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5 myths about natural gas

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5 myths about natural gas

10 July 2015

What associations does the mention of a gas car evoke in most of us? A bulky bottle, a dubious smell, the words "propane-butane" and "flammable" ... These common patterns about gas fuel are very tenacious. And even more so, rarely does anyone think of linking cars and methane. This natural gas is often considered an obsolete preserve of trucks and buses. In fact, methane is one of the most progressive, economical and promising fuels.

МMethane, a natural gas that is found in abundance in the earth's crust, is currently the only serious alternative to gasoline and diesel fuel. Gas-fueled engines are not new today. They are successfully used in various industries, and mankind has already accumulated a decent experience in using them, including when operating cars. You will be surprised, but the first attempts to use natural gas as a vehicle fuel were carried out almost 180 years ago! The gas engine is two decades older than its gasoline counterpart. Moreover, it is also more effective. After all, the octane number of methane is 105, and the best gasoline that can be found at Belarusian gas stations is 98th.

Due to its chemical characteristics, gas burns more completely than gasoline and diesel fuel, therefore the mass of emissions formed as a result of its combustion is less in itself, and its composition is much more "modest" than that of traditional fuels. Consequently, a methane engine is significantly less harmful to the environment. Finally, this type of gas fuel is cheaper, and the difference in cost is up to 2.5 times!

When why can't methane-fueled vehicles compete with their petrol and diesel counterparts? There are practically no objective reasons for this today, but there are a number of stable stereotypes that prevent people from fully appreciating all the advantages of methane as a vehicle fuel. Below we provide compelling evidence that conventional wisdom about methane engines is nothing more than myths.

Myth № 1. A car running on CNG has an unpleasant odor in the cabin.

It is simple to refute this statement: it is enough to get into the salon of any serviceable car with a methane engine. We emphasize: serviceable! The smell of gas in the passenger compartment is a sure sign of a serious malfunction in the system, requiring immediate contact with a specialized service. If the engine is in good working order, there are no foreign odors in the cabin. Moreover, methane-powered vehicles are considered by many experts to be the safest form of transport. After all, this gas is very volatile - and instantly evaporates in an open space. It does not concentrate either in the engine compartment or in the luggage compartment, nor does it accumulate in the pits of garages and boxes.


Мyth № 2. CNG is explosive.

To refute this myth, European research centers conducted special tests. The car, equipped with gas equipment, was subjected to two tests: a crash test with a simulated rear impact at a speed of 70 km / h, and a simulated fire. The car passed the crash test with flying colors: neither the cylinders nor the mountings were damaged, the tightness of the system was not broken. However, why be surprised, because gas equipment must withstand a pressure of 200-300 atmospheres.

The same results were demonstrated by a fire test: the car burned on an open range for 15 minutes, but the expected explosion did not occur. This is due to the fact that the gas equipment is equipped with a special fire-prevention system, which, when ignited, instantly releases all the gas from the cylinders. Let's say more: experts are not yet aware of the cases of explosions of cars running on methane.

Myth № 3. Gas equipment takes up useful space in the car.

Many of us have seen huge cylinders lying in the trunk of a car. Indeed, the consumption of methane & nbsp; is about the same as that of gasoline. But since it is still gas, the units of measurement are different here: 1 cubic meter of gas corresponds to 1 liter of gasoline. And this raises questions for many, because the volume of gas required to operate the engine is many times greater than that of traditional fuel.

However, modern technologies have long made gas mobile. The gas, compressed under a pressure of 200 atmospheres, is stored in light and very durable composite cylinders, which are hidden in special niches inside and outside the body. This problem, in principle, does not exist for owners of vehicles with factory gas equipment. And today there are a lot of such models, because being economical and eco-friendly means being in trend. Therefore, more and more developments appear every year. Volkswagen, Audi, Orel, Volvo, Fiat and other well-known brands offer a variety of NGV options.

Myth № 4. Gas fueled vehicle is too noisy..

It’s not clear where the stereotype came from, possibly generated by memories of heavy trucks, hung with gas cylinders. In fact, the gas engine is one of the quietest engines out there. due to the peculiarities of gas combustion, less knocking occurs, therefore a methane engine is 15% quieter than a diesel one. This will be especially appreciated by professional drivers, for whom a quiet engine will allow less tiredness, including psychologically.

Myth № 5. Installed the gas - goodbye, speed!

These fears are unfounded. The acceleration dynamics of a car equipped with gas equipment is noticeably higher than that of a similar car with a diesel engine, and only slightly inferior to the petrol version. But if we are talking about & nbsp; economy, safety and environmental friendliness of gas engine fuel, then insignificant fluctuations in dynamic characteristics are unlikely to be significant for the car owner.

More serious issues related to the operation of a car on methane are the ability to refuel and professionally service it. There are not many gas stations offering methane for cars in Belarus. There are also few specialized services for servicing methane engines, because such a motor is a high-tech product, and you cannot repair it in a simple car service. Nevertheless, there are gas stations with methane and service specialists in Belarus. Therefore, it is also possible to operate cars on methane, taking advantage of all the benefits that this type of motor fuel provides to the owner. Indeed, in the near future, their number will only grow.

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