This project is implemented by Spirit Design, a strategic design consultancy from Austria and CiBiogas, the International Center for Renewable Energies from Brazil. The project aims to redesign and homologate a series prototype of a biomethane driven low-cost multi-purpose agricultural vehicle CH4pa [chapa] in order to start serial production by end of 2020 for the Brazilian market.
According to the 2015 report of the IPCC, Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use is responsible for 24% of the total GHG emissions in Brazil (IPCC, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, is the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change). The potential of Biomethane in Brazil is big enough to fuel the whole agricultural mobility (source not identified).
Spirit Design and CIBiogas have been working together on the CH4pa project since 2013. The first functional prototype was built in Austria 2014/2015 and shipped to Brazil 2016 where CIBiogas and Spirit Design hold equal IP-right. In Brazil Ch4pa was tested in the real environment of the Parque Tecnologico Itaipu (https://www.pti.org.br/) in the state of Paraná. The tractor is designed for biogas producers (farmers, cooperatives, agroindustry and municipalities) equipped with several modular bodies in order the address the specific needs of each customer segment.
The first phase of the project is the financial and technical feasibility and the acquisition of funding in order to finance the development of the Ch4pa in Brazil. The second phase is the redesigning of the first prototype in order to better address customers’ needs in Brazil and to facilitate homologation in order to be produced on a larger scale in Brazil. After these phases, AVL (https://www.avl.com/), which is the world´s largest independent company for the development of powertrain systems with internal combustion engines, will engineer and construct a prototype Ch4pa according to the specific Brazilian market needs to then be built by AVL and EDAG (https://www.edag.com.br/br/edag-do-brasil.html) which is a company working in product and production plant development. The prototype will than undergo a testing and certification process in order to reach a standardized homologation, so it can be marketed in Brazil.
Generally speaking, Brazil has a huge potential and has developed a framework for biomethane. The potential of Biomethane in Brazil is big enough to fuel the whole agricultural mobility. Regarding the overall potential of biogas production experts calculate with up to 20 billion of liter diesel / year, enough to fuel the whole agricultural mobility. Hence the project aims to use part of this potential introducing in the Brazilian market the Ch4pa tractor which will allow biogas producers such as farmers, cooperatives, agroindustry and municipalities to tap into this energy source.