Compressed Natural Gas or CNG is increasingly becoming the fuel of choice for many people around the world. The continued increase in the prices of gasoline and petroleum-based fuels has encouraged car owners all over the world to find ways to cut back on fuel costs. Moreover, concerns over the big role that exhaust emissions play over the degradation of air quality have also pushed more people to find a cleaner and safer alternative to dirty fossil fuels. Among the handful of alternatives, compressed natural gas appears to be a viable option due to several factors.
Compressed natural gas is readily available and is in abundant supply in the United States. The country has extensive reserves of natural gas. In fact, 85% of natural gas consumed in the US is produced domestically. There is also an existing, well-established network of pipelines that carry natural gas to domestic users. Owners of natural gas vehicles can tap into this network via the 1,600 or more natural gas fuelling stations scattered across the country.
Compressed natural gas is also significantly less expensive than gasoline. the price of cng is as low as .85 cents a gge to $3.75 per gallon. On average, CNG costs less than a third of the price of gasoline. Compressed natural gas is also much cleaner and more environmentally-friendly than petroleum-based fuels especially gasoline. CNG produces 70% less carbon monoxide, 87% less non-methane organic gas, 87% less nitrogen oxide and 20% less carbon dioxide. And even though CNG produces methane, it is offset by the substantial decrease in carbon dioxide emissions.
Another important factor that makes CNG a good alternative fuel is its safety compared to other fuels. This safety is based on two factors: the physical properties of natural gas and the CNG fuel system that is designed according to stringent quality standards. A very important part of the CNG fuel system is the CNG tank or cylinder. This acts as the fuel tank where the CNG is stored until it is used by the engine.
Because CNG fuel systems operate in pressures of over 3600psi, the CNG tank and cylinder, as well as the tubes, pipes and valves, must be incredibly durable and strong enough to contain that pressure. CNG tanks are typically made of steel, aluminum or plastic. There’s also a lightweight composite variety, which is built under stringent ISO standards, that are especially beneficial for use in vehicles because it weighs significantly less compared to earlier versions made of steel and aluminum. Most of the CNG cylinders that come bundled with safety-valve generally follow the ISO 11439 standard.