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First methane-powered combine harvester goes into production

Equipment manufacturer Gomselmash in Belarus starts production of a methane-powered combine harvester.

The Palesse GS 4118 K is a conventional combine harvester, powered by an unconventional engine: the Cummins 8-cilinder engine runs on methane. According to the manufacturer, the Palesse can run for 8 to 10 hours on 1 tank of fuel.

40 to 45% in costs saved

Gomselmash claims the 350 hp methane engine saves 45 to 50% in costs compared to a normal diesel engine, because the fuel is cheaper and money can be saved on lubricants.

Because the engine runs a lot cleaner – no particulate matter going through it – there is less wear on the pistons and cylinder walls, so maintenance intervals can be extended. The methane-powered Cummins engine is said to be roughly 15% more expensive than its diesel powered counterpart.

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The combine harvester should be able to run for 8 to 10 hours before it needs to be refuelled. - Photo: Gomselmash
The combine harvester should be able to run for 8 to 10 hours before it needs to be refuelled. - Photo: Gomselmash

According to Gomselmash, the machine meets all the safety requirements for gas powered vehicles. The fuel system is equipped with pressure relief valves, and the fuel lines are protected from breaking.

Refuelling in the field

Methane is stored in 8 large cilinders, made out carbon fibre reinforced plastic. Together, these will hold 450 cubic meters of compressed gas. Refuelling can be done in the field, using a mobile gas tank. Refuelling with 1,816 liters of gas takes – depending on the nozzle – 7 to 20 minutes.

The Palesse weighs 16,600 kg and can hold 9 cubic meters of grain.

Also read: Methane-powered prototype tractor cuts emissions by 80%

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