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Old 10-09-2013, 08:53 PM
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CNG/LNG fuel discussion

Just wanted to hear people's thoughts on the use of CNG/LNG as an automotive fuel. Ford is planning on offering CNG fuel as a factory option on the 2014 F150's. Ford F-150 To Get Natural Gas Engine Option - Forbes
I'm in the business of exploring for natural gas up here in Canada, so I'm always interested in the demand side of the equation. I know a few OTR fleets are converting to LNG as well up here. Fill

Long, term, I think LNG is a better option, as it's much more energy-dense. something like 7 times the energy. It's also safer from what I've read. because of how cold it is, it's not explosive, so if a tank does rupture, you might get a fire, but no explosive force.

I'm no expert on the subject, but I'm pretty interested in it. For me, the more people burning natural gas the better.

Any of you FTE'ers out there have comments on this? How common is this in the USA?
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Old 10-10-2013, 05:56 PM
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Years ago, served on town's volunteer rescue squad. We had annual drills at the local propane distributor. Some gas froze around the fittings while the rest burned very well.

It is heavier than air, and would fillup the large parking lot until it was ignited by a lit flare that got tossed in when it was time...

Got sunburned from the fireballs.
Then using two hoses the firefighters went into the fire to close the valve.

One extended his glove beyond the water curtain and got a burn.

On point, the required tank is heavy, the gas within won't give you a comparable range vs a tank of Gas/diesel.

Finding a place to refill in many parts of the vast country will be a huge PITA.

Railroads are looking to convert, but they have similar concerns, so their conversions or new units that are cnp powered will remain online and not generally going to roam the country for fear of coming back dead in train out of fuel.

Two locos will be on either side of a tank car which will carry the cooled gas. Bnsf is likely to be first since warren buffet's company owns it.

This info is publically available and not covered by nda agreements
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Old 10-10-2013, 08:59 PM
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Propane behaves very differently than LNG or CNG. Neither of those is heavier than air in gaseous form.

Refilling is going to be a very critical part of the puzzle. CNG can be "made" from the natural gas supply in your home with a relatively small compressor, I don't think that's an option for LNG, as the energy and equipment required make it impractical for home applications when your supply is very low pressure natural gas supply.
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Old 10-10-2013, 11:16 PM
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I did a lot of research on the web and youtoob last winter on LNG and CNG. So you can take the youtoob references with a grain of salt if you like

Every one is selling their own version of CNG and LNG developments.

Me personally, If I had a natural gas pipe to my house for a dryer, and a bunch of bucks maybe $6000 and a FI 4 banger Toyota PU, I would try it. But, We only have propane at $2.11 a gallon.

Apparently the Return On Investment is approximately less than 2 years with Federal IRS traceable rebates, If you know what I mean. . In Oklahoma compressed LNG using a compressor from the dryer pipe is .61 cents a gallon.

My Comment: Since almost every home in America has NG to the family clothes dryer, The Gubment hasn't figured out how to tax it for motor fuel yet.


One Oklahoma guy said he was getting 81 MPG (because the LNG was dry vs gas being wet) but I'm not sure I believe that. Propane is supposed to be a little better at MPG than wet gas, but 4 X for LNG is hard to believe. Maybe he meant it was 4x cheaper than pump gas.

The USA home family dryer connected "Fill" Compressor is available on eBay for $4500. The "fill" compressor operates on 110VAC household current, and takes overnight to fill a 10-15 gal tank.

The 4 cylinder CNG conversion "KIT" for fuel injected 4 cyl is ~$1100. The Kevlar wrapped high pressure (3000 PSI) tanks were $600. BTW: SCUBA tanks are 3000 PSI rated.

There is youtoob of a factory in Italy with a whole line of cars maybe 100 they were converting to CNG and or Methane. I think they make the "Fill" compressor.

I will post all the youtoob videos and eBay stuff If people are interested. But I have had a long day Im Tired and it will take me some time to search for it.
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Old 10-11-2013, 06:56 AM
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I don't believe anyone claiming huge MPG gains using CNG or LNG. There is simply more energy in gasoline and diesel per gallon.

Unless that guy was trying to explain how much cheaper it is, but if that's the argument, he needs to choose his words differently.
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:37 PM
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Here is the video where the guy from Oklahoma claims 80 MPG and 66 cents per gallon.
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Old 10-12-2013, 09:14 AM
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Youtube video on destruction testing of hi pressure CNG cylinders
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Old 10-12-2013, 12:06 PM
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Phill LNG gas compressor in partnership with Honda. I found these on eBay last year for $4500 Now they are $4800

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Old 10-12-2013, 12:33 PM
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Autobytel vid more in line with the OPs question How mainstream is CNG becoming in the US.
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Old 10-20-2013, 02:26 PM
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having actually owned vehicles that ran on these 2 fuels, here is my 2 cents ...

CNG (natural gas)
-----------------

some years back there was a big (30% ?) increase in the price virtually overnight. i don't know if this increase was continent-wide (i live in vancouver), but it wiped out virtually all of the cost savings for this fuel, and when that vehicle was taken out of service, i never went back to CNG. it burns very clean and gives slightly less power than gasoline. to get decent range you have to have very large tank(s). filling stations are out there, but not many.

i didn't bother watching the video but claims of 81mpg for CNG are , at best, dubious.

LPG (propane)
--------------

right now, propane in my area costs slightly MORE than half the price of gasoline. i get mine from the actual supplier and get a discount with my card-lock account so that i pay slightly LESS than half the price of gasoline. the 2 tanks are mounted underneath the truck, where the gas tanks used to be ( i have no idea why anyone would ever mount them in the box, but it is commonly done) and my range is probably something like the range i would get from gasoline. propane stations are plentiful here but if i ever went out of town i would definitely make a list of where they are on my route.

propane is a very good automotive fuel and i have never had a serious problem with a propane fuel system but, given the cost of converting, you MUST have access to propane that is priced cheap enough to make the conversion worthwhile. in fact, many years ago, on a trip down to seattle, i found that automotive propane was priced HIGHER than gasoline. if that is the case in your area, then it would obviously not be worthwhile even to buy a vehicle that is already converted.

that's what i know about these 2 fuels . it's really all about fuel prices.
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Old 10-20-2013, 04:37 PM
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Hey, just to clarify, LPG and LNG aren't the same. LPG is propane, and LNG is natural gas that's been chilled and compressed into a liquid.

LNG isn't commonly availble anywhere as an automotive fuel yet.
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Old 10-21-2013, 09:12 PM
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yes, i was confused ... sorry . you are comparing COMPRESSED natural gas (CNG) to LIQUIFIED natural gas (LNG). i actually didn't know there was a difference.

anyways ... my previous post still holds true; both natural gas and propane are excellent automotive fuels and it all comes down to money.
the only disadvantage that i found was that CNG requires big , heavy tanks.
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Old 10-22-2013, 07:05 AM
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Yeah, maybe I wasn't clear in my initial post. Nobody around here is converting anything to run on Propane.
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Old 03-17-2014, 06:56 PM
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I switched my f150 over the CNG last year. I am paying $1.32 a gallon. My gasoline was about $69 to $85 .. Now it is only $20-28 a week.. Huge savings at the end of the year. The tank is under my tool box. Weighs 310lbs.. I get 12mpg. Which it did before on gasoline. Best thing since sliced bread and beer. Add up the savings over 5 years.. WOW
Gasoline here is currently 3.75 a gallon
CNG here is $1.32 at one station and two other stations it is $2.19

Not sure were to even get propane for auto's around here . Haven't seen any.
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Old 03-20-2014, 11:09 AM
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i find this topic interesting. i work in the class 8 truck repair world and im westport (LNG) certified.
so far it seems that every ones experience seems to be with CNG or propane
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