Operating performance of a tractor engine of emissions standard EU IV in biodiesel operation

Research project at the Chair of Piston Machines and Internal Combustion Engines (Lehrstuhl für Kolbenmaschinen und Verbrennungsmotoren) of the University of Rostock

Berlin, 20 August 2018. Agriculture is particularly affected by climate change but is also required to make as much of a contribution to climate protection as possible. Approximately 1.6 million tonnes of diesel fuel is used in agriculture each year. This means that the optimum reduction of fuel consumption has been achieved. Fuel consumption tends to increase as updated crop protection product authorisations preclude reduced tillage and increasingly, weeds must be controlled mechanically.

Due to the high energy requirements of ploughing and the use of equipment combinations for field treatment, electrification of the drives in this area is not foreseeable. The “defossilisation” of the drive must be done via the fuel in the vehicle tank and via the existing logistics. It therefore seems obvious that agriculture should produce and use its own energy, as it did centuries ago.

Sustainably certified and greenhouse-gas optimised (a reduction of more than 60%!) Biodiesel made from rapeseed oil, as a standardised fuel (DIN EN 14214), exhibits the required characteristics and is, in the average case, also easily biologically degradable.

However, biodiesel must also fulfil the strictest requirements of emission legislation and engine technology. This evidence is a prerequisite for the required approval from the manufacturer. These requirements were proven in a comprehensive project by the University of Rostock, which was carried out with Deutz AG on the topic of “Operating performance of a tractor engine of emissions standard EU IV in biodiesel operation”.

Deutz AG has granted approval in the meantime so that the agricultural machinery industry can once again provide the appropriately certified engines to its agricultural customers. The Union for the Promotion of Oil and Protein Plants (UFOP: Union zur Förderung von Öl- und Proteinpflanzen e.V) initiated the project, which was also funded by the Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture (BMEL: Bundesministeriums für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft) via the Agency for Renewable Resources (FNR: Fachagentur für Nachwachsende Rohstoffe).

The publication of this abridged version of the project report in the Automobiltechnischen Zeitschrift (ATZ: Automotive Technical Journal) highlights the role of this project. The report can be found here free of charge.