Charles, there is no doubt that now days more and more vehicles are equipped with natural gas tanks and fuel injection system due to various reasons. I think the major advantage with natural gas is its less pollution level and cost effectiveness.
Charles, if am not wrong, these natural gases are one of the purest forms of gasoline in gaseous stage. Then I would like to know what's the difference between the LPG (liqudified petroleum Gas – cooking gas) and natural gases.
I don't know much about LPG, mydesign, but I'll tell you what I know and maybe our readers can add to it. Natural gas is essentially methane, whereas liquefied petroleum (propane and butane) is a hydrocarbon-based gas. It is used in automobiles, but its energy density is lower than that of gasoline, so its fuel consumption is higher. As for a comparsion of emissions -- I'll leave that to any of our smart readers who want to chime in.
Mydesign, You are correct. Many vehicles could be modified to run on natural gas. I have a friend who has traveled extensively in Asia and found lots of natural gas powered vehicles there. There are also lots in South America. My understanding from him is that they have longer range. I am not sure of how that is compared.
As Chuck said, most of thevehicles we will see are trucks. In Chicago a large concrete company has said that all of its trucks are being replaced with natural gas burning vehciles by 2020 (I think). They have already started to deploy. The company is Ozinga and they have over 500 vehicles.
One of the big impacts of using natural gas in large trucks is that they tend to use a lot more fuel than the average automobile. That should have an outsized impact on oil usage here.
Agreed, mydesign. Natural gas pollutes less, whih is a big advantage. The downsides are the initial vehicle cost is a little higher, energy density is lower, and natural gas, for some reason, is not very compatible with the new higher-tech, direct injection systems.
Natural gas causes less pollution, is much more cheaper than petroleum and saves travel cost by a good margin. However, it is necessary that ample natural gas resource be present if the shift is under consideration.
@naperlou - I'm from South Asia so I can affirm to that. Most vehicles ranging from trucks down to the conventional taxi cab runs on natural gas over here and even though we have a rich natural gas resource over here, the overwhelming number of vehicles has caused a supply shortage resulting in crises.
@Charles - There is definitely performance degradation on natural gas, however there is increased efficiency due to cheaper cost. Another downside though, is that, there is a gas cylinder which takes up a lot of space when natural gas is used as a secondary fuel source.
I have travelled to Korea (south of course) fairly often and they stand out as an example of how this fuel integrates into a country. They have widespread fueling stations for both gasoline and LP (not sure if LP or CNG). To the average consumer, using either is not an issue. However, it appears that the use of LP is more widespread in taxis than regular drivers.
That being said, they have a whole different dynamic than here in the US. Korea is much smaller than the US (about 300 miles will get you the whole way across the country). People don't have to drive as far or as much. Public transportation (train, bus, taxi, etc...) is widely utilized.
I found out on one trip that there are considerations when in a place that LP is used. A co-worker and I could not fit ourselves and our luggage into a standard sized taxi that ran LP. The driver had us use another taxi that looked the same, but was gasoline powered. Everything fit fine in it.
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