Not a a hydrogen "hoop dream" or ethanol scam... just the facts on REAL clean fuel alternatives.
- Nearly 87% of U.S. natural gas used is domestically produced
- 60-90% less smog-producing pollutants
- 30-40% less greenhouse gas emissions
- Less expensive than gasoline
While the national average price of gasoline is now $4, some are happily filling up on compressed natural gas (CNG) at $0.63 per gallon. That's the country's lowest price for CNG, which has understandably caused a surge in demand for vehicles running on a fuel that one man described as "practically free."
So far, CNG vehicles haven't made a blip on my radar screen, even though the group Natural Gas Vehicles for America (NGVA) estimates there are 150,000 NGVs on U.S. roads today and over 5 million worldwide. It took a phone call from sunny Southern Utah to clue me in to recent developments, which include a local refueling station overflowing with CNG-hungry vehicles.
There are about 1500 CNG refueling stations in the US, which is about the same number of commercial stations offering E85 ethanol blends. Utah has a total of 91 CNG filling stations, most of which are reserved for commercial fleet use, but there are 20 open to the public. According to an article by the Associated Press, you could drive Utah from top to bottom and hit 22 different stations offering compressed natural gas.
One of the major benefits of using compressed natural gas is a significant reduction in emissions when compared to gasoline. Compressed natural gas is touted as the "cleanest burning" alternative fuel available, since the simplicity of the methane molecule reduces tailpipe emissions of different pollutants by 35-97%. Not quite as dramatic is the reduction in net greenhouse-gas emissions, which is about the same as corn-grain ethanol at about a 20% reduction over gasoline.
LPG vehicles emit about one-third fewer reactive organic gases than gasoline-fueled vehicles. Nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide emissions are also 20% and 60% less, respectively. Unlike gasoline-fueled vehicles, there are no evaporative emissions while LPG vehicles are running or parked, because LPG fuel systems are tightly sealed. Small amounts of LPG may escape into the atmosphere during refueling, but these vapors are 50% less reactive than gasoline vapors, so they have less of a tendency to generate smog-forming ozone. LPG also has an extremely low sulfur content.
LPG delivers roughly the same power, acceleration, and cruising speed characteristics as gasoline .... LPG's high octane rating (around 105) means that an LPG engine's power output and fuel efficiency can be increased beyond what would be possible with a gasoline engine without causing destructive knocking. Such fine-tuning can help compensate for the fuel's lower energy density.
- Alternative Fuels: Natural Gas - Alternative Fuel and Advanced Vehicle Center
- Alternative Fuel Station Locator - Alternative Fuel and Advanced Vehicle Center
- Fuel Economy Information for Bi-fuel and Natural Gas (CNG) Vehicles
- Get the facts at: www.fueleconomy.gov
- Find out more at: cleanenergyfuels and wikipedia.org
- The Natural Gas Top 10 Facts via cleanenergyfuels
- Alternative Fuel Price Report