News / Science & Technology

Companies Try Natural Gas to Fuel Vehicles

Companies Try Natural Gas to Fuel Vehiclesi
X
June 17, 2013 2:30 PM
The dramatic increase in U.S. natural gas production has made the fuel cheaper and driven projects that would use this resource to replace far dirtier fossil fuels. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, companies are experimenting with various ways to use natural gas as a transportation fuel.
Companies Try Natural Gas to Fuel Vehicles
Greg Flakus
While many Americans want to reduce both pollution and energy costs, the nation's automobile-based transportation system undermines these goals by being largely dependent on petroleum.

But in the western state of Oklahoma, Ethel Clayton drives a truck that can run on much cheaper and cleaner compressed natural gas (CNG).

"Not just because you save a whole lot of money, but it is also good for the environment and it also keeps your engine in better condition," Clayton said.

Thanks to support from local natural gas producing companies, there are plenty of CNG filling sites around Oklahoma, and Clayton says online guides also show places to refuel when traveling out of state.

"They will actually route your destination where there will be CNG filling stations," she said. "So it is getting better."

The dramatic increase in U.S. natural gas production has made the fuel cheaper and driven projects that would use this resource to replace far dirtier fossil fuels. Companies are experimenting with various ways to use natural gas as a transportation fuel.

Still, some experts remain wary. The American Petroleum Institute's chief economist says CNG cannot be viable as a transportation fuel without a nationwide expansion of infrastructure.

"The problem is that, for example, if you look at the 170,000 service stations around the country, they are owned by small businessmen, who simply don't have the money... say, $200,000... to set up a natural gas fueling opportunity," said John Felmy.

The use of liquid natural gas, or LNG, would provide great savings for long-haul trucking companies, but the up-front expense is discouraging, according to Felmy.

"The typical heavy-duty truck running on LNG will typically cost something on the order of $80,000 more,” he said.

But what if you could make a cleaner burning liquid fuel directly from natural gas that would work in normal vehicles and be supplied through already existing infrastructure?

That's the goal of companies like New Jersey-based Primus Green Energy, which has successfully tested its fuel and is now building a plant to produce it for commercial sale.

“The key to having alternative fuels be accepted, both on a financial basis and an economic basis as well as by consumers, is to have them not change their behavior at all,” said George Boyajian, the company's president of business development.

Boyajian says there is no need to alter engines and drastically change current fuel systems to bring this fuel into widespread use. And, because the catalyst used in the process eliminates pollutants like sulphur and benzene, he says it is far cleaner.

“The tier-three standards that the EPA has put out for transportation fuels going forward, the Primus gasoline already surpasses those standards,” Boyajian said.

Although natural gas is the best feedstock now, Boyajian says synthetic gas produced from biofuels also could be used.

It could take more than a decade for such fuels to significantly reduce the use of petroleum for transportation, but each small step brings that future closer.

You May Like

Turkey's Erdogan: Women Not Equal to Men

Speaking at conference in Istanbul, President Erdogan says Islam has defined a position for women: motherhood More

Ahead of SAARC Summit, Subdued Expectations

Some regional analysts say distrust between Pakistani, Indian officials has slowed SAARC's progress over the year More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Alex Fethiere from: Fuelfreedom.org
June 21, 2013 3:38 AM
The inclusion of Primus in an article about natural gas is a little confusing. Primus is working on commercial scale production of gasoline via a process that starts with biomass OR natural gas, either of which are made into syngas, which is then converted into methanol, from which gasoline is produced using a process like ExxonMobil's MTG (methanol to gasoline) conversion. This is a commonplace industrial process all over the world, with plants in Malaysia, Qatar and South Africa, for instance.

Given the amount of biomass and natural gas available in the US, whoever brings this to economic scalability first will usher in an vehicle-fuel renaissance. The diversification of our vehicle fuel choices is the best thing to give us a cleaner future and economic growth, while challenging gasoline and lowering its prices through competition.


by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
June 18, 2013 8:56 PM
Are these different materials, shale gas, liquid natural gas and compressed natural gas?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid