The EU hopes to reduce Europe-wide carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent by 2020. The agricultural industry, too, will be called upon to cut CO2 emissions. The agricultural and forestry industry accounts for six percent of total greenhouse gas emissions. Emissions of harmful greenhouse gases and pollutants can be prevented through the use of alternative drive systems and renewable fuels such as biodiesel, bioethanol and biogas.
The biogas alternative.
Biogas is a viable solution for manufacturers. A short while ago, the company unveiled a biogas-powered tractor. The vehicle’s power delivery is simple – roughly 70 to 80 percent of engine output is generated from biogas without any modification to the original diesel engine. A dual-fuel engine works much like a diesel engine. The biogas fuel is forced in with the intake air and combustion occurs as a small quantity of diesel is injected into the cylinder. If the supply of biogas is cut, the engine runs entirely on diesel. Another manufacturer recently announced that all of its engines in its agricultural machines can, as of now, be powered exclusively on biodiesel without the need for expensive modifications.
Toxins in the catalytic converter.
The use of biodiesel has its pitfalls too, however. The online issue of German agricultural information service “Agrar heute” reported in the summer that the market for pure biodiesel is expected to shrink. This, it states, is due not to any inability on the part of the fuel to compete at the pumps, but to the series of technological hurdles encountered. Engine manufacturer Deutz, for instance, is reported to have rejected approval of its TCD 2013 4V engine series uses in buses and commercial vehicles for operation on 100-percent biodiesel, instead officially approving an admixture of 30 percent biodiesel only. The Cologne-based company is reported to have identified concerns relating to exhaust gas aftertreatment in the catalytic converter as the reason for the decision. The news story continues: “Problem substances for the catalytic converter in biodiesel include phosphorus, the alkali metals sodium and potassium, and the alkaline earth metals magnesium and calcium.” These “toxins” can block the active areas of the catalytic converter.