Natural Gas: An Introduction
The SANBAG/Ryder Natural Gas Truck Project uses heavy-duty natural gas trucks designed to meet the operational demands of the companies who lease and rent them. The natural gas used in this project is the same fuel that people use through the United States in their homes for cooking, water heating and other household application. The average truck drive will not notice a difference between natural gas and diesel or petroleum vehicles. It is safe, clean and abundant.
- Natural gas is a mixture of hydrocarbons containing mostly methane, with small amounts of ethane, propane and other gases.
- Natural gas is domestically produced with 99% used in the US coming from North America.
- US gas estimates range from 75 to 110 years of domestic reserves at current production levels, so supply is not an issue. Further, these estimates continue to grow as newer gas production methods are developed.
- Natural gas contains less carbon than any other fossil fuel and thus produces lower carbon dioxide (CO2) or greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per year.
- While natural gas vehicles do emit very small amounts methane, another principle greenhouse gas, this increase in methane emissions is quite small and is offset by a substantial reduction in CO2 emissions.
- In fact, natural gas vehicles produce 20-30 percent less than greenhouse gas emissions than comparable diesel vehicles.
- Natural gas is less expensive than diesel, costing less per energy unit.
- Natural gas vehicle projects create and sustain jobs in the US, including areas hardest hit by the current economy. The SANBAG/Ryder project alone will generate more than 400 US jobs.
- Natural gas can also be produced renewably from waste materials and biomass that humans generate every day.
CNG vs. LNG
Natural gas can be stored on vehicles as a gas (CNG) or as a liquid (LNG). CNG, or compressed natural gas, is stored as a high pressure gas stored in onboard storage cylinders, much like oxygen tanks. LNG, or liquefied natural gas, is stored in onboard stainless steel insulated containers. Natural gas takes up less space to transport and store as a liquid, so it is often used for longer-ranged applications. LNG for vehicle applications is typically produced domestically from pipeline natural gas.