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Interesting video of an Allis Chalmers fuel cell powered tractor over 60 years ago. And here I thought fuel cell powered stuff was something recent. According to the video, this was 90% efficient vs. diesel power at 40%. Too bad they didn't develop it further - who knows what impact this would have had industry wide. Not just tractors but everything else that uses IC engines. My guess is that fossil fuel was so abundantly cheap they could not build this at a price level to compete even if it was twice as efficient.

 

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I think you are right; however, gaseous Hydrogen and Oxygen come at a price; it takes energy to produce them. Hydrogen as a fuel burned directly doesn't produce the BTU's that Methane does, and I would guess that fuel cells are not cheap either. In any case, the Carbon emissions from fuel cells and burning Hydrogen are pretty much zero. When our technology gets to the place where we can produce he Hydrogen and Oxygen cheaply and with zero emissions, we may all be driving a Hydrogen powered Camaro (not forgetting about the Hindenburg).
 

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There was a lot of experimenting back in those days, IH had a turbine engined tractor they were testing for a few years. Ford was working on the Selecto-speed transmission. Deere going to four and six cylinder engines, not to mention the 8010.
 
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