CNH Industrial, one of the leading global players in the agriculture machinery space is expanding its alternative fuel capabilities and has acquired a majority stake in Bennamann, a UK-based expert in solutions to capture, repurpose and store fugitive methane emissions for energy use.
In conjunction with CNH Industrial equipment says Bennamann’s infrastructure delivers a carbon-negative system that fully supports a circular economy in farming. This move will boost its position and portfolio in alternative fuels for the agriculture industry.
The farming equipment major says reducing emissions such as methane and CO2 from biowaste and operations is one of agriculture’s greatest environmental issues. To help farmers meet this challenge, CNH Industrial has been working on sustainable alternative power solutions in agriculture for over two decades, including the world’s first tractor running on compressed natural gas – the New Holland T6.180 Methane Power. Alternative fuels and electrification can enhance a farmer’s operational flexibility, efficiency, and even profitability, while dramatically offsetting their carbon footprint.
Derek Neilson, President Agriculture, CNH Industrial said, “By consolidating our share in Bennamann, we are offering our customers a full energy production, storage and distribution service. This solution can transform farms into mini
CNH Industrial’s relationship with Bennamann began in 2019 when it jointly developed a liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuel tank for a prototype tractor. In 2021, its ventures investment arm acquired a minority stake in the business. On a pilot farm in the UK, the shared technologies are capturing fugitive emissions from farm biowaste – specifically livestock manure slurry – which are then purified into biomethane that is subsequently either compressed or liquefied.
Both can be used as vehicle fuel, to generate electricity, and even supply household or farm power, while the byproducts of the conversion process can be used as a natural fertiliser. In total, the system provides energy independence for the farm, reduces input costs, and potentially generates additional revenue streams. This work has also led to the introduction of the world’s first liquefied fugitive methane tractor prototype, the New Holland T7 Methane Power LNG, which is operationally carbon negative when fuelled by Bennamann’s system.
CNH Industrial says its research has found that a 120-cow farm operating on its shared methane capture technology can reduce the CO2 equivalent of 100 western European households – about 780 tonnes annually.
Why Liquefied Fugitive Methane?
Due to its high energy density, liquefied methane (a natural gas) is much easier to store and efficiently distribute than renewable energy sources such as Hydrogen and compressed natural gas (CNG). This makes liquefied methane a direct and suitable replacement for fossil fuels in high power applications, even in the most remote locations such as construction sites.