United Technologies Research Center provides exclusive license to Adsorbed Natural Gas Products to develop world’s first conformable natural gas vehicle storage tank



EAST HARTFORD, Connecticut, Feb. 4, 2016 – United Technologies Research Center (UTRC), the innovation engine of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX), and Adsorbed Natural Gas Products, Inc. (ANGP) today announced an exclusive licensing agreement allowing ANGP to use UTRC’s patent-pending technology to develop and produce the world’s first commercially viable conformable adsorbent-based low pressure natural gas (ANG) storage tank for motor vehicles. The license applies to non-metal composite tanks containing activated carbon adsorbents at operating pressures of up to 1,000 psi. 

The agreement addresses a 30-year industry need to build a market for natural gas-powered vehicles within the United States, indicated Bob Bonelli, ANGP co-founder and chief executive officer.  

“Natural gas is a much cleaner and lower cost alternative to gasoline and diesel as a transportation fuel,” he noted. “While it is making inroads as a vehicle fuel source in the U.S. –  through transit buses and garbage trucks – making it a commercially feasible option for mass market application has been primarily hampered by the large, bulky cylinders required to house the highly pressurized fuel… which adds weight and leaves minimal useful storage space in a passenger car or light-duty truck.”

ANGP has addressed this barrier by using an adsorbent material (activated carbon) capable of storing large quantities of gas at a far lower pressure (<1,000 psi) than the 3,600 psi typically used for compressed natural gas (CNG) cylinders. 

“The lower pressure makes natural gas filling stations more cost-effective because the amount of compression required is much less than that required for conventional CNG tanks. This translates into smaller pumping equipment, resulting in lower capital and operating costs,” said Bonelli. “When combined with UTRC’s innovative conformable tank design, the resultant product allows us to reduce weight, increase storage space, and improve fuel efficiency.”

According to Dr. David Parekh, corporate vice president, Research, and director, UTRC, UTRC began developing its conformable CNG tank in 2012 under the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) Methane Opportunities for Vehicular Energy (MOVE) program. 

“UTRC’s objective under this program was to develop a conformable modular tank concept based on topology-optimized structures, and state-of-the-art materials and manufacturing technologies,” he explained. “We are eager to transition our successful technology advancements under the MOVE program into a commercial product and anticipate working closely with ANGP in 2016 and beyond as it builds the market for ANG vehicles.”

“The industry has been waiting more than three decades for the union of low-pressure adsorbed natural gas technology and a conformable storage tank,” said Bonelli. “UTRC’s conformable tank provides 30 percent more storage capacity than multiple cylinders occupying the same envelope. The design is ideal for lower pressure ANG applications, enabling thinner tank walls and, therefore, lower material costs. With these benefits, ANGP looks forward to achieving the industry’s goal of mass market acceptance with its total system solution for natural gas as an automotive fuel.”  

About UTRC

As the innovation hub of United Technologies Corp. (UTC), United Technologies Research Center (UTRC) supports the development of new technologies and capabilities across the company and collaborates with external research organizations, universities and government agencies globally to push the boundaries of science and technology. UTRC is headquartered in East Hartford, Connecticut, with additional operations at its affiliate in Berkeley, California. UTRC subsidiaries also carry out research and development work in Shanghai, China; Rome, Italy; and Cork, Ireland.  UTC, based in Farmington, Connecticut, provides high-technology systems and services to the building and aerospace industries. Find out what it means to Be Curious at www.utrc.utc.com.

Acknowledgment: “The information, data, or work presented herein was funded in part by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), U.S. Department of Energy, under Award Number DE-AR0000254.”

Disclaimer: ““The information, data, or work presented herein was funded in part by an agency of the United States Government. Neither the United States Government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government or any agency thereof. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government or any agency thereof.”

About ANGP

Adsorbed Natural Gas Products, Inc. (ANGP) designs, develops and manufactures on-board low pressure adsorbed natural gas (ANG) storage technology, and related products, for all classes of motor vehicles. The unique ANGP business model of working through a coalition of major corporations, each with specific competencies and global infrastructure, assures the market of the best combination of science, technology and manufacturing. ANGP has one main objective: to be the leading motor vehicle ANG technology company, providing products that are disruptive, enabling and manufactured to the highest standards of safety, performance and reliability. For more about ANGP, please visit www.angpinc.com.

For more information, contact:

United Technologies Research Center
Laura Stevens, Communications

Matt Bonelli, Vice President