|The CNG cement mixer.|
Boral, a building and construction materials supplier, and IVECO Trucks in Australia have partnered to develop Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fueled cement mixer trucks.
Boral has been testing five CNG powered trucks for the past six months in a fleet of 170 trucks, most of which are IVECO Acco 2350G 8x4 diesel units running 6-cylinder, 8.3-liter Cummins ISC engines producing 285 hp (213 kW) and 800 lb-ft (1,084 Nm) of torque at 2200 rpm.
The five CNG powered trucks are fitted with 6-cylinder, 8.3 liter Cummins C Gas Plus engines that produce 280 hp (209 kW) and 850 lb-ft (1,152 Nm) of torque. These are 3rd generation CNG engines featuring multi-point sequential lean-burn induction technology and electronic engine management.
Advanced Fuel Technologies of Melbourne performed the gas equipment design and fit-outs. After the Cummins CNG engines were fitted down line at IVECO’s Melbourne plant, the trucks were transported to AFT’s facility. Four ultra light weight gas tanks with a combined capacity of 170 cubic meters were fitted behind the cabs, the engines were plumbed and instrumentation and high-pressure regulators fitted.
We were immediately pleased to learn that though power output is slightly lower, torque is higher...Despite the lower power rating, these figures reflect improved ‘drivability’ of the gas trucks. Another pleasant surprise has been fuel efficiency—along with environmental credentials one of the main drivers of the project in the first place.—Richard Smithson, Boral Concrete Fleet Manager
The CNG trucks, which are 100 kg heavier than the diesels, achieve almost comparable fuel consumption, according to Smithson.
The Australian Greenhouse Office reports indicate CNG engines offer carbon dioxide emission reductions of up to 40% compared with low sulfur diesel engines. Other benefits of CNG compared to diesel engines include very low particulate emission because of its low carbon to hydrogen ratio, negligible evaporative emissions, low cold start emissions, extended flammability limits allowing stable combustion at leaner mixtures, lower adiabatic flame temperature leading to lower NOx emissions, much higher ignition temperature preventing unsafe auto-ignition, non-toxicity and lighter than air means fuel ‘spills’ are not dangerous, and negligible sulfate emissions.