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Petroleum

Natural GAS
CNG: ABOUT
CNG stands for compressed natural gas. It is gaseous fuel and is a mixture of hydrocarbons mainly Methane. For use in Automobiles as fuel, it is compressed to a pressure of 200-250 Kg/cm to enhance the vehicle on-board storage capacity. CNG is compressed natural gas. CNG is a gaseous fuel and is a mixture of hydrocarbons (Primarily Methane). The gas is filled at a CNG station in a cylinder permanently fitted to your vehicle. - CNG is cost effective compared to alternate fuels such as petrol, diesel, Auto LPG, etc. - It ensures longer engine life. - It is a safe & environment friendly fuel.

A Little Detail:
Compressed natural gas (CNG) is a fossil fuel substitute for gasoline (petrol), diesel, or propane/LPG. Although its combustion does produce greenhouse gases, it is a more environmentally clean alternative to those fuels, and it is much safer than other fuels in the event of a spill (natural gas is lighter than air, and disperses quickly when released). CNG may also be mixed with biogas, produced from landfills or wastewater, which doesn't increase the concentration of carbon in the atmosphere. CNG is made by compressing natural gas (which is mainly composed of methane [CH4]), to less than 1% of the volume it occupies at standard atmospheric pressure. It is stored and distributed in hard containers at a pressure of 200248 bar (29003600 psi), usually in cylindrical or spherical shapes. CNG is used in traditional gasoline internal combustion engine cars that have been converted into bi-fuel vehicles (gasoline/CNG). Natural gas vehicles are increasingly used in the Asia-Pacific region, Latin [1] America, Europe, and America due to rising gasoline prices. In response to high fuel prices and environmental concerns, CNG is starting to be used also in tuk-tuks and pickup trucks, transit and school buses, and trains. CNG's volumetric energy density is estimated to be 42% of liquefied natural gas's (because it is not liquefied), and 25% of diesel's

CNG:. BENEFITS The advantages of using CNG are varied and distinct. The first and most important benefit of using CNG is that you are using a 'green fuel'. Presented below is an outline of the benefits that CNG offers Green fuel Commonly referred to as the green fuel because of its lead and sulphur free character, CNG reduces harmful emissions. Being non-corrosive, it enhances the longevity of spark plugs. Due to the absence of any lead or benzene content in CNG, the lead fouling of spark plugs and lead or benzene pollution are eliminated. Increased life of oils Another practical advantage observed is the increased life of lubricating oils, as CNG does not contaminate and dilute the crankcase oil. Mixes evenly in air Being a gaseous fuel CNG mixes in the air easily and evenly. Safety CNG is less likely to auto-ignite on hot surfaces, since it has a high auto-ignition temperature (540 degrees centigrade) and a narrow range (5%-15%) of inflammability. It means that if CNG concentration in the air is below 5% or above 15%, it will not burn. This high ignition temperature and limited flammability range makes accidental ignition or combustion very unlikely.

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Properties Relative density Relative density Auto-ignition Temperature Flammability Range Flame Temperature Octane Number Unit Water = 1 Air =1 Degree C % in Air Degree C Petrol 0.74 360 1-8 2,030 87 Diesel 0.84 280 0.6-5.5 1,780 LPG 0.55 1.285 374 2.2-9.0 1,983 93 CNG 0.64 540 5-15 1,900 127

Low operational cost The operational cost of vehicles running on CNG, as compared to those running on other fuels, is significantly low. At the prevailing price of fuel, operational cost of CNG vehicles is 66% lower than petrol and 28% lower than diesel.

CNG: CONVERSION All kinds of vehicles can run on CNG by installing CNG kit. Kit is an assembly of many components required to run existing vehicle on CNG. There are few basic components which are common in all type of kits, irrespective of the vehicles; such as CNG storage cylinder, high pressure tube, pressure regulator, pressure gauge, change over switch, high pressure tube fittings, refueling receptacle and air fuel mixer. Major components of CNG kit for carburetor fitted petrol vehicle are illustrated below: Pressure Regulator Petrol Solenoid Valve with manual override switch. (Stops petrol flow when operating on CNG) On-Off valve and refueling connector. (Opens or stops gas flow to the regulator and includes a refueling device) Control Module/Change-over Switch (Electronic control component with fuel selection switch) CNG level Indicator (LED Indicator) Gas Air Mixer CNG cylinder with valve, vapor bag & bracket Petrol hose Low-pressure gas hose Ignition advance processor High pressure gas tube Wire harness NRV in petrol return line Pressure gauge CNG: MAINTENANCE Following precaution are to be followed during servicing and repairing of CNG vehicles : In case of leakage in fuel system, vehicles shall not be parked within 6 m of any source of ignition or fire In case of vehicles undergoing repairs involving welding, or heat application to any part (within 1.5 m) of the cylinder, the cylinder should be emptied first

Do's and Donts! Always refer to the suppliers kit manual for the trouble-shooting guide and do not do it yourself In case of vehicles undergoing repairs involving welding, or heat application to any part (within 1.5 m) of the cylinder, the cylinder should be emptied first Do not install a LPG, Propane or any other cylinder in place of a CNG cylinder. It is illegal and unsafe

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For emergency handling of any CNG leak, users must be aware of the location and operation of cylinder valve, master shut-off valve and burst disc in the CNG system. Study the system and ask your mechanic to identify these parts for you Workshop doing the kit fitment should be able to demonstrate these operations to your satisfaction. It is advisable to operate the vehicle occasionally on petrol to ensure that the petrol system remains in good working conditions

The CNG kit installed in the vehicle should be insured along with vehicle accessories. The motorist should notify the insurance company to provide insurance on the CNG system, for which additional premium may be charged by the insurance company. Motorists should take the insurance cover for the additional CNG kit system. As per present government regulation the pollution checks and a pollution certificate is mandatory even after converting the vehicle on CNG. A pressurized gas cylinder is probably the strongest component on the vehicle. Vehicles that were totally destroyed in collisions show the only discernible component being the intact gas cylinder. It is unlikely that cylinders will rupture due to collision impact. Regarding the danger of fire from leaking cylinders, all we have is the experience to date that indicates that such an event is unlikely to occur. The risk of fire from leaking cylinders must be low since there are well over 03 million CNG vehicle installations worldwide that have not experienced such problems. It is worth pointing out that natural gas is lighter than air and in the unlikely event of a leak from piping or container the gas will dissipate upwards quite quickly. In the case of petrol and LPG the vapour given off is heavier than air and will tend to pool near the ground.

CNG: FAQ

Q. What is CNG? Ans. CNG stands for compressed natural gas. It is gaseous fuel and is a mixture of hydrocarbons mainly Methane. For use in Automobiles as fuel, it is compressed to a pressure of 200-250 Kg/cm to enhance the vehicle on-board storage capacity. Q. Is CNG safe? Ans. Yes, it is safe. The properties of CNG make it a safe fuel. It is lighter than air, so in case of a leak it just rises up and disperses into the atmosphere. Besides, a high auto-ignition temperature of 540 degrees centigrade as against petrols 360 degrees centigrade makes it a safe fuel. Also, in case of a leak, if CNGs concentration in the air is less than 5% and more than 15%, the gas will not burn even in the presence of a spark. Q. What is involved in converting a vehicle to a CNG-friendly one? Ans. All spark-ignited engines can be converted to CNG, but a specially designed conversion kit is required for the purpose. The kit consists of a cylinder to be fixed in the boot of the car and other equipment to allow gas flow into the engine. Q. Can a car, fitted with CNG conversion kit, run on Petrol after its CNG gets over? Ans. Yes, after conversion to CNG the vehicle can run on petrol whenever desired simply by flicking a switch on the dashboard. Q. What are the dimensions and weight of a CNG cylinder? Ans. CNG cylinders are manufactured from a special steel alloy and are seamless in construction. Their compact size allows them to easily fit even in a small car. An empty CNG cylinder with a 50 litre-water-carrying Atul Kumar, Email: atulkumar73@gmail.com

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capacity weighs 48 kg, with a length of 835 mm and a diameter of 316 mm. The 50 litre capacity cylinder is the one most regularly used; cylinders with 45 litre, 55 litre, 60 litre and 65 litre capacity are used as well. Q. What is the capacity of a cylinder, and mileage from one fill? How does one get to know the quantity of CNG left in the cylinder? Ans. Under city road conditions and may vary from vehicle to vehicle and driving habits. Q. What is the pressure of CNG in a cylinder? Is refuelling of a cylinder safe, given the pressure ? Ans. CNG cylinders are designed and built in such a way so as to withstand high pressure. The maximum pressure in a CNG cylinder is up to 200 kg/cm2 (g) (about 2840 pounds per square inch (gauge) or psi[g]). CNG cylinders are safe as they are manufactured as per specific requirements and tested before use, in accordance with international specifications and standards and they are duly approved by Chief Controller of Explosives. Moreover, these have been provided with a 'safety burst disc' such that in case of inadvertent high-pressure/high temperature at the time of filling or at any other time, this disc is ruptured and pressure released. Q. How much will be the saving after conversion to CNG? Ans. The fuel bill on the basis of average running of vehicle is reduced by 50 percent approximately after conversion of CNG at the present price of CNG & Petrol. Q. Does CNG kit require servicing? Ans. CNG kit is safe and simple. It gives years of trouble free operation. It doesnt require frequent servicing. Just as for all other fuels, it is advised to have routine services. An authorized person should be consulted for service. As per Gas Cylinder Rules, 1981, the cylinder should under go hydro-stretch testing every 5 years to check pressure tolerance. Q. Does CNG have any harmful effect on the engine? Ans. Owing to CNG's distinct features, it does not contaminate or dilute crankcase oil, giving a new lease of life to the engine. The absence of any lead content in CNG helps avoid lead fouling of plugs, thereby enhancing plug life. One of the important benefits of CNG is that upon entering the engine in the form of a gas (and not as a spray or mist like other fuels), it doesn't disturb the presence of lubricating oil in the engine, and reduces chances of wear and tear. Q. Can a diesel vehicle be converted to CNG? Ans. Yes, a diesel vehicle can be converted to run on CNG, but the conversion cost is higher than the conversion of petrol vehicles and under the current technology it cannot run on duel fuel mode. Q. Why are exhaust fumes so small in CNG-run vehicles? Ans. CNG is an environment friendly fuel. The natural gas is mainly composed of methane and its exhaust emissions consist of water vapours and a small fraction of carbon monoxide. The absence of carbon and other particulates result in negligible amount of harmful elements in exhaust fumes. Q. How does large-scale CNG usage benefit the country? Ans. CNG emits less carbon dioxide and other pollutants as compared to liquid fuels. Thus, CNG contributes in lowering air pollution, also helps in improving the Balance of Payments by acting as a substitute for imported liquid fuels, provides more business and job opportunities with the opening up of a new sector, and being competitively priced, it appeases motorists. Q. In which countries are natural gas vehicles popular? Ans. Natural gas as a vehicle fuel has a long and established record in Europe, Canada, India, New Zealand, Australia and in USA. Other countries such as Japan, Mexico, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Bangladesh are recognizing the benefits of CNG and plan to expand its use.

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Drawbacks of CNG
Gas storage in a car. Compressed natural gas vehicles require a greater amount of space for fuel storage than conventional gasoline powered vehicles. Since it is a compressed gas, rather than a liquid like gasoline, CNG takes up more space for each gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE). Therefore, the tanks used to store the CNG usually take up additional space in the trunk of a car or bed of a pickup truck which runs on CNG. This problem is solved in factory-built CNG vehicles that install the tanks under the body of the vehicle, leaving the trunk free. Another option is installation on roof (typical on buses), requiring, however, solution of structural strength issues. CNG-powered vehicles are considered to be safer than gasoline-powered vehicles.

Atul Kumar, Email: atulkumar73@gmail.com