… The German researchers suggest about 50% of the energy put into the plowing process is instantly wasted in overcoming friction, and this accounts for a significant portion of the million liters of fuel the German farming industry uses up each year in working the land.
Hence the new attempt to coat the blades with DLC. This instantly reduces the plow’s friction by 50%, and can actually reduce the energy required from a tractor hauling the coated plow by over 30% compared to an uncoated plow.
Less friction means that a smaller tractor could pull a larger plow with less fuel. This means that farmers could spend less fuel and time plowing larger fields, which in turn could lead to lower food prices. Heady stuff.
Fast Company, Kit Eaton, “Turning Diamond-Edged Blades into Fuel-Saving Plowshares“