could our cars and how is it done to change our cars and mass transit buses to compressed natural gas
This place has a phone number and might provide your answers.
Tt’s one all over. I just got back from Brazil and since the first oil crisis in 1974 they not only have ethanol (from sugar cane) fuelling stations but also GNV or natural gas (CNG)filling stations. My driver had a CNG vehicle with a big tnkk in the trunk. Some vehicles are dual fuel, but out there that’s not really necesary.
Be prepared for nmore frequent fuelling stops and a smaller usable trunk space.
Do you mean you personally or we as a society?
It’s mainly an issue of a lack of infrastructure and the fact that, when you account for the lower energy content, it’s not really that much cheaper than other fuels.
Just be careful:
"Father’s Do-It-Yourself Natural Gas Kit for SUV Nearly Asphyxiates His 4 Children
Four children in Utah were hospitalized last week after inhaling natural gas inside a Chevrolet Suburban, police reported. The incident occurred in Orem on Nov. 11 while the children’s father refueled the Suburban, a gasoline-powered vehicle that he converted to run on compressed natural gas. The father had done much of the conversion work himself and the CNG fuel tank, which was improperly installed inside the SUV’s passenger compartment, had apparently leaked, police said. Natural gas is not poisonous, but it does displace normal air, including oxygen necessary for human survival. The children were taken to a hospital and released after a short stay. Do-it-yourself CNG conversions are very popular in Utah, where demand for the gaseous fossil fuel is the cheapest in the country at less than 90 cents per gasoline gallon equivalent. By an odd confluence of public policy and private initiative, Utah has become the first state in the country to experience broad consumer interest in the idea of running cars on natural gas.
State government controls the price of natural gas in Utah, and private industry has created an fairly decent infrastructure of CNG fueling stations throuhgout the state. Questar Gas, the public utility, estimates the number of CNG vehicles on Utah roads at 6,000 and growing by several hundred a month."
The only real problem is energy density. You don’t go very far on a tankful and it takes a fair amount of time to refuel. But for commuter cars that can live with a range of 80 or 100 miles CNG will work just fine.
Many many buses across the country are already running on Compressed Natural Gas. It’s very doable. And it doesn’t cost a lot to do it…
HOWEVER…There are some major disadvantages. First off just converting your current vehicle over you’ll notice a significant drop in performance and gas mileage. About 20-30% decrease in both. Second…there are not a lot of places you can go to fill up the tanks. One city I knew that switched all their buses over to Natural gas just bought the conversion kit. Some of the buses which ran on natural gas couldn’t do certain routes because fully loaded they couldn’t make it up the hills on the route. The new buses they bought were already designed to run on natural gas so the manufacturer put in bigger more power engines to account for the decreased in performance. Now with the bigger engines running on natural gas they have about the same performance as the gas powered buses with the smaller engines…although the gas mileage is now about 50% less then the gas powered buses.
One added benefit is you can increase your oil change interval because natural gas burns so clean it doesn’t pollute the oil. Some companies that use NG reported oil change intervals of 20k miles. Spark plugs also last a lot longer.
Caddyman and MikeinNH are correct. The major differences are (a) less range (tank hold less energy than gasoline), (2) decreased power from an equivalent engine, and (III) lack of fueling stations. None of these are necessary deficiencies, but require a rethinking and redesign of the cars and the gas distribution system to use it.
T. Boone Pickens (a very successful Texas oilman for 50 years and author of the “Pickens Plan”) advocates getting off gasoline (70% of which is imported from foreign countries who hate our guts) and converting our transportation system (including cars) to natural gas which the USA has plenty of. There are also other components of his plan, see http://www.pickensplan.com/didyouknow/ .
In my opinion, natural gas powered cars are a way to get off the middle east olil addiction we have, at least in the short term. Long term, we have to go to a less polluting transportation energy source like electricity. However, current electric car technology is not yet able to replace gasoline-powered cars. Natural gas would provide a bridge from today to the day when they can.
One other thing…The gas tanks. Where to put them. They are hugh. Expect to loose your trunk.