The first tractors with engines purpose-built to run on pure rapeseed oil with full warranty will appear at Germany’s Agritechnica show in Hanover from 13th-17th Nov.
Deutz – which already manufactures engines specially designed for operation with 100% RME biodiesel – simplifies farmer fuel requirements still further with its “Natural Fuel Engines” fully guaranteed for fuelling with crude, unprocessed vegetable oil.
Certain Deutz Fahr tractors and a new Fendt model will be launched with the pioneer engines which range from 80hp to 330hp.
The system features two tanks, one for conventional diesel and the other for cold-pressed rapeseed oil or any other vegetable oil of comparable standard.
At the heart of the new four and six cylinder power-plants is an electronic fuel management system that automatically starts the engine with conventional diesel and switches to pure vegetable oil when the right operating temperature is reached.
The system monitors the combustion process of the common rail system ensuring low exhaust emissions at starting, for instance. It also governs a tank heating system to avoid fuel waxing.
The engines should cost about 10% more than the similar models for conventional diesel, according to Deutz. The extra cost, said the engine manufacturer, is almost entirely due to the new electronic engine management involved.
“This should give every farmer the confidence to use renewable and untaxed fuel straight from the field with all the savings this represents,” announced Deutz spokesman Dirk Müller while adding that the pure vegetable oil used for the engines must be of a required quality standard (DIN EN 51605 in Germany). This minimum standard of fuel wholesales at around 50 pence/litre in Germany currently while RME biodiesel averages the equivalent of 68p/l.
Pure vegetable oil is more energy-dense than RME biodiesel and so offers performance and consumption near that of fossil fuel, according to Dieter Bockey of UFOP, the German organisation for the promotion of oil and protein crops.
“The introduction of these new tractor engines represents a tremendous breakthrough for the energy crop sector,” he told Farmers Weekly.
“The fact that a world concern such as Deutz now has products that are guaranteed to run on pure crop oil will open the door to more extensive use of these fuels with all the environmental advantages.”
He adds that the pressure is now on for the other major manufacturers to follow suit with such engines and tractors. This will not only affect the agricultural sector. Deutz, for instance, delivers 30,000 engines a year to Volvo for its trucks and he believes the demand for pure vegetable oil engines in the trucking sector will be just as strong as in the farming sector.