Compressed Natural Gas FAQs
What is Compressed Natural Gas?
Natural gas is a plentiful resource that is domestically produced and is less expensive than gasoline or diesel. Natural gas is widely and safely distributed throughout the US via local distribution companies (LDCs) by a network of low pressure, underground pipelines; however, it must be compressed to a high pressure (typically 3600 psi) for use in vehicles so that the fuel tank is of convenient size.
What is Renewable Natural Gas?
- RNG is an ultra-clean and ultra low-carbon natural gas alternative. As organic waste breaks down it emits methane gas, called biogas, that can be processed to meet natural gas pipeline quality specifications. Biogas is a mixture of carbon dioxide and hydrocarbons, primarily methane gas, from the biological decomposition of organic materials.
- RNG is sometimes referred to as ‘biomethane,’ a related term. Biomethane is biogas-derived, high-BTU gas that is predominantly methane after the biogas is upgraded to remove most of the contaminants and majority of the carbon dioxide and nitrogen found in biogas.
- Renewable natural gas is biomethane that is upgraded to natural gas pipeline quality standards such that it may blend with, or substitute for, geologic natural gas.
Why does it make good business sense to use natural gas as fuel for fleets?
Many areas in the world have abundant natural gas resources, including North America. Access to this fuel is not impacted by regional instability in some parts of the world. As natural gas production has increased, due to more efficient and cost-effective drilling methods, ample supply has kept natural gas prices low and stable. In comparison, gasoline and diesel prices are prone to fluctuation. In addition, natural gas flows by pipeline, which is typically uninterrupted during major storm cycles. This adds significant resiliency to fleets fueled by natural gas.
How does CNG or RNG help achieve clean energy/sustainability goals?
CNG provides fleet owners and operators with a fuel that produces significantly less emissions than gasoline or diesel. Renewable natural gas (RNG) can also be utilized to actually produce negative carbon emissions. In addition to a reduction in carbon emissions, CNG engines greatly reduce the emission of PM 2.5 and NOx, precisely those pollutants that have been shown to directly harm health and result in higher asthma rates. This is not only better for our communities and the environment, but it can help you meet corporate or project sustainability goals. As an added benefit, vehicles that use CNG in states with low carbon fuel standards like California can benefit financially from low-carbon fuel credits.
How can a mobile natural gas compressor assist in the adoption or expansion of natural gas powered vehicles in commercial fleet operations?
A mobile compressor like the GoFlo® CNG80 mobile compressor allows fleet operators to refuel vehicles at any time and any place where a source of natural gas is available.The GoFlo system is self-powered from the natural gas source. Because expensive 3-Phase power is not needed, establishing new fuel locations is fast and very low cost.
How can a mobile natural gas compressor assist RNG developers with their operations?
Our mobile, electricity-free compressor can be deployed to remote dairy farms, sewage treatment plants, landfills or other locations to compress RNG directly from the gas production and processing equipment into tube trailers for transport to higher value markets. This capability can make it economically practical to recover more carbon negative RNG from dispersed sites that do not have convenient access to a natural gas pipeline.
Can our organization use VW Settlement Funds to purchase CNG fleet vehicles?
CNG vehicles are a good choice for replacement of high NOx vehicles, since they usually result in the greatest reduction NOx per dollar of investment.There are numerous information sources, such as the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO), that provide up to date information on how these funds are being managed by the individual states. There are also numerous private firms that offer advisory services to secure grants to purchase low NOx replacement vehicles using these funds.