CNG or compressed natural gas is a domestically available, economical, clean burning, alternative fuel source for vehicles.
Rather than burn gasoline or diesel fuel, a consumer would fuel their vehicle with natural gas. In order to provide enough range, the gas is compressed and stored on
the vehicle in pressurized tanks. Tanks that can hold up to 3,600 psi. hence the name Compressed Natural Gas.
Sounds a little scary doesn't it? Not when you compare the physical properties of Natural Gas and gasoline. The fact is that natural gas is a much safer fuel than gasoline
(Ever wonder why the stove in your home doesn't burn gasoline instead of natural gas?).
What is Natural Gas?
Natural Gas is an organic compound that is found deep within the earth. It is a fossil fuel formed over millions of years of geological pressures and changes. Natural gas
is primarily methane comprised of hydrogen and carbon. It is a safe fuel source that is commonly used in homes and businesses for heating, lighting and cooking.
How is it used for powering vehicles?
This is accomplished by the following steps:
Are Natural Gas Powered Vehicles safe?
- Natural gas is compressed and enters the vehicle through the natural gas dispenser or filling stations.
- It flows into high-pressure cylinders that are located on the vehicle.
When the driver steps on the accelerator, the natural gas leaves the on-board storage cylinder, passes through the high-pressure fuel line and enters the engine
- Gas then enters the regulator, which reduces pressure from up to 3,600 psi to approximately atmospheric pressure.
- The natural gas solenoid valve allows natural gas to pass from the regulator into the gas mixer or fuel injectors.
- Natural gas mixed with air flows down through the carburetor or fuel injection system and enters the engine's combustion chambers.
- One kilo of CNG is equal to roughly 1.5 litres of petrol.
- If we divide by four the total capacity of installed cylinders (expressed in litres), we obtain (with a good approximation) the equivalent CNG cubic meters contained in
For example in a 80 lt cylinder we have roughly 20 lt of equivalent CNG cubic meters. If we imagine running on average 14 km with a CNG cubic meter (equal to run
roughly 12.5 km/lt with petrol), mileage will be roughly of 280 km.
Natural Gas an ideal fuel source for many reasons, including safety. Consider these points:
Natural Gas is lighter than air. This means that it will not puddle (like gasoline) or sink to the ground like propane, which is heavier than air. Instead, Natural Gas will rise
and dissipate in the atmosphere.
Natural gas also has a higher ignition temperature. This means that it is much harder to ignite. Also the storage systems used for compressed natural gas are infinitely
stronger (therefore a lot less likely to rupture) that the gasoline tanks found on cars and trucks today.
Also see our conversion procedure.