Why natural gas?
A gallon of gasoline (E10 mixture) emits 18.95 lbs. of CO2 on combustion compared to a gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) of natural gas which emits 14.22 lbs. of CO2 on combustion, resulting in a reduction of 4.73 lbs. of CO2 for every gallon of gasoline replaced. Many Americans commute an average of 70 miles, total, per day. A bi-fuel vehicle (gasoline/natural gas) that is fueled at home or at a private depot, will operate approximately 75% on natural gas throughout a typical year. A typical 15,000 mile year would be powered by natural gas over 11,250 miles. At an average of 20 MPG, this vehicle will travel 11,250 miles and consume 563 gallons of gasoline. When replaced with natural gas - CO2 emissions are reduced by 2,661 lbs. per vehicle per year for an 18.72% CO2 reduction per vehicle per year!
For every 250,000 bi-fuel natural gas passenger cars on the road in the U.S. (only 0.1% of all registered vehicles), 665,156,250 lbs. (301,795 metric tons) of CO2 reduction is achieved!
A gallon of diesel emits 22.38 lbs. of CO2 on combustion compared to a diesel gallon equivalent (DGE) of natural gas which emits 16.22 lbs. of CO2 on combustion, resulting in a reduction of 6.17 lbs. of CO2 for gallon of diesel replaced. A typical heavy duty truck travels 100,000 miles per year at an average rate of 7 MPG. Configured as a dual-fuel truck (mixture of diesel and natural gas) – which is a low cost conversion that can be done quickly (that fuels with a private depot low pressure appliance) – that same truck will operate approximately 45% on natural gas throughout a typical year. Consuming 45% natural gas, this truck will replace 6,429 gallons of diesel and achieve a reduction of CO2 emissions of 39,659 lbs. per vehicle per year for a 12.40% CO2 reduction per dual fuel truck per year! (NOTE: a mono-fuel natural gas truck would achieve a 27.57% CO2 reduction pre truck per year).
For Every 10,000 dual-fuel natural gas trucks on the road in the U.S. (only 0.1% of approximately all trucks on U.S. roads), 396,591,429 lbs. (179,942 metric tons) of CO2 reduction is achieved.
Natural Gas Economics
According to the US Energy Information Administration, recoverable natural gas in the United State alone is between 2.5 and 4.5 quadrillion cubic feet or enough to power the entire country’s energy needs for between 100 and 200 years. The EIA Annual Energy Outlook 2013 With Projections To 2040 forecasts years of natural gas price stability at around $4.00 per MCF, with the potential to rise to $7.95 per MCF but not until close to 2040. This forecast is based on various assumptions and the EIA also indicates that future discoveries could keep prices lower.
The American Gas Association’s (“AGA”) in its recent report The Promise of Natural Gas, published in August of 2012, forecast natural gas prices to remain in the range of $4.00 per MCF to $6.00 per MCF for the next decade and possibly beyond. The report concluded:
- “The country has experienced a transformational shift in the perceived role of natural gas - from an energy source sometimes seen as unreliable and scarce 10 years ago, to one that is now recognized as an essential component of a clean and secure energy portfolio. Natural gas will heat our homes, run our vehicles, generate electricity and partner with renewable energy sources for decades to come.”
- “This abundance of home-grown natural gas provides an opportunity to satisfy significant new demand at affordable prices well into the future.”
Natural Gas Environmental Signature
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) reported the following finding relative to CNG (which would also apply to low pressure ANG):
- “Although CNG is a flammable gas, it has a narrow flammability range, making it an inherently safe fuel. Strict safety standards make CNG vehicles as safe as gasoline-powered vehicles. In the event of a spill or accidental release, CNG poses no threat to land or water; it is non-toxic. CNG also disperses rapidly, minimizing ignition risk relative to gasoline. Natural gas is lighter than air and will not pool as a liquid or vapor on the ground.”
- NGV’s are clean. The EPA also highlighted the following benefits of natural gas compared to gasoline as a vehicle fuel:
- 90% - 97% reduction in carbon monoxide emissions
- 25% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions
- 35% - 60% reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions
- Potential reduction of non-methane hydrocarbon emissions by 50% - 75%
- Emits fewer toxic and carcinogenic pollutants
- Emits little or no particulate matter
- Eliminates evaporative emissions
ANG versus CNG
- Significantly lower capital needed for fueling infrastructure (a minimum of 40% for most applications)
- Superior fueling operational and maintenance economics (a savings in the U.S. an estimated $0.20 to $0.30 per gallon equivalent)
- Conformity with the vehicle (better use of space displaced on the vehicle)