JCB revealed an innovative dual fuel backhoe loader concept, powered by both diesel and compressed natural gas (CNG) at the 9th St Petersburg International Gas Forum in Russia, on October 1-4, 2019. The concept machine, based on the best-selling 3CX backhoe loader, is equipped with CNG tanks securely mounted on the roof of the cab.
The machine’s 55kW JCB 4.4-litre diesel engine has been specially modified to operate on either diesel or a mix of diesel and CNG. There is a selector switch in the cab that allows the operator to switch between standard diesel mode and a dual fuel mode. In diesel mode the engine performs normally, injecting diesel fuel into the engine’s combustion chambers. In dual fuel mode, while diesel continues to be injected into the engine, a percentage of the fuel is replaced with compressed natural gas, depending on engine rpm and load on the machine. This ensures that there is no loss of power or performance.
CNG offers far lower nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) emissions than a comparable diesel engine, along with reduced wheel-to-well CO2 emissions. The cost of a kg of CNG is also 30-50% lower than a litre of diesel, depending on territory, offering reduced operating costs and lower overall emissions for the customer.
“CNG is a popular fuel in Russia, a major market for the JCB backhoe loader, as the country has some of the largest reserves of natural gas in the world. The dual fuel backhoe loader will be demonstrated and evaluated by major Russian gas suppliers following the St Petersburg event” – says Nick Grills, General manager JCB Russia and CIS.