Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My Dream Cars

I was reading a blog from my friend, Remixed Phoenix which was a photo essay about what car he would have if he was a billionaire. Now I posted my responses and I thought I would repost them here because I want to be able to share my dreams here. I want a better world for my nephew, better than the one he is growing up in. To do this, we have to live within our means and be cleaner about it. We all can afford to be a lot more green in our dealings with the world. However there are intersts in the world which would perpertuate the damaging effects of our petroleum based economy has on our environment, political systems, and the world in general.

My Garage if I won the lottery:

I am often asked when I tell people my dream cars are CNG powered about fueling. CNG infrastructure isn't what it is in Europe lets say. At one time one could drive across the US on CNG alone. However, the Bush Administration abandoned CNG along with the big 3 US auto makers at around 2006. With that, and the lack of renewal of tax incentives, the fueling infrastructure decreased.

Funny though, all the US manufacturers have CNG vehicles in their fleets in Europe. The Ford Focus apparently has a CNG Version as well as Opal for GM in Europe. However, the Big three keep them over in Europe and not over here. The CNG stations here are depended upon whatever municipality or state is supporting them. California, Utah, Oklahoma and some areas in New England have fairly good fueling infrastructure, some of them even at the stations you get your regular gasoline from. I know of a few Shell stations on the East Coast that sell it. There are some cities that have a single station and that is it. Then you are dependent on if the pump works, which may be half the time. Both vehicles I showed above are CNG.

The Ford Crown Victoria is a V8 monster which is based on the ubiquitous car of the same name which is used as a police cruiser and Taxi in many cities in the US. The Crown Vic CNG is a dedicated fuel CNG (which means it uses CNG exclusively as its means of propulsion) and has a 300 US mile range depending on the tanking options. More range means less trunk (boot) space and vice versa, but the Vic has a HUGE trunk so unless you are a mobster who regularly disposes of bodies or a woman who regularly cleans out the local supermarket with 10 bags of groceries its doubtful you will need all that space. Law enforcement likes big trunk space for tactical items and technical items. (DVR for dash cameras are stored in trunks as well as forensic kits and the like). The one above was produced in 1994-1997 and are referred to by CV enthusiasts as "aero-Vics" because of their more aerodynamic styling with the wrap-around headlights and such. I like the styling on these and own a gasoline powered version. (Reference my blogs about the "Victor-Victoria" as I refer to my lovely car). There is also one for sale in California, however given its age it is likely that in spite of its cheap price, the tanks will likely have to be swapped out soon as they are limited by age. The certification for the CNG tanks, due to their high pressure containment are certified for only 12 years or 100,000 miles. Swapping the tanks is almost as costly as an engine change which would make the vehicle cost a whole lot more than I can afford to spend at the moment. But I digress.

The more contemporary Vics are less aerodynamic but are said to be more robust. They were improved after a spate of crashes involving Crown Victoria Police version which resulted in Gasoline tank explosions which resulted in the deaths several policemen. The vehicles are now certified for tank survivability in a 75 MPH crash.

As of today, the Civic GX is the only domestic US produced CNG vehicle in the US. Sad that a Japanese manufacturer is producing the only US CNG car.

If I could afford it really, I would be a Green car owner exclusively. I'd have a solar powered mansion if I could afford it, with wind power and the like. When you are poor in the US, one really can't afford to be green. You have to take what you can get and what you can get is usually the stuff which isn't the best for the planet or for you.

What I love about CNG is that they can be readily converted to run on Hydrogen gas which we will in all likelihood be using soon given that fossil fuels are running out. I read somewhere that Hydrogen as a vehicle fuel will become economically viable when gasoline reaches $6.00 a gallon in the United States. After that, you will probably see the US finally coming to its senses and getting itself off of Petroleum and going to a Hydrogen economy or despoiling the environment and fighting wars in an ever desperate search for the dwindling supplies of Oil. Care to guess the likely scenario?

If one is interested you can check out my Multiply Group on the subject, which unfortunately has not been updated as of recently or you can check out other organizations listed on the links which I think I have kept updated and if not, please let me know so I can.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Honda Civic GX

This is a review by KBB of the Honda Civic GX. Many of you know one of my passions is for CNG vehicles. This is the only vehicle available to the public that you can buy straight off the lot in many places. Its manufactured in the United States at the Honda Plant in Ohio. I am considering getting one of these. Simply because I want a car that is not giving money to Al Queda. Most Natural Gas used in the US is produced locally here in the US. While those that get it out of the ground are huge multi-national corporations, the gas comes from here and is part of our resources. You have to think that when you fill your tank with Gasoline, eventually that money will find its way back to those who use that money to fund terrorism. One gentleman here in the ethanol debate that said something telling. This is the first war in which we are essentially funding both sides.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Just wondering what this picture has to say

I always love Non Sequitur and this was particularly funny. If you can't read the caption balloon it says, "Yes, every once in a while I do think its a good idea to look a gift horse in the mouth."

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

New safety warning from NGVAmerica and CVEF

Convert Your Vehicle to Compressed Natural Gas - SAFELY
Source - NGVAmerica - CVEF
Thursday, 22 May 2008


The following bulletin was issued by NGVAmerica and the Clean Vehicle Education Foundation(CVEF). Though aimed at the US market, the safety message is relevant to most other markets as well.

As gasoline and diesel prices continue to rise, many people are considering converting their car or light truck to run on compressed natural gas (CNG). CNG is a clean, inexpensive (currently selling for less than half the cost of gasoline) domestic fuel. Best of all, it uses zero imported (or domestic) petroleum. And government rebates are available to help with the cost of conversion and to further lower the cost of CNG fuel. But conversion from gasoline to CNG should not be done by unqualified technicians, using unapproved conversion kits or unsafe high-pressure gas cylinders.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has rules concerning the manufacture, sale and installation of alternative fuel engine conversion systems. The California Air Resources Board has similar and even more stringent emission rules for conversions in that state. Only EPA and/or CARB-certified conversion systems are permitted to be installed on vehicles. While a variety of non-certified systems are sold on the Internet and/or offered by some automotive shops, EPA has taken the position that installation of these systems is "tampering with a federally approved emission control system", a federal violation punishable by a substantial financial penalty. Installation of non-certified systems can also cause a vehicle to fail emissions inspection.

Because of the technical difficulty and the expense of EPA and CARB certification, certified conversions are only available for a limited number of engine families and applicable vehicle models. An up-to-date list of all currently available EPA- and CARB-certified engine retrofit and repower systems is available at NGVAmerica. New Honda Civic GX CNG vehicles, built in the USA, are also available in some states (see Honda).

Installation of an engine conversion package and fueling system may be done when the vehicle is first purchased or after it has been in service. EPA and CARB require that converters provide appropriate documentation and training to installers of their systems. Installation by non-qualified installers is illegal and could damage the retrofit equipment or the engine (or both), compromise vehicle performance, or render the vehicle unsafe to operate. No EPA- or CARB-certified engine conversion systems are sold to untrained/unapproved installers.

CNG conversions SHOULD NOT be performed by unqualified technicians! Properly installed CNG systems are safe and economical, with the vehicle operating almost exactly like a gasoline vehicle. However CNG systems rely on high-pressure compressed natural gas for fuel, and high-pressure gases require specialized components and technical skills for installation. Conversions should be done according to the National Fire Protection Association's Vehicular Fuel Systems Code (NFPA 52).

CNG converters and vehicle owners are reminded that CNG cylinders, often the most expensive component of the fuel system, must carry labels showing they meet the applicable Department of Transportation standard (FMVSS 304) by the symbol "DOT" on the label. The label will show an expiration date, after which the cylinder may not be safely used. Cylinders should also be inspected for safety every three years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first (see for more information). Converters and vehicle owners should have documentation that this safety inspection has been done.

Detailed answers to "Frequently Asked Questions About Converting Vehicles to Operate on Natural Gas" are available from NGVAmerica.

Friday, May 23, 2008

NGV Global - 21 May 2008

This is the international newsletter for Natural Gas Vehicles. You are welcome

to click on the links to the NGV Global site and visit them. They have all
sorts of information about the global community for NGV's and recent inovations all
over the world.

NGV GLOBAL - Latest NGV industry headlines brought to you weekly
May 21 2008





Worldwide leader in CNG cylinders. 40 years experience in
33 countries.

NGV 2008 – The Stone Age Did Not End Because of a Lack of Stones
Source - NGV Global
Wednesday, 21 May 2008




Many people don’t realize that at the start of the automobile industry,
natural gas was often tested in many different engine models. However,
large scale use of natural gas for transport was put aside in favor of low
cost liquid fuels such as gasoline and diesel. Natural gas was thus
utilized for other applications such as heating or commercial uses. Since
that time, things have changed – natural gas is more widely available, it
can be produced from renewable sources, is an undoubted leader in
environmental benefits. It can now also compete with liquid fuels. All of
these factors make it timely to consider the importance of natural gas as
a transport fuel which is why delegates from around the world will
converge on Rio de Janiero in less than two weeks for NGV 2008.


Opel Announces New CNG Zafira for Europe
Source - NGV Global
Friday, 16 May 2008


50,000 CNG Zafiras already on the road!

In 2009, GM’s Opel will introduce one new 1.6-liter turbo bifuel (natural
gas - petrol) engine delivering around 150 hp. Developed by GM Powertrain
in Turin, the new unit joins Opel’s current aspirated compressed natural
gas (CNG) engine. “Environmental awareness and driving fun are no longer
mutually exclusive,” says Alain Visser, Chief Marketing Officer, GM
Europe. “With this newly developed turbocharged CNG engine, we continue
pursuing our strategy of turbocharging engines to increase efficiency –
meaning lower consumption and emissions – without making any concessions
in performance.”


Volvo Swiss Edition Multifuel Unveiled
Source - NGV Global
Saturday, 10 May 2008

Volvo V70 Multi-Fuel - also available in the V50 model Switzerland
Volvo Automobile (Schweiz) AG. has unveiled an exclusively Swiss Edition
Volvo V50 1.8 "Multifuel" car, which can run on either ethanol, gasoline,
Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) or biogas. Volvo’s Swiss bureau has led the
project, which will introduce V50 and V70 as Multifuel models. This
project has been conducted in cooperation with F.+Ch. Mueller AG, which
specializes in the conversion of vehicles to use gas. V50 1.8F and V70
2.0F “Multifuel” cars will cost around 3900 EUR (approx $6,200) more than
standard models. The V50 model has a 1.8 litre engine with two gas
cylinders of 43 litres providing a driving distance of 250 km with gas.
The volume of the E85/gasoline tank is 55 litres. Both the V50 and V70
cars are offered through Swiss Volvo dealers from June 2008. (See Volvo
press release - in German.)



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safe SRL CNG Technology
Complete CNG Systems


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UPS Orders 300 More CNG Fleet Vehicles
Source - NGV Global
Tuesday, 13 May 2008

UPS CNG Truck USA, Atlanta

Freight giant UPS has ordered 300 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) vehicles
for its U.S. delivery fleet. Together with an order for 200 hybrid
electric vehicles the UPS alternative fuel fleet - already the largest
such private fleet in the United States - will grow 30 percent from 1,718
to 2,218 low-carbon vehicles. The 300 CNG vehicles will be deployed later
this year and join more than 800 such vehicles already in use in the
United States. The vehicles are expected to yield a 20 percent reduction
in emissions over the cleanest diesel engines available today.


50th & 1000th NGV - Same Car, Different Celebrations
Source - Erdgasfahren
Friday, 16 May 2008

VW Caddy CNG IEK Germany, Leipzig

Tool manufacturer Leitz GmbH & Co has celebrated the purchase of its 50th
natural gas powered Volkswagen. The purchase of the VW Caddy EcoFuel was
made with the financial support of the Initiativkreis Erdgas als
Kraftstoff (IEK) - the Initiative for Natural Gas Fuel association. The
IEK has now supported the purchase of 60 natural gas vehicles (NGVs) for
Leitz. By year's end, the Leitz group wants to have 80 NGVs, making up
more than one third of all vehicles in the company's fleet.

More information -

ANGVA 2007 Proceedings Available Now
Source - NGV Global
Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Industry members who missed out on attending the ANGVA 2007 Conference in
Bangkok, Thailand last year now have the opportunity to benefit from the
presentations made. Proceedings from the conference can be purchased via
download from the ANGVA 2007 website. The purchase price, allowing access
to more than 50 presentations, for ANGVA members is $US35 and for
non-members is $55.



GALILEO - Compression, Dispensers, Virtual Pipeline
One solution for all your CNG Needs

The Complete Approach to NGV Refueling Stations.

Innovative advanced CNG refuelling technology

Cylinders for CNG storage and transportaion

30th June to 1st July 2008, London, UK.

OASIS ENGINEERING - Ball Valves, Full Flow Barstock, 345 or 410 bar

Natural Gas Vehicle Numbers Climb in Peru
Source - RPP News
Saturday, 03 May 2008

Peru, Lima

The Peruvian Chamber of Natural Gas Vehicles (CPGNV) anticipates that by
late 2008 there will be 60,000 vehicles using natural gas in Lima and
Callao, representing a major breakthrough in changing the country's energy
mix. In addition, the Chamber projects that 60 natural gas service stations
(gasocentros) will be added within that time frame. These projections
assume positive responses to the elimination of the Selective Consumption
Tax (ISC) for the purchase of new cars and other government measures,
according to CPGNV general manager, Jorge Juarez.


Debut of CNG Powered Plug-In Hybrid Refuse Vehicle
Source - NGV Global
Tuesday, 20 May 2008

USA, Fresno CA

The City of Fresno has debuted and demonstrated the world’s first
operational compressed natural gas (CNG) powered plug-in hybrid refuse
truck. The truck is believed to be the first refuse truck in the world to
combine a natural gas engine with a rechargeable electric hybrid drive
system. The truck boasts several economic and environmental benefits: an
estimated 40% improvement in fuel economy with the use of a hybrid
electric drive system; the capability of operating in all-electric mode
for over 10 miles; and a 90% reduction in smog-forming emissions.


Iranian Conference and Exhibition This August - IANGVA / ANGVA Endorsed
Source - NGV Global
Friday, 23 May 2008

1st International Exhibition and National Conference on CNG & Related

Olympic Hotel, Tehran, August 2 - 4 2008

Abstracts invited - 20 June Deadline

The National Iranian Gas Co. (NIGC) and National Iranian Oil Refinery and
Distribution Co. (NIORC) are organizers for this event, endorsed by IANGV
and ANGVA . They are currently inviting interest from exhibitors and
speakers interested in submitting abstracts for presentation at the
conference. For more information please see


AT&T Introduces 'Green Fleet' of Alternative-Fuel Vehicles
Source - NGV Global
Wednesday, 21 May 2008

USA, San Antonio

Telecommunications giant AT&T Inc. has announced plans to add 105
alternative-fuel vehicles to the corporate fleet to reduce its impact on
the environment and its dependence on imported oil. Included in the
selection of vehicles are 25 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) vans. The
vehicles will roll out in various locations across the U.S. beginning in
June. A Green Technology insignia will make the vehicles easy to identify
on the road. AT&T estimates that its use of alternative-fueled and more
fuel-efficient vehicles will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 124 metric
tons and conserve nearly 34,395 gallons of fuel annually. In particular the
CNG vans are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 30
percent compared with traditional gasoline vans.


Singapore CNG Firm Gets Philippines' Nod
Source - GMA News
Friday, 16 May 2008

Philippines, Manila

Singapore-based Callandra LCNG Fuels Corp., which plans to put up at least
six compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquified natural gas (LNG) utilities
in the Philippines, has received accreditation from the Philippines
Department of Energy (DOE). The certification is given under the Natural
Gas Program for Public Transport (NGVPPT) and certifies the company as a
Category IV Refuelling Station Operator. Chief Executive Randall C.
Antonio said in a report from GMA News that they intended to start
deploying the service that targets local bus companies.


Flint to Build Biomethane Plant for Vehicles
Source - NGVAmerica
Friday, 16 May 2008

USA, Michigan

The city of Flint, Michigan and an alternative energy company, Swedish
Biogas International, announced a joint plan to build a plant to convert
waste from the city's wastewater facility into biomethane. Flint would be
the first location for the Swedish company, which hopes to build plants
nation-wide, said Peter Unden, the CEO of Swedish Biogas. The project will
receive $6 to $10 million in start-up money from federal and state grants
as well as Sweden and private money. Initially, the biomethane would fuel
Flint's fleet of municipal vehicles.


CNG Continues To Flow Despite Quake
Source - International Business Times
Saturday, 17 May 2008


After the destructive earthquake in Wenchuan County, Sichuan Province on
May 12, China Petrochemical Corporation (CPC), or Sinopec, has been
reported as being able to maintain normal operations on a number of
compressed natural gas (CNG) stations in the Chengdu area, the capital of
Sichuan. At present, Sinopec supplies Chengdu with 1.3 million cubic
meters of natural gas per day, which is basically the same quantity as
that before the earthquake. At the epicenter, Mianyang, the company is
supplying 130,000 cubic meters per day, of which 100,000 cubic meters are
going to northern Sichuan disaster relief vehicles, and 30,000 cubic
meters for enterprises. IANGV's sympathy for the loss of life is extended
to the people of China.

















June 3-5 Brazil, Rio de Janiero (RioCidadeNova Convention Center)
NGV2008. IANGV biennial conference and exhibition

June 14-15 USA, Los Angeles (Antelope Valley Fairgrounds0 1st Annual
Children's Charities Alt Fuels Expo

June 17-19 Ukraine, Kiev World of Liquefied and Compressed Gases

August 2-4 Iran, Tehran 1st International Exhibition and National
Conference on CNG & Related Industries

September 7-9 Sweden, Biogas Highway 2008

September 23-25 Russia, Moscow GASSUF' 2008 - Organizers: Gazprom &

September 25-27 Italy, Turin II World Fair of NGV &

October 4-5 USA, San Diego 2008 National NGV

December Iran, Tehran Second Iranian CNG Conference

March 24-26 India, New Delhi NGV India 2009, South Asia's Natural Gas
Vehicles Conference and Exhibition

October 27-29 South Korea, Donghae ANGVA 2009, Conference and


Copyright 2007 IANGV - PO BOX 56, Waitakere, NEW ZEALAND.

NGV Global is published on behalf of IANGV by NGV Network.

PRESS RELEASES may be submitted by email to

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

E-Bay updates to resume in on 19 May

My apologies to all who use this as a focal point to find E-bay vehicles. I have been having problems with my computer in that listing E-bay vehicles has been made a tedious process and doing so has bogged down my ever so slow system. What should take half an hour is made a long arduous process because my system keeps shutting down after going through several e-Bay entries.

Also, e-Bay keeps changing its e-mail forwarding format, necessitating changes to conform with what I feel is a proper format for listing on this site. Also, my Multiply page will take all my entries here and cross-post them to my Multiply page which necessitates further editing.

So that's the reason the e-Bay entries stopped for a while. I have also been toying with taking this site to its own domain name, however that will remain for a future where I have a little more money and time to deal with this.

I obtained a new system the other day and once I get it through its teething troubles and set up glitches, I can use it to surf at a much faster rate and the additional memory will probably prevent many of the shutdown errors I have been having. (I hope).

I do this for the love of these kind of cars. I don't have one and would really like to have one. Especially now since gas went up another twenty cents a gallon the other day.

I have a love for the Cavalier, but I find my heart set on a Crown Vic. I'd really like to get one. A Civic GX would be nice too. When the money and time is right I hope to get one soon.

I would like to thank all who read this page. I have no idea how many use this as a resource or how many hits I get. I hope dear reader, that you haven't been too inconvenienced by my lack of posts. If you do enjoy the information presented and find it useful, please by all means, leave feedback. If you have any ideas for improvements, let me know as well.

Thank you all and Keep the Blue Flame Alive!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

CNG Vehicles in Utah, from the AP

Natural-gas vehicles hot in Utah, where the fuel is cheap

By PAUL FOY, AP Business WriterFri Apr 25, 3:06 AM ET

Troy Anderson was at the gas pump and couldn't have been happier, filling up at a rate of $5 per tank.

Anderson was paying 63.8 cents per gallon equivalent for compressed natural gas, making Utah a hot market for vehicles that run on the fuel.

It's the country's cheapest rate for compressed gas, according to the Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition, and far less than the $3.56 national average price for a gallon of gasoline.

"I'm totally celebrating," crowed Anderson, a 44-year-old social worker, who picked up a used Honda Civic GX two months ago. "This is the greatest thing. I can't believe more people aren't talking about it. This is practically free."

Personal ownership of natural gas-fueled vehicles in Utah soared from practically nothing a few years ago to an estimated 5,000 vehicles today, overwhelming a growing refueling network, where compressors sometimes can't maintain enough pressure to fill tanks completely for every customer.

"Nobody expected this kind of growth. We got caught by the demand," said Gordon Larsen, a supervisor at Utah utility Questar Gas.

Utah has 91 stations, including 20 open to the public, mostly in the Salt Lake City area. The others are reserved for commercial drivers, such as school districts, bus fleets and big businesses such as a Coca-Cola distributor.

It's possible to drive the interstates between Rock Springs, Wyo., and St. George, Utah — a distance of 477 miles — and find 22 places to pull off and fill up.

California has more stations but prices are much higher there, the equivalent of $2.50 a gallon for gasoline.

"Utah has the cheapest prices by a big margin," said Richard Kolodziej, president of the Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition, whose members include utilities, Honda Motor Co., environmental groups and transit agencies.

Among major utilities outside of Alaska, Questar is the country's cheapest provider of natural gas for home use. It can offer compressed natural gas for cars even cheaper because of a federal tax credit.

The incentives don't stop there. Buyers of new and some used and converted vehicles can claim their own federal and state tax credits totaling up to $7,000 — nearly the extra cost of a CNG-fueled vehicle.

Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, a Republican, paid $12,000 of his own money to modify a state-owned Chevrolet Suburban last June.

"Converting to CNG gives us an opportunity to promote energy security and support a clean-burning alternative," Huntsman said in an e-mail Thursday. "Plus, who can beat running a Suburban on 63 cents a gallon?"

Mike Gaffa, a 39-year-old Continental Airlines reservation clerk, bought a used Ford F-150 pickup for $10,500. The vehicle came with a bonus: a previous owner added three extra tanks that fill the bed of his pickup.

"I don't even keep track of gasoline prices anymore," Gaffa boasted. "You'd be hard-pressed to find another vehicle that can go 600 miles on a fill-up."

And when he runs out of natural gas, he can switch over to a regular gasoline tank for a total range of more than 850 miles.

Utah has caught the attention of Honda, which can't make CNG-equipped Civic GXs fast enough at an Ohio plant. For now, it makes the compact available for sale to individuals only in California and New York, but executives say Utah could be next on their list.

Aside from fleet sales, no other automaker offers a CNG-powered car in the U.S.

Most Utah buyers must turn to the used-car market. They are tracking down vehicles on the Internet, some made earlier by the Detroit automakers. Some dealers here are hauling used CNG vehicles to Utah by the truckload.

"The demand in Utah is huge," Kolodziej said. "It's sucking all the used vehicles from around the country."

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

NGV Industry in a World of Rising Oil Prices

NGV Industry in a World of Rising Oil Prices
Source - Dr Garth Harris, Secretary-General IANGV
Thursday, 13 March 2008
It would appear that the price of oil is going to be $100 per barrel
or more for the foreseeable future. As it's recent meeting, OPEC
decided that while it is not going to cut production, it will not
increase it. It would also appear that there is likely to be a
downturn in the economies all the developed countries which will
naturally lead to reduced demand for oil. However the demand for oil
is increasing in Asia which at least to some extent will counteract
the reduced demand for oil in other parts of the world. In addition
there is some doubt of the ability of OPEC to increase production.

The other part of the equation is the amount of oil which is
available. The BP Statistical Review of World Energy June 2007 gives world oil reserves as 1371 trillion tonnes. This is
the amount of oil in known fields which it is estimated can be
recovered under existing economic and production conditions. The
reserves to production ratio is 41 years. Back in 1980, reserves
were 667 trillion tonnes and have risen fairly steadily since then.

Natural gas on the other hand has known reserves of 1629 trillion
tons of oil equivalent, that is slightly more than oil reserves.
However the reserves to production ratio is significantly higher at
63 years. Natural gas reserves have more than doubled since 1980.

Another issue of rising importance is the increase in price of
commodities, particularly food. This has been brought about by the
drive to convert food crops into energy products such as ethanol and
at least in part promoted by subsidies.

In many countries where there are natural gas reserves, natural gas
supply is likely to be little impediment to the establishment of a
NGV industry. The amount of natural gas which is likely to be used
over say the first 5 years would be very small compared with other
uses of natural gas.

Secondly, the vehicles that would be using natural gas will vary from
country to country. Most large NGV countries have fleets dominated
by light duty vehicles. However heavy duty vehicles are likely to be
of interest in some countries. For instance, heavy duty trucks and
city buses are popular in NGV fleets in countries such as US, UK.
The Port of Long Beach, California is requiring all vehicles
operating in the port to operate on clean fuels by 2012. Heavy
vehicles use large quantities of gas and vehicle manufacturers can
supply new, reliable vehicles. Readers of NGV Global will have seen
articles concerning availability and fleet conversion.

I recently visited Iran to find that with all its oil resources it
has a program to convert all its vehicles, light duty and heavy duty,
to natural gas. Very shortly, only NGVs will be manufactured in
Iran .

Thirdly, natural gas and biomethane are the same fuel. One is
fossil, the other is renewable. Thus establishment of a CNG industry
based on natural gas can lead directly to use of biomethane in
transport without the difficult fuel related problems that face some
other biofuels. This can be regarded as part of the pathway to
hydrogen which is a gaseous fuel using much of the same technology as
CNG both for refueling and in vehicles.

Biomethane is of much interest worldwide at present. The most
popular sources are municipal waste treatment including sewage and
landfills. Sweden is a prominent country with several municipal bus

Given the problems with some "renewable" transport fuels such as
ethanol, biomethane probably has a higher prospect for success than
other biofuels. While most biomethane at present is derived from
waste, it could be made at a large scale using feedstock which is not
competing with food production as in the case of ethanol and using
technologies which are largely already developed. It can be
distributed using the existing natural gas pipe network.

In conclusion, the existing NGV industry should regard the high price
of oil as an opportunity to grow. In some countries the pump price
of CNG is likely to be lower than gasoline or diesel. Natural gas is
widely available in many countries. Different types of vehicles may
be more attractive in some countries than others because of the local
conditions. Natural gas can logically lead to renewable biomethane
and even to hydrogen.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Storing CNG in Corncobs

Storing CNG in Corncobs

Any news about corn as it relates to alternative fuels is usually reserved for ethanol. It turns out that the abundant cash crop has more to offer in the way of clean-burning energy than simply provid­ing a feedstock for fuel.

Researchers from the University of Missouri-Columbia (MU) and the Midwest Research Institute (MRI) in Kansas City have found a way to use corncobs to store natural gas – and at an all-time high density, no less. With corncob waste as a starting material, the researchers have created carbon briquettes with complex nano-scale pores that can store 180 times their own volume of natural gas at a pressure of 500 psi. Significantly, these corncob-based bri­quettes are the first technology to meet the 180:1 storage-to-volume ratio that the U.S. Department of Energy set as a development goal in 2000. A pickup truck equipped with the corncob-based natural gas storage is currently in regular use by the Kansas City Office of Environmental Quality.

The breakthrough is great news for natural gas-powered transpor­tation. The ability to store more energy per volume means increased driving range without sacrificing interior volume. Furthermore, the relatively low 500 psi storage pressure is the same as that of natural gas pipelines, eliminating the need for compression to the 3600 psi used in today’s bulky storage cylinders. The low pressure of this new technology opens the door for flexibility in tank design similar to today’s gasoline tanks – a flat, compact shape that could fit under the passenger floor.

From the HORIZON Solutions Site,

Record-breaking Methane Storage System Derived From Corncobs May Encourage Mass-market Natural Gas Automobiles
Feb 22, 2007, 3:21pm

Researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia and the Midwest Research Institute in Kansas City have developed a method to convert corncob waste into a carbon "sponge" with nanoscale pores. The new material can store large quantities of natural gas and can be formed into a variety of shapes, ideal characteristics for next-generation gas storage tanks on methane-powered automobiles.

Researchers have developed a corncob-derived carbon "sponge" that can store natural gas. Photo by Nicolle Rager Fuller, National Science Foundation

Using corncob waste as a starting material, researchers have created carbon briquettes with complex nanopores capable of storing natural gas at an unprecedented density of 180 times their own volume and at one seventh the pressure of conventional natural gas tanks.

The breakthrough, announced on February 16, 2007 in Kansas City, Mo., is a significant step forward in the nationwide effort to fit more automobiles to run on methane, an abundant fuel that is domestically produced and cleaner burning than gasoline.

Supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Partnership for Innovation program, researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia (MU) and Midwest Research Institute (MRI) in Kansas City developed the technology. The technology has been incorporated into a test bed installed on a pickup truck used regularly by the Kansas City Office of Environmental Quality.

The briquettes are the first technology to meet the 180 to 1 storage to volume target set by the U.S. Department of Energy in 2000, a long-term goal of principal project leader Peter Pfeifer of MU.

"We are very excited about this breakthrough because it may lead to a flat and compact tank that would fit under the floor of a passenger car, similar to current gasoline tanks," said Pfeifer. "Such a technology would make natural gas a widely attractive alternative fuel for everyone."

According to Pfeifer, the absence of such a flatbed tank has been the principal reason why natural gas, which costs significantly less than gasoline and diesel and burns more cleanly, is not yet widely used as a fuel for vehicles.

Standard natural gas storage systems use high-pressure natural gas that has been compressed to a pressure of 3600 pounds per square inch and bulky tanks that can take up the space of an entire car trunk. The carbon briquettes contain networks of pores and channels that can hold methane at a high density without the cost of extreme compression, ultimately storing the fuel at a pressure of only 500 pounds per square inch, the pressure found in natural gas pipelines.

The low pressure of 500 pounds per square inch is central for crafting the tank into any desired shape, so ultimately, fuel storage tanks could be thin-walled, slim, rectangular structures affixed to the underside of the car, not taking up room in the vehicle.

Pfeifer and his colleagues at MU and MRI discovered that that fractal pore spaces (spaces created by repetition of similar patterns at different scales) are remarkably efficient at storing natural gas.

"Our project is the first time a carbon storage material has been made from corncobs, an abundantly available waste product in the Midwest," said Pfeifer. "The carbon briquettes are made from the cobs that remain after the kernels have been harvested. The state of Missouri alone could supply the raw material for more than 10 million cars per year. It would be a unique opportunity to bring corn to the market for alternative fuels--corn kernels for ethanol production, and corncob for natural gas tanks."

The test pickup truck, part of a fleet of more than 200 natural gas vehicles operated by Kansas City, has been in use since mid-October and the researchers are monitoring the technology's performance, from mileage data to measurements of the stability of the briquettes.

In addition to efforts to commercialize the technology, the researchers are now focusing on the next generation briquette, one that will store more natural gas and cost less to produce. Pfeifer believes this next generation of briquette might even hold promise for storing hydrogen.

Natural Gas Vehicle Facts

Provided by the MU-MRI Collaboration

Natural gas is one of the cleanest burning alternative fuels available.

  • In light-duty applications, air emissions from natural gas vehicles are lower than emissions from gasoline-powered vehicles. Carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides, smog-producing gases, are reduced by more than 90 percent and 60 percent, respectively. Carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, is reduced by 30 to 40 percent.
  • In medium- and heavy-duty applications, natural gas engines have shown a more than 90 percent reduction of carbon monoxide and particulate matter and a more than 50 percent reduction of nitrogen oxides, relative to commercial diesel engines.

Source: U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Alternative Fuel Vehicles

Most natural gas used in the U.S. is domestically produced.

  • In 2004, U.S. net imports of natural gas represented only 15 percent of the total amount used, with almost all imports coming from Canada.

Source: U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Alternative Fuel Vehicles

Natural gas is cheaper than gasoline and diesel on an energy-equivalent basis.

  • The national average cost of compressed natural gas (CNG) was 94 cents cheaper than gasoline on an energy-equivalent basis, according the Clean Cities Alternative Fuel Price Report in June 2006. Gasoline was $2.84 per gallon, diesel was $2.98 per gallon, and CNG was $1.90 per gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE).

Source: U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy report,

Natural gas can be produced from renewable sources such as landfills.

  • As municipal solid waste decomposes, it produces carbon dioxide and methane. That methane, the principal component of natural gas, can be captured by landfill gas energy facilities and combusted for energy.

Source: Energy Information Administration,

  • Uncaptured methane is a greenhouse gas that is more than 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Landfill Methane Outreach Program.

  • Capturing methane from all U.S. landfills is equivalent to removing the annual greenhouse-gas emission from 50 million cars, or planting forest on an area 2 times the area of Missouri every year, and could power 4 million homes or 4 million cars annually ("pollutant to renewable energy").

Sources: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Landfill Methane Outreach Program, and Additional calculations by Peter Pfeifer, MU professor of physics

Natural-gas fueled vehicles are functionally comparable to conventionally fueled vehicles.

  • Horsepower, acceleration and cruise speed in natural-gas-powered vehicles are comparable to equivalent conventionally fueled vehicles.
  • Approximately one of every five new U.S. transit buses is powered by natural gas.

Source: U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Alternative Fuel Vehicles,

MU-MRI Low-Pressure Tank Facts

Provided by the MU-MRI Collaboration

  • The MU-MRI low-pressure natural gas tank uses carbon briquettes made from corncobs to store natural gas. The walls of the nanoporous carbon adsorb methane molecules as a high-density fluid. The strong attractive force in the narrow pores lowers the energy of the molecules so that they can be packed much more closely than in the absence of the carbon. Such a tank is called an adsorbed natural gas (ANG) tank.
  • The carbon briquettes can store 180 times their own volume of natural gas, or 118 g of methane per liter of carbon, at 500 pounds per square inch (psi). The best previous carbon could only store 142 times its own volume at 500 psi pressure. The target set by the U.S. Department of Energy is 180 times the storage a material's own volume. The MU-MRI carbon reaches this target for the first time.
  • A conventional high-pressure natural gas tank operates at 3600 pounds per square inch (psi), whereas this low-pressure tank operates at 500 psi. This enables flexibility in tank design because high-pressure tanks require bulky, cylindrical walls, whereas the low-pressure tank can use thinner walls in a variety of shapes. The pressure of 500 psi equals the pressure in natural gas pipelines, which eliminates costly compression of natural gas from 500 psi to 3600 psi in CNG tanks.
  • The technology being tested in this tank would enable car manufacturers to design long, slim, low-pressure tanks to replace the bulky high-pressure tanks in current natural gas vehicles. This would enable them to place the tank underneath the body of the car, whereas the high-pressure tanks are usually placed in a car's trunk, reducing vehicle cargo space.
  • Corncob is an abundant, low-cost, renewable raw material in the Midwest, allowing for production of ANG tanks from domestic sources. The state of Missouri alone could supply the raw material for ANG tanks of 10 million cars per year. Corn could thus serve the alternative fuel economy in two distinct ways--corn kernels for bioethanol production, and corncob for natural-gas tanks.

Source: Calculations by Peter Pfeifer, MU professor of physics, using data from the Corn Refiners Association.

Program Contacts
Sara B. Nerlove, NSF (703) 292-7077

Principal Investigators
Peter Pfeifer, University of Missouri - Columbia (573) 882-2335

Media Contacts
Joshua A. Chamot, NSF (703) 292-7730
Linda Cook, Midwest Research Institute (816) 360-1943
Katherine Kostiuk,
University of Missouri - Columbia (573) 882-3346

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is solely responsible for the contents of this press release of February 16, 2007.

NSF Web Sites:
NSF Home Page:
NSF News:

About the research collaboration: The MU-MRI collaborative is part of a larger cooperative effort called the Alliance for Collaborative Research in Alternative Fuel Technology (ALL-CRAFT), which includes as partners Lincoln University; DBHORNE, LLC; Renewable Alternatives, LLC; the Missouri Biotechnology Association; the Clean Vehicle Education Foundation; the Missouri Department of Natural Resources; and the City of Columbia, Mo. ALL-CRAFT also worked in cooperation with the Kansas City Regional Clean Cities Coalition (KCRCCC).

About PFI: This project was funded by a $600,000 grant from the National Science Foundation's program Partnerships for Innovation, which has the goal of stimulating the transformation of knowledge created by universities into innovations that create new wealth, build strong local, regional and national economies and improve the national well-being. Additional funds totaling more than $400,000 came from MU, MRI, the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Education.

A secondary goal of the Partnership for Innovation is to meet the broad workforce needs of the national innovation enterprise. The collaborative effort between MU and MRI has afforded a number of university students the opportunity to receive hands-on training for a career in research and development. As a result of the exchange, MRI recently hired an MU graduate and a Lincoln University graduate associated with the project team.


Links with detailed information are available on the Horizon Solutions Site:

The categories are:

Agriculture, Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Desertification, Energy, the Environment, Global Climate Change, Human Rights, Industry, Population, Poverty, Public Health, Sustainable Development, Transportation, Waste Management, Water, Organizations and Foundations, Research and Information, Web Directories and other Media, and Horizon Solutions Site Collaborators

Copyright 2003 HORIZON International. Yale University Department of Biology. P. O. Box 208103 New Haven, CT 06520-8103 USA. Tel: 203-432-6266, Fax: 203-432-6161. Email:

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Titan's Surface Organics Surpass Oil Reserves on Earth

This item may mean that at some future date, we will be importing our oil from Titan. How we get it from Saturn, to Low Earth Orbit, to the ground I leave to the more enlightened reader. It also says that there are significant reserves of Natural Gas (methane) on Titan as well. At Titan's distance from the sun, Natural gas is a liquid. This would make any exploitation fairly easy. Just pump the liquid methane out of the sea.

The CNG cars of today may represent a future where we would have our vehicles powered by methane. Again, the technology to get the resources from Titan to Earth would have to be worked out.

However, the prospect of organic compounds on Titan means that at the very least the possibility of life existing on Titan. This would render attempts to exploit any resources moot if we intend to exploit those resources without regard to those possible life forms. A sufficiently unscrupulous future government might have no such qualms.

Titan's Surface Organics Surpass Oil Reserves on Earth
Artist concept of terrain on Titan
An artist's imagination of hydrocarbon pools, icy and rocky terrain on the surface of Saturn's largest moon Titan. Image credit: Steven Hobbs (Brisbane, Queensland, Australia).
› Larger image

Saturn's orange moon Titan has hundreds of times more liquid hydrocarbons than all the known oil and natural gas reserves on Earth, according to new data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft. The hydrocarbons rain from the sky, collecting in vast deposits that form lakes and dunes.

The new findings from the study led by Ralph Lorenz, Cassini radar team member from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Md., are reported in the Jan. 29 issue of the Geophysical Research Letters.

"Titan is just covered in carbon-bearing material -- it's a giant factory of organic chemicals," said Lorenz. "This vast carbon inventory is an important window into the geology and climate history of Titan."

At a balmy minus 179 degrees Celsius (minus 290 degrees Fahrenheit), Titan is a far cry from Earth. Instead of water, liquid hydrocarbons in the form of methane and ethane are present on the moon's surface, and tholins probably make up its dunes. The term "tholins"was coined by Carl Sagan in 1979 to describe the complex organic molecules at the heart of prebiotic chemistry.

Cassini has mapped about 20 percent of Titan's surface with radar. Several hundred lakes and seas have been observed, with each of several dozen estimated to contain more hydrocarbon liquid than Earth's oil and gas reserves. The dark dunes that run along the equator contain a volume of organics several hundred times larger than Earth's coal reserves.

Proven reserves of natural gas on Earth total 130 billion tons, enough to provide 300 times the amount of energy the entire United States uses annually for residential heating, cooling and lighting. Dozens of Titan's lakes individually have the equivalent of at least this much energy in the form of methane and ethane.

Part of an animation showing lakes on Titan
This movie, comprised of several detailed images taken by Cassini's radar instrument, shows bodies of liquid near Titan's north pole.

› Video and full caption

"This global estimate is based mostly on views of the lakes in the northern polar regions. We have assumed the south might be similar, but we really don't yet know how much liquid is there," said Lorenz. Cassini's radar has observed the south polar region only once, and only two small lakes were visible. Future observations of that area are planned during Cassini's proposed extended mission.

Scientists estimated Titan's lake depth by making some general assumptions based on lakes on Earth. They took the average area and depth of lakes on Earth, taking into account the nearby surroundings, like mountains. On Earth, the lake depth is often 10 times less than the height of nearby terrain.

"We also know that some lakes are more than 10 meters or so deep because they appear literally pitch-black to the radar. If they were shallow we'd see the bottom, and we don't," said Lorenz.

The question of how much liquid is on the surface is an important one because methane is a strong greenhouse gas on Titan as well as on Earth, but there is much more of it on Titan. If all the observed liquid on Titan is methane, it would only last a few million years, because as methane escapes into Titan's atmosphere, it breaks down and escapes into space. If the methane were to run out, Titan could become much colder. Scientists believe that methane might be supplied to the atmosphere by venting from the interior in cryovolcanic eruptions. If so, the amount of methane, and the temperature on Titan, may have fluctuated dramatically in Titan's past.

"We are carbon-based life, and understanding how far along the chain of complexity towards life that chemistry can go in an environment like Titan will be important in understanding the origins of life throughout the universe," added Lorenz.

Cassini's next radar flyby of Titan is on Feb. 22, when the radar instrument will observe the Huygens probe landing site.

For images and more information visit: and .

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. The Cassini orbiter was designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The radar instrument was built by JPL and the Italian Space Agency, working with team members from the United States and several European countries.

Carolina Martinez 818-354-9382
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Why does Iran need nuclear power?

End of Fuel Rationing in Sight for Iranians – Natural Gas Vehicle Use Reducing Demand on Gasoline

Source - Reuters - Through NGV Global

Thursday, 20 December 2007 Iran, Teheran

Iranian motorist could see and end to fuel rationing by March with increased use of natural gas vehicles contributing to reduced demand for gasoline. Reuters quotes Deputy Oil Minister Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh as saying that the government was working to increase natural gas vehicle and refuelling station numbers in response to demand from motorists. Gasoline rationing was introduced earlier this year to reduce demand from imported refined fuel and to ease the fiscal strain caused by heavy government subsidies.

The rationing has reportedly reduced demand for gasoline by almost a third and may be eased from 100 litres per month to 120 litres per month soon.

Iran has a long term plan underway for massive use of natural gas vehicles, rising at the rate of 15,000 vehicles per month.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

CNG in EU Report on Alternative Fuels

Natural Gas (CNG, LNG) and Autogas (LPG)

Natural gas:
• Comparatively clean burning process
• Commercialisation of CNG could pave the way for other gaseous
fuels such as biogas (biomethane) and/or hydrogen
• CNG could be mixed with biogas (biomethane)
• Comparatively clean burning process
• Is easily available at low costs
• Commercialisation could pave the way for other gaseous fuels

• Natural gas and LPG are based on fossil feedstock
• Availability of natural gas: transport sector might have to
compete with other sectors; Europe might have to compete with other
regions (China, India)

Central Controversies
• Could a gaseous infrastructure pave the way to a so-called

• To what extend does CNG or LPG open the way for a market
penetration of Biomethane or DME and, thus, serve as a keystep on the
way to clean fuels.

Source and characteristics

The central difference between Natural Gas and Liquefied Petroleum Gas
(LPG) is that Natural Gas can be found in nature whereas LPG is an
artificial by-product from refining processes or can be extracted from
natural gas. LPG, also called Autogas, is a mixture of butane, propane
and low amounts of other gases. It commonly fuels Otto ICEs but can
also be used in diesel engines.

Further, it is important to note that LPG, propane and butane are
"automatically" generated during the extraction of natural gas and the
processing of methane. So, there is some flexibility in terms of

Natural gas can often be found beneath oil basins. It is a gaseous
fossil fuel consisting primarily of methane (CH4). It nearly needs no
processing for the use in automobiles which is a decisive advantage in
terms of feasibility. The actual composition of Natural Gas may vary
widely between countries, depending on the gas origin. Since the
energy density of natural gas is low compared to diesel, the fuel has
to be stored in compressed form as so called Compressed Natural Gas
(CNG) or liquefied (LNG) at a very low temperature of -161°C.
Accordingly, LNG offers a higher energy density than CNG, but CNG is
much easier to handle.

CNG can be transported in pipelines over long distances; the transport
of LNG in specialised "reefer" vessels becomes more and more common
but is comparatively costly. In terms of security the storage of both
CNG and LPG is not dangerous.

Autogas can be compressed to a liquid at very low pressures. In this
form it is used in conventional spark-ignition engines with only small
alterations. The main modification required is the provision of an
alternative fuel tank and supply to the engine (STEPS, 2005). Both
Natural gas and LPG offer high octane ratings.

Deliverability, competitiveness and contribution to energy security

The natural gas and LPG pathways are already commercialised and
compete with each other as well as with conventional gasoline engines
– even if market shares in the EU are (still) marginal. Especially
bivalent CNG-cars which can be powered by conventional fuels as well
as by CNG have the potential to increase market shares quickly. For
example the Opel Combo CNG has a 200 bar CNG-tank which allows a range
of about 360 km. If CNG runs empty the vehicles switches automatically
to gasoline which is stored in a 15 litre tank and provides for
another 150 -170 km. Driving performance of both fuels is equal.
"There are more than 4.7 million natural gas vehicles (NGVs) in
operation around the world today; nearly 557,000 in
Europe alone. These include passenger cars, light vans, delivery
trucks, garbage trucks and urban buses" (ENGVA 2006;

Concerning the market diffusion of CNG and LPG, the situation in
Europe is not homogeneous. A crucial factor is the number of existing
filling stations. In order to enable a successful transition to a
mass-market product CNG and LPG need a dense network of filling
stations. Whilst LPG is rather widespread in several European
countries, CNG filling stations might be hard to find in many regions.
In addition, stations are often situated in larger cities or in
industrial areas but not along the highway network. On the other hand,
there are countries such as Portugal, Italy and Germany where a
relative dense network of CNG-fuelling stations is currently emerging
(see figure 8). For example in Germany the energy supplier E.ON
announced in autumn 2006 that it will build 150 CNG pumps at filling
stations along German Highways.

Many observers see natural gas as the next dominant fossil fuel on a
global scale. From the supply side, a coverage of, for example, 10% of
general fuel demand by CNG would not add too much to the overall
consumption of natural gas in Europe. On the other hand CNG-
contribution to the energy security is clearly restricted by the fact
that natural gas is a fossil
resource which is not available endlessly (see DWV 2006, 12). Natural
Gas and also LPG are imported to a large extent in the EU from
politically sensitive regions which significantly reduce their
potential contribution to Europe's mid-term energy security. A large
scale use of natural gas in the transport sector would lead to an
overall increase in demand which has to be satisfied – at affordable
prices. Furthermore, if you consider the phasing out of coal and
nuclear power, the overall demand for natural gas is expected to grow
strongly. Transport has to compete with the generation of electricity
and heating.

Regarding LPG the JRC study points out: "The net effect of an increase
in the use of LPG for automotive purpose would be to increase
imports." (JRC, 2006, 30). Of course, the same is true for natural
gas. LPG is popular because of its usually low costs. Currently
several automakers (Citroen, Daewoo, Fiat, Ford, Peugeot, Renault,
Saab, Volvo and others) sell models
equipped with bi-fuel models that run equally well on both LPG and
gasoline. It is comparatively simple to retrofit a vehicle with LPG
equipment. In most cases LPG vehicles are bivalent which allows them
to drive on both, petrol and LPG.
stations are rather widespread in Europe and that around 4.4 million
vehicles are fuelled with
LPG. However, as the STEPS report states, "the penetration on the
total vehicle fleet of LPG
has limited chances, given the nature of the resource itself, which
may be seen either as a
"surplus" in upstream oil production or as a by product of refining."
(STEPS, 2005)

An important detail: Both LPG and natural gas vehicles are exempt from
the London congestions charge. The mid-term effect of such regulations
should not be underestimated. If similar regulations are applied to
other European cities, market penetration of those fuels might become

Energy balance, emissions and contribution to climate security

As a fossil fuel, CNG and LPG face similar problems as oil: they are
finite resources and contribute to global warming. The advantages of
natural gas as a fuel are the comparatively clean burning process and
the low content of carbon. Significant reductions of particulate

NOx and CO emission are possible. Related to GHG emissions, balancing
is not easy and depends on various factors. The JRC (2006, 4)
comments: "The WTW GHG emissions for CNG lie between gasoline and
diesel, approaching diesel in the best case". The same study estimates
that beyond 2010 GHG-emissions become lower than those of diesel since
greater engine efficiency gains are predicted for vehicles equipped
with engines that are optimised for the use of CNG. The STEPS report
points out (2005, 51): "Natural Gas has nearly zero sulphur level and,
thus, negligible sulphate emissions, while causing low particulate
emissions because of its low carbon to hydrogen ratio. Evaporative
emissions are low too, requiring little control.

Due to its low carbon-to-hydrogen ratio, it produces less carbon
dioxide per GJ of fuel than either gasoline or diesel. However,
exhaust emissions of methane, which is a greenhouse gas, are
relatively high. It has low cold start emissions due to its gaseous
state and a superior antiknock behaviour due to its high octane
factor, thus allowing higher compression ratios, favouring engine
efficiency and operation under turbocharged conditions".

Primarily because of the lower carbon content LPG induces less exhaust
emissions than petrol. Also on a WTW-basis, CO2 benefits of LPG are
significant compared to those of petrol.

LPG's well-to-wheel energy consumption falls below that of gasoline
but above that of diesel (STEPS 2005). Regarding WTW energy and GHG
emissions balance, the JRC study concludes for LPG coming from the
Middle East: "LPG's GHG emissions lie between diesel and CNG and
energy between gasoline and diesel. Although not explicitly shown in
the graph,
transport distance has a significant impact, representing about 25% of
the WTT energy in this case" (JRC, 2006, 30).

Additional Applications and pathways

Both, CNG and LPG, can be mixed with biomass derived gases (Biogas and
DME; see Biofuels section)

Blends of hydrogen and natural gas are discussed and tested (see
hydrogen chapter).


CNG technology is feasible in the transport sector and has the
potential to bring at least mid term improvements in terms of energy
security and GHG emissions – whereby it is crucial that real
"gas-engines" are being developed. But in particular its possible
contribution to energy security strongly depends on the overall demand
on natural gas. It is likely, that CNG
vehicles will become at least established for niche applications (e.g.
in larger fleets, in inner cities). LPG is a relatively uncomplicated
technology. It offers environmental benefits at relatively low costs.
It is becoming rather popular in several European countries. Since
both, CNG and LPG, are based on fossil feedstock they must be
considered as bridging technologies. They might help to pave the way
for "cleaner" gaseous fuels such as hydrogen, biomethane or DME.

"The paradigm shift from liquid to gaseous fuels will create enormous
new business opportunities—initially mainly for methane-powered
vehicles, but eventually also for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles" Peter
Boisen, former Volvo executive and chairman of ENGV Europe; quoted in
ENGV 2006.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Listing your CNG vehicle on E-bay

I posted this on E-bay after looking at too many listings that just didn't seem to be right. Especially after the 200th time that someone listed their Propane car as a CNG. If you list your vehicle on E-bay, these are some ideas and conventions to follow.

Read all this article before listing. All information here is important and you should take great care listing.

You've decided to sell that CNG vehicle you have. Truth be told, either you thought you were buying something different, got something strange at auction, selling something for someone, or you just need to get that car off the lot that isn't selling. OK. First things first.

CNG stands for Compressed Natural Gas. CNG is not Propane!!! Natural gas is the same gas that comes out of your stove if you live in an urban area. CNG is not Propane!! (This is a pet peeve of mine, so I am emphasing it). There are great differences between the gasses and they are NOT interchangeable. They have different tankage structures, refueling hookups and the like. Propane is chemically different from Natural Gas. CNG is Methane and can only be compressed as a gas. Propane becomes a liquid when compressed which is why its officially known as LPG (Liquified Petrolium Gas). There ARE LPG vehicles out there including many models which were also made as CNG cars. LPG is derived from Natural gas as part of the refining process. Propane is commonly used in Bar-b-Que grills and forklifts. (As an aside, using LPG tanks for CNG systems and Vice versa is Extremely Dangerous and is not recommended).

In the alternative fuels boom in the late 1990's, many manufactures built cars in the factory which could run on CNG. Honda, Ford, GM, Chrysler, and Toyota featured models that are OEM vehicles. However, this ceased with lack of Federal government participation. GSA stopped buying them so the manufacturers stopped making them. However, many are in the aftermarket and you are seeing fleets getting rid of their CNG vehicles. Many airport fleets, taxi fleets and city governments bought CNG's as well and you can see them on the auction block as well. Honda is the only manufacturer which is still making CNG vehicles, a dedicated CNG known as the Civic GX.

There are two types of CNG vehicles, dedicated or "bi-fuel". Dedicated vehicles function solely on CNG. Bi-Fuel vehicles can function on both fuels.

There are also two compression ratios for fueling Most Vehicles manufactured before 1999-2000 are 3000 psi fueling standard and 3,600 psi afterwards. This is important to note in your listing.

Also, the expiration date on your tanks is important as well. Tanks from the manufacturer are certified for 12-15 years or 100,000 miles whichever comes first. Make sure to check your tank, there should be a label on the tank to locate this information. The expiration is necessary due to the high pressure that the tanks endure. An old tank can burst and that will give you a bad day.

Fuel locating is important. Its important that you know this as it makes operating the vehicle more difficult. If you have a dedicated CNG vehicle you must know where the CNG stations are. Since a dedicated vehicle MUST have CNG to run, you have to know the locations of stations in your area. If you live in an area where CNG is prevelant such as California, the Phoenix or Tuscon Metro areas, Utah, DFW Metro, Oklahoma, and some of the areas in the Northeast, then you can check with your local area to find out. Your Gas company would have information, they may even have a station. Your local Clean Cities Collation site will know where you can get the gas. Or you can check the the government EERE website at

A company called Fuelmaker sells refueling appliances for your home. This allows your vehicle to be refueled at home overnight using your regular natural gas hookups. Fuelmaker is only really available in California as they market their appliances with Honda in conjunction with their sales, however you can check with them Visit the website at

Checking out your CNG vehicle is probably important. Locating a certified CNG mechanic can be difficult and probably you can check at the local Clean Cities Collation website or office. If you can't, then its probably best that you note that on you listing if you wish. Some dealers might perform a check if they have a CNG Mechanic. Ford Fleet services has a website where you can locate a certified dealer which may have a mechanic:

Inspecting your CNG cylinders is important as well. They must be inspected every 36,000 miles and replaced at 100,000 miles. A list of inspectors maybe located at the following website:

Now after all that, lets go through the advantages and disadvantages that can sell your vehicle.

Your CNG vehicle has some great advantages including the fact that CNG is CHEAPER. Depending on the subsidies, CNG can range from $1.00 to $1.50 cheaper than the equivalent amount of gasoline. Check your local rates. If you get it at home its even cheaper than at the pump.

Next, CNG burns much cleaner than most fuels. The oil will come out looking much the same way it went in. There are no soot deposits as in regular gasoline. Your service interval with oil changes is greater 6,000 to 12,000 miles vs 3,000 miles for regular gasoline engines. However, it is recommended that you still change the oil due to viscosity breakdown. CNG does burn hotter, which does contribute to viscosity breakdown, so its probably best you change it regularally still. With proper care, a CNG engine will last forever, much like a diesel engine.

Also, its clean burning, in fact much cleaner than any alternative fuel which is why the government was interested in it. In California CNG vehicles qualify for HOV lanes as a hybrid. (This may have changed of late, check with the DMV and make SURE that they know they are dealing with CNG). This is an environmentally friendly vehicle and is a good selling point.

Another point is that CNG is also produced entirely in the United States so you aren't giving money overseas for imported oil.

The disadvantages are as mentioned before the lack of fueling infrastructure.

Another disadvantage is that due to its being compressed gas, the range is limited because you have to have the huge tanks. On the passenger vehicles, this results in a smaller trunk space, especially if you have long range tanks installed. Most CNG's suffer from the lack of range and if you have a dedicated CNG vehicle, well you have to be towed to the nearest station if you run out. It might also tie you to your local area if you have a station, so there is no long trips. Also, if you purchase you vehicle, and there is no local stations or there is not a station in a practical route, you may need to have the vehicle transported.

Finding maintenance is also a problem. Although CNG and regular gasoline cars share many parts, there are some dedicated systems that you have to have maintained by a certified CNG mechanic. Check the links above for certified mechanics and inspectors.

All in all, you have a good car in spite of all the disadvantages. Promote the advantages and your vehicle will sell. Good luck.