Natural gas is one of the most widely available and
developed of the alternative fuels. It is 90% methane and
contains a mix of hydrocarbons that is produced from gas wells
or from crude petroleum production. Most frequently, natural
gas used in vehicles is compressed natural gas (CNG) that is
stored on board vehicles in specially designed and constructed
cylinders. In heavy duty applications, cryogenically stored
liquid natural gas (LNG) is frequently used.
In 2005, the number of natural gas vehicles (NGVs) on the
road in the US exceeds 130,000 and is over 5 million
worldwide, making NGVs one of the most widespread of the
alternative fuel vehicles. Nation-wide, there are 767 total
LNG and compressed natural gas (CNG) stations. There are NGVs
that are dedicated to running only on natural gas and there
are also bi-fuel vehicles that have two separate fuel systems
and operate on either natural gas or gasoline.
American Honda produces a light duty vehicle, the Civic GX,
which runs on NG. In addition, Chevrolet has produced 2007
Silverado and Sierra trucks that run on both NG only or are
bi-fuel capable. There are a number third party companies that
convert OEM vehicles to operate on natural gas. Natural gas is
also used in many medium- and heavy-duty applications
including transit buses, school buses, delivery trucks, and
refuse haulers. About one fourth of all new transit buses are
powered by natural gas.
Benefits of Natural Gas as a Fuel
Natural gas vehicles produce lower emissions than vehicles
running on gasoline or diesel. In addition, NGVs do not emit
the particulate matter that creates smog-like haze and that
causes harm to human respiratory and cardio vascular
Another benefit of natural gas as a transportation fuel is
that it is a domestic resource that can help the United States
reduce its dependence on foreign oil. The cost of a
gasoline-gallon equivalent of CNG compares favorably to that
of gasoline, so driving a natural gas vehicle may save you
Natural gas reduces carbon monoxide, non-methane
hydrocarbon and NOx emissions. Natural gas does however
increase total hydrocarbon emissions.
Natural Gas Emissions Compared to Gasoline
Training and consulting services on the application of
natural gas as a transportation fuel are available through AFV
Institute’s affiliate, The Natural Gas Vehicle Institute.
here to go to the Natural Gas Vehicle Institute website.
- Click here to learn about Consulting
Services available on the use of natural gas as a fuel.
- Click here to learn more about available
natural gas vehicle and fueling Training.
- Click here for information about natural
gas fueling availability.
Natural Gas Links