Traction (trækkraft)

  Western Europe

Traction is a particular form of power that makes a vehicle move.

Process description

The present data refer to traction generated by diesel engines applied in agriculture for processes such as ploughing, harrowing, sowing and harvesting. Sulphur content of diesel is 0.045%

Data collection and treatment

Data on air emissions per MJ traction have been derived from Borken et al. (1999). Borken et al. (1999) has considered five different categories of traction and a simple average traction scenario for agricultural products produced in Denmark has been determined based on Dalgaard og Halberg (2003), see the table below

Traction Percent in Danish agriculture
Hard 16.5
Normal 43.0
Light 40.5

Lee et al. (2000) has found that out of the total energy use in the tractor's lifespan about 85% is applied during use and about 15% is applied for production and disposal/recycling. Hence, the tractors lifespan energy consumption and air emission per MJ delivered in the field has been estimated roughly by dividing diesel consumption and emissions in the use phase with 0.85.

Technical scope

The present data covers air emissions associated with the traction process and a rough estimate of energy consumption associated with producing and disposing the tractor.


Data are derived from Western Europe and provide a reasonable estimate for traction in Denmark. The traction requirements in Danish agriculture varies only slightly from farmtype to farmtype and from product to product (less than 5% in the most extreme cases) when all processes from field preparation to harvesting are considered. Hence, the present average traction data provide a reasonable estimate for most products produced in Denmark. For specific traction processes Borken et al. 1999 should be consulted.


No validation has been performed

Inputs and outputs

Inputs and outputs associated with traction in Danish agriculture based on average scenario are shown in the table below. Data are provided per MJ of traction.





Inputs Diesel kg


Outputs Emissions
to air


  CO2 g





  N2O g


  SO2 g


  CO g


  NOx g


  NMHC g 0.17
  Particles g


Location in database: Energy/Others/Traction


Borken J, Patyk A and Reinhardt GA (1999). Basisdaten für ökologishe Bilanzierungen – Einsatz von Nutzfahrzeugen, in Transport, Landwirtshaft und Bergbau. Friedr. Vieweg & Sohn Publishers. Braunschweig/Wiesbaden, Germany.

Dalgaard D. og Halberg, N. (2003): An LC inventory based on representative and coherent farm types. Danish institute of agricultural science

Lee J, Cho H, Choi B, Sung J, Lee S, Shin M (2000). Lifecycle assessment of tractors. International Journal of Lifecycle assessment 5 (4) 205-208.

Administrative information

Data URL:
Version no.: 1.00
Authors: Per H. Nielsen
2.-0 LCA Consultants.
Data entry: Per H. Nielsen

Data completed: July 2003.