Natural gas is the cleanest burning alternative fuel available that has the power to run heavy-duty vehicles. It’s also quieter, safer, less expensive and abundant in America.
America is the largest producer of natural gas in the world. In our existing reservoirs alone, we have enough supply for 100 years or more and new reservoirs are being discovered every day. And, because CNG is home-grown and distributed, that means more American jobs and a major boost for our economy.
On average, CNG engines run 10 decibels quieter than their diesel counterparts. That means garbage trucks can service your neighborhood earlier and buses, vans, tractor trailers and more can drive down main street without disturbing your community.
The price of CNG is significantly more stable than that of petroleum-based fuels because CNG has a different pricing structure than gasoline and diesel.
As reported by NGV America, “market volatility and commodity price increases have a much larger impact on the economics of gasoline and diesel fuel prices than they do for natural gas” (source). That’s because as much as 70 percent of the cost of gasoline and 60 percent of diesel is directly attributable to the cost of oil. But, only 20 percent of the cost of CNG is attributable to the cost of natural gas. So, if there’s volatility in OPEC nations, the barrel costs of petroleum can lead to dramatic changes in the price at the pump. But, if there’s a dramatic change in the cost of natural gas, the price at the pump won’t fluctuate more than 20%.
If released, compressed natural gas is lighter than air and will disperse quickly. And, it will only burn if it mixes with air and makes up exactly 5 to 15% of the composition. At less than 5% concentration, it will be too thin to burn. At more than 15%, there won’t be enough oxygen for it to burn.
CNG also has a high ignition temperature, about 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit compared with about 600 degrees Fahrenheit for gasoline. The high ignition temperature and limited flammability range make accidental combustion of CNG unlikely.
Vehicles that run on natural gas (NGVs) generally emit 13-21 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline. Medium and heavy-duty natural gas engines were also the first to satisfy the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) demanding standards for nitrogen oxides.
CNG is an odorless, tasteless gas created naturally from the decomposition of organic matter. Most of the chemical makeup of natural gas is methane. Methane, or CH4, only has one carbon atom with four hydrogen atoms. Gasoline (C8H18 + 28 O2) has 8 carbon atoms and diesel (C12H23) has 12. This means, by nature, CNG has less carbon and thus a lower “carbon footprint.”
In addition, when CNG fuel combusts (when it’s burned in an engine) its byproducts are CO2 and H20…also known as carbon dioxide and water. Meanwhile, when gasoline and diesel combust, we get carbon dioxide, water, and a mix of noxious or toxic gasses such as nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, and hydrocarbons.