India's First CNG Tractor

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Mar 3, 2022, 13:25

India's first CNG tractor is here. Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari recently launched a diesel tractor converted to a CNG tractor. He stated that it will help farmers generate higher incomes by cutting costs. CNG costs half the price of diesel. Having a CNG tractor also creates more jobs in rural areas.

Cost Reduction with a CNG Tractor

The CNG tractor will bring down costs as CNG is cheaper than other fuels. As a result, farmers will be able to save more than one lakh rupees per annum on fuel. This will have a direct and positive impact on farmer incomes and farmer savings, thereby improving the lifestyles of farmers and their dependents.

Clean Fuel and its Impact on Pollution

CNG is a clean fuel. It has a very low carbon content, and zero lead content. It is economical and non-corrosive, as well as non-dilutive and non-contaminating. All these lend long life to the CNG tractor as maintenance issues are kept at bay.

CNG: A Safer Alternative

The CNG tractor is by far safer than tractors that run on diesel. The CNG tank has a water-tight and airtight seal. Thus, the chances of explosions due to refuelling or spillage are minimum.

Solving the Stubble ('Parali') Problem

The CNG tractor is essential to the Waste to Wealth movement. Stubble (Parali in Hindi), which causes dangerous air pollution, is now a raw material for producing Bio-CNG. With the introduction of the CNG tractor, farmers need not burn stubble and increase air pollution. They can instead sell stubble to have it turned into CNG, and earn an income from doing so.

Makers of the CNG tractor

CNG-run tractors will soon be made available in India. The diesel-converted-CNG tractor, manufactured by Rawmatt Techno Solutions and Tomasetto Achille India, is at the moment only a pilot project. But with the launch of the CNG tractor” by Minister Gadkari, it would not take long before CNG tractors will be plowing fields across India.

Indias Energy Consumption

Although India is the 3rd largest energy consumer in the world, its per-capita consumption is just one-third of the global average. Renewable energy will play an important role in equalizing India's energy consumption. PNG and CNG are set to be the primary energy sources for the majority of Indians.

CNG and CBG

500 CBG plants are set to be established in India to honour its commitment to COP 21 and reduce pollution. CNG and CBG are similar methane-based gases. However, while CNG comes out of the earth, CBG is the product of fermented waste. It is a CO2-neutral fuel. Estimates say 600 million metric tonnes of biomass are available in India.

Retail Outlets Line Up to Sell CBG

The CNG tractor in tandem with the Waste to wealth movement will help empower farmers and reduce pollution. This in turn will improve general public health and also achieve Swacch Bharat's goals. The government has plans to allow retail outlets to sell CBG.

India has achieved its target of 8.5% in ethanol blending and is en route to leading the world in the practice.

The first Compressed Natural Gas tractor was a diesel tractor that was converted to CNG. Reports say the retrofitted CNG run-engine produces more power than the diesel-run engine. Besides, overall emissions were cut by 70 per cent compared to diesel. Diesel price is double that of CNG, the fuel of the future. Presently, 12 million vehicles are powered by CNG worldwide. More and more municipalities are joining the CNG movement.

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FAQ on India's First CNG Tractor

Q.1) What are CNG and CBG?

Both are methane gas-based fuels. But while Compressed Natural Gas is pumped from the earth, CBG or compressed biogas is made from biomass waste.

Q.2) Has India started making CBG?

A CBG factory is setting up a CBG plant in the Sangrur district of Punjab. It will purchase stubble from paddy farmers to make the CBG. The Company plans to start CBG from June or July 2022.

Q.3) What are India's long-term plans for the CNG tractor?

India has plans to quickly shift to CNG and CBG fuels as soon as possible. The final frontier is to wholly shift to CBG. The CNG tractor is part of this overall plan. According to reports, India will soon have 5000 CBG plants by 2023.

Q.4) What is SATAT?

The SATAT is the 2018 policy initiative Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation. It was launched to promote CBG in a big way.