Research and development project MuSt5-Trak
Development and field test of a multi-fuel tractor compliant with emission stage V

On a sunny day without clouds, the picture shows in the foreground a ripe rapeseed field, on the field boarder are two tractors, which are facing each other. On their extended lower links there is a jerry can containing a yellowish liquid. At the right and left behind the tractors are bushes and trees, behind them are more fields and grassland separated by roads and in the background there is a forest.
Based on a standard production diesel tractor the John Deere European Technology Innovation Center is developing a Euro emissions stage V multi-fuel tractor, which is capable of running on divers fuels (vegetable oil, biodiesel, diesel) as well as mixtures of those. For this purpose the tractor will get a fuel analysis system which will provide data for the management of the engine control according to the used fuel. This system will be tested in practical application. The multi-fuel tractor should be able to operate with different fuels and fuel mixtures in a reliable, efficient and low emission manner. This project should help to increase the market introduction chances of vegetable oil powered agricultural and forestry machines.

Goal

The overall goal of this joint research project is the development of a European emission stage V multi-fuel tractor with the highest possible fuel flexibility combined with a high level of operative reliability and a low barrier for biofuels regarding market entry. The first sub-project is carried out by the project coordinator John Deere and is aimed to develop an algorithm for fuel detection, which is later on tested by implementing it in an engine control software and testing it on a test machine. The second sub-project, which is carried out by the Technology and Support Centre (TFZ) is tasked with testing and rating sensors for fuel recognition and field tests of the multi-fuel concept. The third sub-project which is the testing of sensors on an engine test bench and the optimization of the engine is conducted by the TU Kaiserslautern.

Methodology

The major project parts of the sub-project are:

  • Evaluation of sensors
  • Development of a model for fuel detection
  • Emission and performance tests on the tractors with different fuels and fuel mixtures on the tractor test stand
  • Field tests with the tractors with rapeseed oil as well as in multi-fuel mode
In the foreground a green John Deere 6250R tractor the perspective is directed upwards in the background on top of the tractors roof the sun shows.

Project tractor John Deere 6250R

In a hall, in the foreground there are measurement devices and container, behind stands a green John Deere tractor which is connected to the measurement devices.

Tractor test stand of the TFZ

On a sunny day, in foreground at the lower right corner is a blurred boundary strip, on the right site of the picture is a John Deere 6135R tractor besides a blooming rape field on the left half of the shot.

Project tractor John Deere 6135R

Labelled lab canisters with blue lids in front of a white backdrop, the first canister is filled almost to the top with a light yellow liquid, the second one with a brownish coloured one and the third with a middle yellow one. The labelling describes the content of the canisters, in order, Dieselkraftstoff (diesel fuel) Fettsäuremethylester “Biodiesel” (fatty acid methyl ester “biodiesel”) and Rapsölkraftsoff (rapeseed oil fuel) further the labels give more information about the content and on the first canister there are also caution marks displayed.

Diesel, biodiesel and rapeseed oil

Current impressions

On a cloudless sunny day, in the centre of the picture a green tractor can be seen which has a metal box at its front and a blue grubber at the back. It is driving over a stubble field which in the foreground and the background of the picture is already treated, but in the current line it is still stubbly. Next to the field there are houses and trees.
Like with the small project tractor, tests with the portable emissions measuring system were also conducted with the bigger project tractor. This measurements were made at the Lehr-, Versuchs- und Fachzentrum Almesbach (centre for education, experiments and expertise) of the Landesanstalt für Landwirtschaft (Bavarian State Research Centre for Agriculture) (link below), where the project tractor will stay for the rest of the project to be evaluated in a field test.

LVFZ Almesbach (DE) Externer Link

The picture is taken from a sideward angel from above. It shows a tractor in a workshop with opened bonnet. The tractor is connected to a complex device via a pipe to the exhaust, other tubes and cables are running to another device by the back wheel of the tractor, more devices can be seen in the background. In the foreground is a trolley with gas bottles, a tank with a petrol pump and a barrel filled with some liquid.
The picture is taken from a sideward angel from above. It shows a tractor in a workshop with opened bonnet. The tractor is connected to a complex device via a pipe to the exhaust, other tubes and cables are running to another device by the back wheel of the tractor, more devices can be seen in the background. In the foreground is a trolley with gas bottles, a tank with a petrol pump and a barrel filled with some liquid.
In the foreground, on a sunny cloudless day, the picture shows a green tractor with yellow wheels on paved ground,, which has a box mounted on its back with tubes connecting the box with the exhaust pipe. In the background are grass strips and more paved surfaces, on the grass strips are trees.
As part of the project there are not only test bench tests conducted but also tests with a portable emission measuring system (PEMS; link below). These measurements are used as reference for the emissions of normal agricultural machinery use and to be able to compare those results to the results of the test bench. The picture shows the project tractor John Deere 6135R with mounted emissions measuring system during a brake of the measuring run.

PEMS (DE)

Picture of a tractor in a hall, in the foreground are various measuring devices, behind on the right connected to the measuring devices there is a green tractor with opened bonnet on the left are further measuring devices. In the background there can be seen shelfs and a poster with blooming rape.
Emissions and performance test of the John Deere 6135R tractor, on the tractor test bench of the TFZ, to evaluate the initial situation of the tractor in original factory condition with rapeseed oil and diesel fuel.
On a sunny day, picture taken at an angle downwards from high ground, shows the left side of a green tractor, which casts a shadow to the left lower corner of the picture, the tractor stands on cobble stones, in the background there is a rectangular area with gravel on which there are small trees and a table with benches.
On 18th of April the second tractor of the MuSt5-Trak project was delivered to the TFZ. As the other tractor this one will be tested on emissions at the TFZ before it will be sent to the LfL testing farm. Almesbach for field trails.

LVFZ Almesbach (DE) Externer Link

In the foreground of the left half of the picture there is a green tractor and in front of it a barrel in the middle is a woodchopper and three people in front of it, on the right is a farming trailer with to persons on top of it and another tractor behind. In the background on the left a grass strip with a wall behind it can be seen, on the right side a barn.
First practical test use of the project tractor John Deere 6135R supporting the project "Innovative processing techniques for wood fuels", which aims to integrate innovative production ways of wood fuels in conventional process chains.

Innovative processing techniques for wood fuels (DE)

On a cloudy day, in foreground a John Deere 6135R project tractor with buildings in the background.
On 2nd of April the first of the project tractors of the MuSt5-Trak project was received from John Deere (ETIC) by the TFZ to be tested on emissions, before it will be sent to the testing farm of the LfL in Grub for practical field tests.

LfL-location Grub (DE) Externer Link

Background

On a sunny day, in the foreground a green tractor with yellow wheels, which is parked on grassland near to a pond with some water plants on its surface. On the other shore of the pond are bushes and a wildflower meadow, in the background on the boundary of the meadow are bushes changing into woodland.
An advantage of using vegetable oils as fuel is there high biodegradability and therefore the environmental compatibility in case of a leakage. These properties are especially important for environments like nature protection areas, water protection areas and nearby surface waters.

Press release: Rapsöl statt Diesel: Klima- und Ressourcenschutz im Wald (DE)

Further information

Project information
Project title: Development and field test on an emission stage V multi fuel tractor
Sub-project: Sensor test and investigation of overall system at the tractor test stand and in field operation
Sub-project leader: Dr. Edgar Remmele
Person responsible: Julian Spiegel
Project duration: 1st of Novembre 2018 to 30th of April 2021
Funding agency: Fachagentur für Nachwachsende Rohstoffe e. V.
Financial support: Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture
Support code: 22408617
Logo Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture
Project partners:
John Deere GmbH & Co. KG - European Technology Innovation Center (overall project leader)
Technical University of Kaiserslautern - Institute of Vehicle Propulsion Systems (LAF)
Logo John Deere Logo der Technischen Universität Kaiserslautern