The world we live in today relies heavily on diesel fuel, but due to environmental concerns and cost efficiency, more and more industries are turning to CNG and LPG fuel. In the last decade, we’ve seen new applications for natural gas emerge in the transportation, retail and industrial sectors.
You may have even seen the blue diamond CNG sticker on commercial vehicles and mass transit busses and wondered, “What is CNG gas?
CNG stands for compressed natural gas. It is the gaseous product of petroleum and is the first product that is separated during the distillation process. CNG is odorless, tasteless and non-toxic, and is made up of 93.05% methane, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, propane and traces of ethane. It is an environmentally clean alternative fuel, as its combustion process emits a lower percentage of greenhouse gases when compared to other fuels.
While CNG fuel won’t give you the same amount of power that would come from diesel fuel, it certainly has its advantages. CNG has a high octane rating that provides a high compression ratio and is adaptable to modern engines. The combustion of CNG produces less carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen. Overall, this type of gas can help in reducing pollution, as it is a clean burning fuel.
LPG fuel, or liquefied petroleum gas, is a liquefied gas and is a byproduct derived while extracting crude petroleum. LPG weighs twice as much as air and is colorless, odorless and is a highly flammable explosive gas. It is comprised of propane mixed with butane, traces of propylene and butylene.
One of the advantages of LPG is that it emits less hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and oxides of nitrogen. It also has a high octane rating and increases engine longevity. The fuel weight-to-mileage of LPG is equal to that of gasoline-operated vehicles.
CNG and LPG fuel also have both similarities and differences. While CNG is comprised of methane, LPG is comprised of propane and butane. CNG is typically used as a substitute for gasoline in automobiles, while LPG is often used in the industrial, refrigeration, agricultural and catering industries. It is also used to power cooking and heating in homes, and like CNG, can be used as automobile fuel.
CNG releases less greenhouse gas, while LPG releases carbon dioxide, but is still cleaner than gasoline. In the case of a spill, CNG quickly dissipates, whereas LPG will settle on the ground. In general, CNG is considered safer than LPG, since LPG is difficult to disperse.