Compressed natural gas, or CNG, is natural gas under pressure which remains clear, odourless, and non-corrosive – and can be used as a cheaper, greener, and more efficient alternative to the traditional petrol and diesel fuels for vehicles.
CNG is comprised mostly of methane gas (80% to 90%) which, like gasoline, produces engine power when mixed with air and fed into your engine’s combustion chamber. CNG is low density and is compressed up to 200 bar pressure so that it can be stored in a larger capacity in the fuel tank. Hence, it is named Compressed Natural Gas.
When CNG reaches the combustion chamber, it mixes with air, is ignited by a spark and the and the energy from the explosion moves the vehicle. Although vehicles can use natural gas as either a liquid or a gas, most vehicles use the gaseous form compressed to 3,000 psi.
Some salient benefits of CNG are as below:
- CNG is economical and one of the preferred alternative fuel sources for vehicles today
- CNG is pollution-free and is a clean-burning fuel
- CNG is colorless, odorless, non-toxic and non-carcinogenic
- CNG is lighter than air, hence in case of leakage CNG disperses quickly into the air instead of on the ground, reducing the risk of fire and ground contamination
This natural gas is mixed with an odorant to add flavour similar to the odour of LPG from a domestic cylinder so as to facilitate detection of its leakage.
CNG engines run more quietly due to the higher octane rating of CNG over gasoline and they produce less exhaust emissions. Harmful emissions such as carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2 and nitrous oxide (N2O) can be reduced by as much as 95% when compared to gasoline powered vehicles.
CNG components are designed and made to international standards and are monitored to ensure safe operation. CNG fuel systems are also sealed, which prevents any spill or evaporation losses.