CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) in India is a cheaper fuel than traditional liquid fossil fuels, thus demand for CNG is four times greater. In September 2006, as previously reported, Orbital and Bajaj Auto expanded licensing arrangements to encompass applications that could make use of LPG (Liquid Petroleum Gas) and CNG (Compressed Natural Gas).
“Natural gas has inherent clean burning properties that enable NGVs to produce lower pollutant emissions than petrol-powered vehicles. It is a lead-free fuel that produces virtually no sulfur oxides or particulates and up to 30% less CO2. Because it is clean burning, natural gas reduces the required maintenance on vehicles.” Natural Gas Vehicle Program for Public Transport
I then had associated such development with other development in collaboration with the upstream oil and gas subsidiary of the state-owned Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC). The Filipino government and PNOC-EC (PNOC Exploration Corporation) want “to convert three-wheeled vehicles to natural gas-powered systems.”
Xavier Navarro had reported involvement by a subsidiary of Energtek, MoreGasTech (formerly Angstore Technologies), in development of a Natural Gas powered scooter. Fuel storage used Energtek ANG (Adsorbed Natural Gas) technology.
Mike Millikin also had informed about a project in the Republic of the Philippines, whereby three-wheel vehicles are converted to NGVs (Natural Gas-powered Vehicles). There are already 7.3 million NGVs and this ANG technology will help increase NGV’s. “Three-wheeled ANG vehicles are expected to be the fastest-growing segment of the automotive market with 200 million sales expected, most of them in Asia.”
The 3 wheelers are typically public transport vehicles, a.k.a, Autorickshaws. They generally travel approximately 200 km (120 miles) a day. Low-Pressure tanks are designed for operating pressure of 35-65 bars. ANG provides safer operation because of a dramatic reduction of the storage tank operating pressure.
A leading developer of ANG technology is Energtek Inc., and they want to supply the infrastructure for NGV development. Green Car Congress reports that Energtek and Confidence Petroleum India Limited, one of Asia’s largest cylinder manufacturers and marketers, “are forming a joint venture that intends to introduce mobile supply solutions in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and other countries in the region. The commercial natural gas operation will utilize Energtek’s proprietary ANG technology.
Confidence Petroleum will invest $2 million and acquire co-ownership of Energtek’s subsidiary Primecyl LLC, which is currently developing pressure cylinder manufacturing plants in Europe. The join venture will incorporate production facilities in Europe to serve the European and Asian pressure cylinder markets. A fully-owned Primecyl subsidiary, Confi Energtek Asia, will be established to conduct business operations in India and throughout Asia.
The linkage to European production facilities suggests a further elaboration in such development. Not only does the linkage suggest a tie-in to the introduction of a fuel supply consisting of 80% Natural Gas / 20% Bio-methane, but also access in Europe to multi-fuel, internal combustion engines that produce fewer emissions.
While more to my my liking would be a multi-fuel capable REEV (Range Extended Electric Vehicle), e.g., a plug-in CNG Prius with advanced lithium batteries, I have expressed enthusiasm for distributed bio-gas production obtained in a straightforward manner from sustainable biomass resources. (Read: no death trains.)
The Big Gav perceives that biogas for transportation “is well suited to rural or third world areas, where electrification may be a long time away” and petroleum less predominant. The Big Gav is Australian, so another dot to connect is Conti’s investment in an Australian company with worldwide operations, known for development of engine management systems and components for multi-fuel, internal combustion engines. (Continental remains Conti obtained a 50% partner in the Synerject joint venture upon purchase of Siemens VDO Automotive. And, a Continental competitor, Bosch, is the global leader in injection systems for vehicles.)
Image: Shengqian Ma, Miami University.
A nano-sized crystalline cage that shows promise as a superior storage material for methane. “MOF compounds consist of metal-oxide clusters connected by organic linkers.”
The prevalent storage technology for NGVs in the region is CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) technology. ANG technology allows storing an equivalent amount of natural gas under lower pressures than CNG, vastly reducing the expense associated with refueling expenses and allowing for a more efficient use of the vehicle’s space.
There could be the potential to improve the storage capabilities even further. From an earlier Green Car Congress post, I previously took note of the development of MOFs (Metal-Organic Frameworks), which are “a relatively new class of nano-porous material” that show promise for gaseous storage applications—hydrogen, methane, CO2, etc.—”because of their tunable pore size and functionality.”
Researchers have developed a new metal-organic framework (MOF) material with what they believe to be the highest methane storage capacity yet measured. Methane adsorption studies of the new material—PCN-14—at 290 K (16.9°C or 62°F) and 35 bar show an absolute methane-adsorption capacity of 230 v/v (standard temperature and pressure equivalent volume of methane per volume of the adsorbent material), 28% higher than the US Department of Energy (DOE) target (180 v/v) for on-board methane storage.