As an alternative to conventional liquid fuels like petrol and diesel, compressed natural gas (CNG) is a gaseous fuel that is predominantly made of methane (CH4). It is a flexible and eco-friendly fuel choice that has attracted a lot of interest as the world looks for greener and more sustainable energy alternatives.
What is CNG fuel?
Methane, the main substance of natural gas produced from subterranean reservoirs, makes up the majority of CNG. Other hydrocarbons such as ethane, propane and butane, as well as contaminants like sulphur compounds, may also be present in natural gas. To avoid engine corrosion and lower emissions, these contaminants are often eliminated before being used as a fuel for vehicles.
Natural gas must first be taken out of the ground through drilling and well operations in order to be converted into CNG. Then it is processed to get rid of contaminants, moisture, and other things. The purified gas is exceedingly compact and appropriate for storage and transportation. Because it is compressed to high pressures, typically between 2,900 and 3,600 pounds per square inch (psi).
Advantages Of CNG Fuel
1) Environmental Benefits :
The decreased environmental effect of CNG compared to conventional fossil fuels is one of its main benefits. When burned, natural gas emits much less hazardous pollutants including nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter as well as fewer greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide (CO2). This leads to better air quality and a smaller impact on climate change.
2) Economic benefits :
CNG is a more affordable option than petrol or diesel, which appeals to fleet owners and consumers. Additionally, because of the cleaner combustion process and lessened wear on engine components, CNG vehicles frequently have longer engine lives.
3) Abundant Domestic Resource :
Many regions have easy access to natural gas, which lessens reliance on foreign oil. This improves energy security and, to some extent, controls fuel prices.
4) Technological Feasibilities :
From passenger cars to buses, trucks, and even some industrial equipment, CNG may be employed in a wide range of vehicles. Vehicle manufacturers offer CNG-compatible models, and it is also feasible to convert older petrol vehicles to run on CNG.
Challenges of CNG Fuel
1) Infrastructure : For CNG to be widely used, the infrastructure for refuelling must be expanded. It costs a lot of money to construct refuelling stations and integrate them into current fuel networks.
2) Range and Storage : Due to natural gas’s lower energy density compared to petrol, CNG vehicles may have a somewhat shorter driving range. Furthermore, CNG must be kept at high pressures during storage, necessitating specialised tanks that can add weight to cars.
3) Vehicle Availability : Although there are more CNG vehicle types available, some areas may still have a restricted selection. The availability of CNG automobiles may limit the options available to consumers.
As a tempting substitute for traditional liquid fuels, CNG offers advantages like lower emissions, cost savings, and energy security. Its environmentally friendly features make it a desirable option for reducing the effects of the transportation industry on climate change. However, maximising CNG’s potential contribution to a cleaner and more sustainable energy future depends on addressing infrastructural issues and taking into account how the market for alternative fuels is changing.