The world is turning towards substitute to gasoline and petroleum based energy that is taking an upward trend in terms of price. Across the globe, extensive research is being conducted to find the solution that is good for the consumers and friendly to the environment while pushing the country into a more independent state. An increasing number of countries across the globe are jumping on the bandwagon to make use of compressed natural gas, due to its various benefits. It seems to be that CNG is the solution the globe is heading for, in the quest for alternative energy.
One of the biggest advantages CNG provides is an affordable price. As the world continues to experience ongoing hikes in the cost of gasoline, the low price of CNG offers a glimmer of hope. A classic example would be the case where a consumer uses natural gas vehicle (NGV) that is powered by CNG for about 50 km daily in the west of America. This car owner is actually able to save more than $600 per year by taking advantage of the 85¢ gallon per gasoline equivalent compared to his counterparts who use gasoline for $4.33. CNG is typically at least 30% cheaper than gasoline.
Not only is CNG cheap, it also gives consumers fuel economy. Consider the price of gasoline in India that costs 50 Rs/liter, which is the price after large government subsidy, in comparison to CNG that sells for only 22 Rs. While the pricey petrol gives a standard car owner about 15 km per liter, the low-cost CNG offers close to 20 km for the same vehicle. More than 300 km of driving range is promised by a CNG full cylinder. Many fueling stations make both CNG and gasoline available for purchase, and the choice is placed in the hands of automobile owners. And as far as fuel saving is concerned, it is clear that CNG is giving consumers the upper hand.
Besides, CNG is more likely to become a vehicle owner’s best friend as it offers the potential of preserving the well-being of the vehicle, which translates into reduced upkeeping cost. CNG is non-corrosive in nature, and is free from lead-like substance that widely used as additives in gasoline. This makes it possible to prevent spark plugs from lead poisoning. In addition to that, it must be noted that CNG fuel system is designed to keep the gas lock in, thus eliminating its probabilities of dispersing into the air, or spilling. CNG is also known to preserve the life of oils and lubricating oils have been known to last longer due to the non-contaminating quality of natural gas. CNG, which scores low on flammability contrasted by high auto ignition temperature, it is not likely to cause a fire, further considering that it is lighter than air.
Apart from that, the clean attributes of CNG gives it reasons to be applauded by nature conservationists for being environmentally friendly. As concerted effort is being taken across the globe to save the earth, CNG way better that petrol as it emits lesser of harmful gasses such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides into the air. In illustration, a car using CNG releases less carbon dioxide by almost 6000 grams, compared to a gasoline powered engine. Besides, its colorless and odorless traits make it a clear burning fuel that prevents black fumes when burnt. The use of CNG is definitely a forward move lessen the emission of greenhouse gasses that pose the risk of global warming.
Another big plus points about CNG is its abundant supply that the earth holds in different parts of the world. According to official energy statistics from the U.S government, Middle East accounts for the largest increase in regional natural gas production from 2006 to 2030, projected to contribute to more than one-fifth of the total increment in world natural gas production. Following this after this lead is Europe and Eurasia. Nigeria also shows great potential for natural gas productions. As of now, Russia holds the world’s largest reserve of natural gas, followed by Iran. North America also produces CNG in enormous volumes, storing up reserves that is enough for next hundred and twenty years, according to a study by Navigant Consulting, Inc. The daily production of natural gas from shale formation in 1998 was a bare billion cubic feet per day. Now, the number has increased tremendously to 5 billion cubic feet per day, creating a compounding yearly growth rate of more than 20%. This is more than 30 times the rate for that period of time. Asia is also not left behind, with China exhibiting the highest CNG production.
As observed, natural gas production is increasing in different countries across the globe. This brings about another advantage for countries to experience lower dependency on foreign fuel imports. Over the years, the Middle East has been monopolizing the supply of petroleum and oil prices predicted to continue to soar. This had made countries like the United States fuel dependent, which led the former President Bush to say that the country was “addicted to oil”. President Obama aiming towards zero oil imports from the United States, and the world is turning towards natural gas as a substitute. According to the International Energy Outlook 2009 by the Energy Information Administration of USA, an average of 1.6 percent of yearly increase in expected for the total consumption of natural gas, globally. This means that in 2030, 153 trillion cubic feet of natural gas consumption is projected, from a total of 104 trillion cubic feet in 2006. Considering this, US has reason to be pleased that North America is a self-contained market of natural gas, and the continuous increase of its supply will ultimately help make the country independent on fuel imports.
Given the benefits of CNG, natural gas offers significant development and progress on the countries’ economy besides being kinder to consumers and also the environment. Needless to say, CNG is much more promising than petroleum based fuel. Considering its advantages, further research and studies are being conducted to bring natural gas to greater heights and make it accessible for greater use as the alternative energy of the future.