Iran is currently converting its entire surface transportation fleet to natural Gas so it can sell its oil and gasoline to the rest of the world. In a Theocracy and in an authoritarian country like Iran it is pretty easy to do. About half of Brazil’s much vaunted enthanol economy is actually run by natural gas as well. The stuff is cheap (in some parts of the world free) and relatively clean. Is Pickens trying to get richer. Heck yah. Anyway if they were serious about the idea they would quit jawin and make it happen. They would:
1. Put a natural gas dispenser in at least one gas station in everytown in America that has one.
2. Offer conversion kits for cars at a reasonable price, at a location with installation included. They could even offer your first tank of natural gas for free.
3. Begin the phase out of gasoline despensers at gas stations one at a time and replace them with natural gas dispensers until they are gone.
4. They damn well better recycle all the gasoline pump parts and plan on the removal of the gasoline storage tanks.
There would still be a small gasoline market and some people would refuse to convert. There would be some explosions and other mishaps along the way. Humans are primates after all. But as long as everyone looks at the ground and rubs their big toe in the dirt…Well lawdedah.
If they were really serious they would come to your house, install a fueling station and leave. Something akin to, “Go ahead, I dare you to use natural gas”!
How Natural-gas Vehicles Work
Kermit the Frog once said, “It’s not that easy bein’ green.” Although he wasn’t referring to cars, his observation seems particularly appropriate for the auto industry today: Designing, developing and marketing “green” cars has not been an easy task, which is why gasoline-powered vehicles still rule the road and fossil fuels still account for almost 75 percent of the world’s energy consumption. As gasoline prices soar and concern over harmful emission mounts, however, cars that run on alternate fuel sources will become increasingly important. A natural-gas vehicle, or NGV, is the perfect example of such a car — it’s fuel-efficient, environmentally friendly and offers a relatively low cost of ownership.
ORIGINS OF NATURAL GAS
Most modern wells extract both crude oil and natural gas at the same time. Some natural gas can be used as it comes from the well without any refining, but most requires processing. Natural gas processing consists of separating all the various hydrocarbons and fluids from the “wet” natural gas until it is “dry.” Dry natural gas is pure methane, which is the fuel of choice for many consumer applications, including natural-gas vehicles
Natural gas is not the only source of methane. Methane can also be obtained by fermenting organic matter, such as manure, in low levels of oxygen. In such conditions, bacteria will use the nutrients in manure as a food source and will release methane and carbon dioxide as waste products. This methane, known as bio-gas, can be collected and used as a fuel source.
The oil shortages of the late 1960s and early 1970s brought renewed interest in natural gas as a fuel source, especially for automobiles.
Today, owners of natural-gas vehicles can fill up their cars at one of 1,300 fueling stations located in the United States. Honda also offers a personal natural gas pump to people who purchase its natural-gas-powered Civic. The pump uses a home’s existing natural gas lines and can be installed for $500 to $1500.
In the next section we’ll discuss how natural-gas vehicles are designed.
While there are differences in the fuel tank (hint: you get rid of the old one and put in three natural gas tanks), and the chassey with a natural gas vehicle, the biggest difference is at the engine.
When the engine in an NGV is started, natural gas flows from the storage cylinders into a fuel line. Near the engine, the natural gas enters a regulator to reduce the pressure. Then the gas feeds through a multipoint gaseous fuel-injection system, which introduces the fuel into the cylinders. Sensors and computers adjust the fuel-air mixture so that when a spark plug ignites the gas, it burns efficiently. A natural-gas engine also includes forged aluminum, high-compression pistons, hardened nickel-tungsten exhaust valve seats and a methane-specific catalytic converter.
Are they popular? Well it depends on who you listen too.
Article Last Updated: 09/04/2008 07:20:35 AM MDT
State and federal tax credits. Cheap fuel. Free parking at meters in Salt Lake City. A ticket to the highoccupancy- vehicle lane, even if you’re driving solo.
Plus that warm, smug feeling that comes from knowing that you’re polluting less than the other guy.
It’s no wonder that more and more Utahns – the nonprofit Utah Clean Cities Coalition, using statistics from fueling stations, estimates 20,000 – are driving vehicles powered by clean-burning compressed natural gas. Considering that it costs a mere 87 cents for enough CNG to equal the energy in a $4 gallon of gasoline, what’s surprising is that even more motorists have not made the switch.
Some CNG converts are piloting the Honda Civic GX NGV, the only compressed natural gas production vehicle currently on the market. Others have bought used cars that were either built or professionally converted to use CNG. Still more are taking their gasoline-powered cars to certified mechanics and having them rigged to run exclusively on CNG, or to burn both natural gas and gasoline. Kudos. The environment thanks you. Future generations will thank you. And your wallet thanks you.
Here is a couple of places you can buy natural gas automotive products.