Natural gas is a domestically produced alternative fuel that is readily available to end-users through the utility infrastructure. It can produce significantly fewer harmful emissions than gasoline or diesel when used in natural gas vehicles.
Natural gas is a mixture of hydrocarbons, predominantly methane (CH4). As delivered through the pipeline system, it also contains hydrocarbons such as ethane, propane and other gases such as nitrogen, helium, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide and water vapor.
Natural gas has a high octane rating and excellent properties for spark-ignited internal combustion engines. It is non-toxic, non-corrosive and non-carcinogenic. It presents no threat to soil, surface water or groundwater.
Natural gas accounts for approximately one quarter of the energy used in the U.S. Of this, about one third goes to residential and commercial uses, one third to industrial uses and one third to electric power production. Only about one tenth of one percent is currently used for transportation fuel.
Compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas are considered alternative fuels under the Energy Policy Act of 1992. The horsepower, acceleration and cruise speed of natural gas vehicles are comparable to those of equivalent conventional vehicles. Compared to conventional diesel and gasoline vehicles, natural gas vehicles can produce some emissions benefits.
There are three types of natural gas vehicles:
- Dedicated – Designed to run only on natural gas.
- Bi-Fuel – Can run on either natural gas or gasoline.
- Dual-Fuel – Diesel fuel ignition assistance to natural gas fuel usage (generally limited to heavy-duty vehicles)
America’s Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA)
Representing North America’s leading independent natural gas exploration and production companies, America’s Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA) works with industry, government and customer stakeholders to promote increased demand for and continued availability of our nation’s abundant natural gas resource for a cleaner and more secure energy future.
American Gas Association
Founded in 1918, the American Gas Association (AGA) represents more than 200 local energy companies that deliver clean natural gas throughout the United States. Today, more than 68 million residential, commercial and industrial customers across the nation receive their reliable, affordable supplies of natural gas from AGA members and natural gas meets almost a quarter of America’s energy needs.
More Information Located on the Alternative Fuels Data Center: http://www.afdc.energy.gov/fuels/natural_gas.html