Are compressed natural gas vehicles safe?
An increasing number of companies and public and government agencies are trying to reduce their consumption of traditional petroleum products by all means. One of the most effective ways for them to do this is to replace their gasoline or diesel vehicles with compressed natural gas vehicles. Indeed, this type of fuel is less polluting and can even save money at the pump.
However, some people are still suspicious of CNG vehicles because they have doubts about their safety. Here are some facts that will quickly dispel these unfounded concerns.
CNG, a fuel as safe as gasoline and diesel…. if not more!
Any fuel, including gasoline and diesel used in traditional vehicles, can be dangerous if not handled with care. Indeed, fuels contain a large amount of energy, which is released when the fuel ignites.
But as with all vehicle fuels, CNG can be used safely if the unique properties of the fuel are well understood and if handling procedures are followed to the letter.
However, natural gas has a very limited flammability range. It does not burn at concentrations below about 5% or above about 15% when mixed with air. In contrast, gasoline and diesel burn at much lower concentrations and ignite at lower temperatures. In some respects, CNG is therefore safer than conventional fuels.
Fueling a CNG vehicle: a safe process
In a compressed natural gas fueling station, the gas is at a pressure of about 3000 psi (3000 lb/in2).
Although the use of high storage pressures may seem dangerous, it should be noted that natural gas vehicle fueling meets stringent safety standards imposed by industry and government. Remember that high-pressure gases are used safely every day in industrial and medical applications.
Some safety features of compressed natural gas vehicles
Natural gas-powered vehicles are designed and built to be safe, both during normal driving and in the event of an accident. New compressed natural gas vehicles are subject to the same federal government crash tests as other vehicles.
Moreover, natural gas tanks installed on CNG vehicles have much thicker and stronger walls than gasoline or diesel tanks. Industry standards require durability that goes far beyond the risks of natural damage caused by the environment and normal use. CNG tanks are designed for a specific lifetime of 15 to 25 years and must be inspected periodically.
The facts speak for themselves: CNG vehicles are safe
In conclusion, driving a compressed natural gas vehicle does not involve a higher level of risk than driving a gasoline and diesel vehicle. While it is true that any fuel must always be handled with care, there is no need to fear CNG.
If you want to know more about vehicles powered by compressed natural gas, EBI’s experts are the leading experts in this field. Do you want to invest in clean energy? Contact us right away!