Geology News recently pointed to two articles about using natural gas (CNG — compressed natural gas) to power cars:
Toyota Looks to Embrace Natural-Gas Hybrid Cars
Chesapeake Energy Corporation Unveils National Campaign to Encourage Switch From Foreign Oil to American Natural Gas in U.S. Transportation Sector — From Chesapeake Energy, includes a video
Some advantages of using CNG to power cars:
- The United States has large reserves of natural gas. We can greatly reduce our dependence on foreign oil by using CNG to fuel our cars.
- Natural gas burns cleaner than gasoline
- Gasoline engines can be converted to run on CNG. This is common in Europe; our old van in Romania (the Party Van, as it was affectionately known) was converted to CNG by the man who bought it from us.
- The technology is proven and conversion could be rapid.
The big disadvantage right now:
- There are few gas stations that offer CNG, so it is difficult to find places to refuel.
You can have a refueling station installed in your home, using your natural gas line, which would be adequate if you use the car for local trips only.
A few additional thoughts:
- The long-term energy supply for transportation needs to be clean and sustainable.
- Natural gas is a limited natural resource, so CNG would, at best, be only a short-term solution (on the order of decades?) to our transportation energy problems.
- Additionally, increased drilling of natural gas has environmental implications that need to be considered.
Grace and Peace