Compressed natural gas (CNG) is a fossil fuel substitute for gasoline (petrol) or propane/LPG. CNG is made by compressing natural gas to less than 1% of the volume it occupies at standard atmospheric pressure. CNG can be used in internal combustion engine cars that have been converted into bi-fuel vehicles (gasoline/CNG).
CNG powered vehicles are increasingly used in the Asia-Pacific region, Latin America, Europe, and America due to rising gasoline prices. In response to high fuel prices and environmental concerns, CNG is starting to be widely used in pickup trucks, transit and school buses and trains.
Worldwide, there were 14.8 million CNG vehicles in 2011, led by Iran with 2.86 million, Pakistan (2.85 million), Argentina (2.07 million), Brazil (1.7 million), and India (1.1 million) with the Asia-Pacific region leading with 5.7 million NGVs, followed by Latin America with almost 4 million vehicles.
CNG cars available in Europe are bi-fuel vehicles burning one fuel at a time. Their engine is a standard gasoline internal combustion engine. This means that they can indifferently run on either gasoline from a gasoline tank or CNG from a separate cylinder in the trunk. The driver can select what fuel to burn by simply flipping a switch on the dashboard.
1. Due to the absence of any lead or benzene content in CNG, the lead fouling of spark plugs is eliminated.
2. CNG-powered vehicles have lower maintenance costs when compared with other fossil fuel-powered vehicles.
3. CNG fuel systems are sealed, which prevents any spill or evaporation losses.
4. Increased life of lubricating oils, as CNG does not contaminate and dilute the crankcase oil.
5. CNG mixes easily and evenly with air being a gaseous fuel.
6. CNG is less likely to auto-ignite on hot surfaces, since it has a high auto-ignition temperature (540 °C) and a narrow range (5%-15%) of flammability.
7. Less pollution and more efficiency: CNG emits significantly less pollutants such as carbon dioxide (CO2), unburned hydrocarbons (UHC), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur oxides (SOx) and particulate matter (PM), compared to petrol. Carbon monoxide emissions are reduced even further. Due to lower carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides emissions, switching to CNG can help mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. CNG produced from landfill biogas was found to have the lowest greenhouse gas emissions of any fuel analyzed, in the low-carbon fuel standard that went into effect on January 12, 2010.
ENSIDA Energy Research and Development is dedicated to the furtherance of alternative fuel solutions for the betterment of our world. We strive for cleaner emissions and better efficiency to benefit the environment and human kind as well. Our systems and solutions save money, create jobs, provide a cleaner path to the future and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.