reducing emissions whilst improving fuel efficiency.
How does it work?
The electrolyser effectively “split” water into its component parts of oxygen and hydrogen by passing an electrical current through distilled water and collecting the gases. Rather than trying to collect these gases separately, the system collects “oxyhydrogen” which is injected into the conventional diesel engine. This results in a more efficient combustion in the engine, so less fuel is used meaning lower emissions. The electrolyser is a ‘bolt on’ system designed to work alongside conventional engines, rather than replacing them. It allows vehicles to produce the gas as and when it is required, meaning that there is no need to store the hydrogen.