Compressed Natural Gas as an Alternative Fuel

How is compressed natural gas compressed?

When compressed natural gas (CNG) is piped from a central gas delivery system (K-unit) to a single household gas appliance (S-store), a cylindrical cylinder is open and compressed by high-pressure air (pressurized ACO) into a cylinder. The air is injected into the cylinder as the compressed gas passes through the cylinder at pressures varying from approximately five to approximately forty pounds per square inch. Once inside the cylinder, carbon monoxide (the product of carbonic acid gases) is produced by oxidation reactions inside the cylinder and the resulting mixture is compressed by more air pressure. The compressed gas exits at a pressure of approximately forty pounds per square inch.

One of the main advantages of using compressed natural gas (CNG) is that it is cleaner than fuel combustion engine exhaust gases. Proponents of CNG note that the combustion byproducts of a conventional fuel combustion engine can be up to one hundred times more toxic than emissions produced by a CNG engine. For this reason, they claim greater fuel economy and improved handling of the exhaust system. However, not all the claims can be supported by scientific evidence. There are also arguments that the emissions from fuel combustion engines are more harmful to the environment than those from compressed natural gas.

Compressed natural gas also has a number of cons

For instance, there is the question of how much clean air is produced by CNG when it is burned. Some scientists claim that the amount of clean air produced is insignificant and only a small fraction of one percent of the emissions are clean air. However, CNG does provide a clean fuel for starting a car and for starting and running a vehicle.

Diesel vehicles do not produce much pollution compared to gasoline vehicles, even diesel-powered diesels. The noise emission from diesels is far greater than any that would be produced by compressed natural gas. However, both of these points must be weighed against the benefits of using CNG in place of gasoline or diesel.

Manufacturers who currently utilize gasoline

Currently, there is no legislation currently in place that would require manufacturers to use compressed natural gas as the fuel in vehicles. Therefore, if legislation were introduced making CNG the default fuel in vehicles, manufacturers could easily replace gasoline with it. Manufacturers who currently utilize gasoline as their fuel will have little incentive to switch to compressed natural gas. However, if manufacturers of trucks, buses, and taxicabs are reluctant to make the changeover to cng, there will be a push for manufacturers to make these changes.

A recent study by the Environmental Protection Agency found that trucks using diesel as their fuel produce approximately 26 times more emissions than those using natural gas. This is a sobering reality when you consider that every day millions of people ride around in trucks loaded with pollutants. However, there are companies in the UK and Europe that are attempting to combat this problem by introducing low emission vehicles. It is clear that we cannot go on as our current methods are and need to embrace new technologies and cleaner fuels to help reduce the damage we have inflicted on our environment.

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