CNH Industrial takes majority stake in Bennamann
By Julian Buckley16 March 2023
CNH Industrial has announced that it has taken a majority stake in Bennamann, a UK-based company which specialises in the capture, repurposing and storage of ‘fugitive’ agricultural methane emissions for energy applications.
Reducing CO2 and methane emissions from agricultural work is one of the most important issues for the industry. Technology developed by Bennamann supports a carbon-negative circular economy for farming.
“By consolidating our share in Bennamann, we are offering our customers a full energy production, storage and distribution service,” said Derek Neilson, president of Agriculture at CNH Industrial.
“This solution can transform farms into mini energy hubs that can satisfy their own energy needs, produce their own natural fertilizer and sell any excess gas on the open market. It also enables them to generate their own electricity. This makes us a true alternative energy enabler, able to serve myriad applications and contribute to a carbon negative future.”
CNH Industrial first started working with Bennamann in 2019, with the joint development of a liquified natural gas fuel tank for a tractor prototype. In 2021, the Ventures Investment division of the Italian company took a minority stake in the energy capture specialist.
On a pilot farm in the UK, the partners used their shared technologies to capture fugitive emissions from farm biowaste – specifically livestock slurry – which were then purified to produce biomethane which could either be compressed or liquified.
To further support the circular fuelling methodology, New Holland developed the first tractor to use compressed natural gas, the T6.180 Methane Power.
While energy produced from the process can be used to power farm activities, with the methane also powering a generator producing electricity, the byproducts can be used to produce a natural fertiliser. Additional fuel and fertiliser can be put back out to the market, potentially creating new revenue streams.
Related research has found that a farm with 120 cows that uses the methane capture technology can reduce CO2 output by the equivalent of 100 western Europeean households, or about 780 tonnes per year.
Having proved the methodology at its prototype installation, CNH Industrial and Bennemann will install the methane capture system across multiple farms over the coming year. The system will first collect compressed methane, before moving to a liquified product in the future.
Liquified methane (also known as natural gas) is easier to store and distribute than its compressed variant, or hydrogen. It is a direct replacement for fossil fuels used in high-power applications, such as construction.