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Case rolls out world’s first methane-powered wheel loader

DUBAI, April 17, 2019

Case Construction Equipment, a leading seller of a full line of construction equipment around the world, has unveiled the world’s first methane-powered construction vehicle at the recent bauma expo in Munich, Germany.

Announcing the launch of ProjectTetra , Case said it had created a major breakthrough in sustainable construction by reimagining wheel loader design, thus marking a clear departure from anything seen in construction equipment to date.

ProjectTetra demonstrates a clear pathway to a renewable future for construction equipment, shifting away from a reliance on the traditional diesel engine and addressing one of the world’s most pressing issues – environmental sustainability – with a pragmatic solution for the construction industry, said the statement from the top construction equipment group.

The concept includes a methane-powered engine, specially designed and developed by sister brand FPT Industrial for construction applications. With a maximum 230 hp, it delivers the same power and torque as its equivalent diesel engine found in the Case 821G wheel loader.

The world’s first wheel loader which runs entirely on alternative and renewable fuel, ProjectTetra not only uses a sustainable energy source but also benefits the environment in other ways.

It is powered by biomethane which is produced in biodigesters from waste products such as waste food, wood chippings and animal waste, said the statement.
 
With carbon-neutral production, biomethane provides a closed-loop, virtuous energy cycle, converting waste into useful energy, it added.

"We have been researching sustainable fuel sources for our construction machinery for many years," remarked Carl Gustaf Goränsson, president of Construction.

"Biomethane was the most logical choice for the wheel loader. We needed a fuel that could provide the drive and power that our customers demand. The fuel needed to be readily available, easy to refuel and power through a full day of work. We wouldn’t comprise on performance, so we set our designers quite a challenge," noted  Goränsson.

"We were fortunate to work very closely with sister brand FPT Industrial, pioneers in developing sustainably-fuelled powertrains, with over 40,000 gas-powered engines produced to date," he stated.

"This technology is already tried and tested in other CNH Industrial brands as there are some 28,000 methane-powered Iveco trucks and bus vehicles on the roads today," he added.

Goränsson said the methane-powered wheel loader concept produces 95% less CO2 when running on biomethane, 90 per cent less nitrogen dioxides and 99 per cent lower particulate matter than a diesel-powered equivalent. It delivers an 80 per cent reduction in overall emissions and also achieves a 50 per cent reduction in drive-by noise levels.

“We don’t believe in developing technology for technology’s sake,” stated Goränsson.

“Our innovations must solve real-world challenges in a simple and straightforward way. ProjectTetra is suited to do so in common job sites; agricultural environments, waste handling centres and recycling businesses are perfect locations for a biogas production plant, providing a free source of fuel for the machines working on site,” he said.

“But biomethane isn’t the only option,” explained Goränsson. “ProjectTetra will run on network methane too, providing access to lower emissions than diesel, even if onsite biomethane production is not an option. This is important as we see changing regulations in some regions," he added.

Although sustainability was a huge factor in ProjectTetra’s definition, the design team wanted to showcase the very best of Case’s practical innovation, with the focus firmly on the operator and productivity.

"Automation and digitisation were key drivers in our design process," remarked David Wilkie, the director of the CNH Industrial Design Centre.

"We are a future-focused business, and these are two of our key strategic pillars. These elements are the drivers for safer and more productive machines. ProjectTetra was a blank sheet so we could be as creative as possible in including the very latest technologies that matter," he added.-TradeArabia News Service




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