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Bi - Fuel Natural Gas Vehicles Are Close To Hybrids
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Bi  -  Fuel Natural Gas Vehicles Are Close To Hybrids

Natural gas is the cleanest of all fossil fuels available for fueling your vehicles. Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) has been available in the market for quite some time, however people are not very enthusiastic to buy a CNG vehicle or get their gasoline or diesel powered vehicle converted to bi-fuel (gasoline / diesel with CNG). Some data is compiled and provided below indicating usefulness of CNG as fuel in the vehicle:

1. Compressed natural gas is environment friendly – Natural Gas or CNG is the cleanest burning fuel for vehicles. Vehicles running on compressed natural gas produce lesser tail pipe emissions than diesel-fueled or gasoline-fueled engines. When comparing with cars fueled by diesel or gasoline, the vehicles fueled by natural gas produce tail-pipe emissions containing lesser carbon dioxide, lesser organic gases and lesser carbon monoxide.

2. Compressed Natural Gas is a safe fuel – Compressed natural gas is stored in cylinders that are lot more stronger than liquid fuel (gasoline / diesel) tanks. During an accident or collision causing cylinder damage, CNG will disperse in the atmosphere while gasoline and diesel will pool in the ground and become a fire hazard. Natural gas also has a very narrow flammability range. This means that natural gas only gets ignited when in volume concentrations with air which are above 5% and below 15%. Since the natural gas leaks gets dispersed in the air rather than on the ground, natural gas will never cause ground water contamination.

3. Compressed Natural Gas is an efficient fuel – Natural gas is more than 90% methane, its octane rating (105+) is substantially higher in comparison to gasoline (90+). This higher octane rating provides for larger piston stroke lengths thus making the natural gas vehicles more efficient. In addition, natural gas being the cleanest burning fossil fuel does not cause a lot of engine wear and tear, resulting in longer life of engine and significant savings on maintenance costs like oil changes, spart plug changes and engine tune-ups.

4. Compressed Natural Gas is low cost – Natural gas price in gasoline gallon equivalent is much less than both the commonly used liquid fuels - diesel or gasoline. Historically the natural gas prices have been lesser volatile as compared to liquid fuel prices. The stability in gas price is likely to continue and it makes long term fuel cost planning by fleet owners easier.

5. Natural Gas is readily and abundantly available – Russia, Qatar, Iran,United States and many other countries of the world have an abundant supply of natural gas. There is also an extensive, well-established network of cross country gas pipelines transporting natural gas to countries who do not have sufficient natural gas. This makes CNG use convenient as NGV owners have easy access to natural gas fueling stations.

6. Shale Gas Advantage – The recent developments in Shale Gas production has increased the prospects of stable natural gas price for many nations in the foreseeable future. This is particularly advantageous in view of sharp fluctuations of liquid fuel prices experienced by consumers in recent past.

7. Top Up your CNG Cylinder Overnight – Fueling a vehicle from a home natural gas fuel line is becoming more popular. For this purpose, CNG vehicle owners can use small compressors available in the market for the purpose. About the size of a large upright vacuum cleaner, these compressors can be installed on the wall of a garage with access to electrical circuit and a natural-gas line. A flexible hose plugs into the car and fills the cylinder in about six hours.

8. The Bi-Fuel Advantage – The advantages of owning a vehicle which can run on two fuels is undeniable. The bi-fuel advantage is especially significant for long drives, in remote areas and during times when one of the fuels is short in the market.

9. The Economy of Scale – As more and more people are converting to CNG, the economy of scale would bring down the price premium of CNG vehicle over the liquid fuel vehicles.

10. Join the Band Wagon – With the increase in interest of car manufacturers in developed nations to produce CNG powered vehicles, more and more researchers are working on improvement in cylinder capacity and weight reduction. The trend is picking up and it is expected that CNG powered vehicles may outnumber liquid fuel vehicles on US roads very soon.


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