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Research article2018Peer reviewedOpen access

Fuel consumption and exhaust emissions during on-field tractor activity: A possible improving strategy for the environmental load of agricultural mechanisation

Lovarelli, Daniela; Fiala, Marco; Larsson, Gunnar


Agricultural machinery plays an important role on the environmental sustainability assessments of the agricultural sector and, in particular, a prominent part of its impact is due to fuel consumption and engine exhaust gases emissions.In order to adopt trustworthy data on agricultural machinery operations for fulfilling reliable local inventories in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) studies, field tests were performed. During the trials several operations were monitored (i.e. ploughing, spike harrowing, rotary harrowing, sowing and rolling) and the measured data with CAN-bus (among which the fuel consumption) and with the engine exhaust gases emissions analyser (CO2, CO and NOx) were attributed to the field working states of effective work, turns at headlands and stops that were identified thanks to GPS. Moreover, data during the farm-field transfers were also collected.In addition to data processing from the field trials, a model for predicting fuel consumption and engine exhaust gases emissions was adopted and its reliability was studied for further future uses.From the results, specific considerations about the tested tractor (Valtra N101, 82 kW maximum power, IIIA emission stage) and the studied working conditions (e.g., engine speed, torque, working speed and depth) can be performed to get information valid for the engine and the operations.


Agricultural machinery; CAN-bus; Exhaust gas analyser; Efficiency improvement; Environmental sustainability

Published in

Computers and Electronics in Agriculture
2018, Volume: 151, pages: 238-248

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG7 Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Agricultural Science

    Publication identifier


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