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EnerG2, NW Natural partner on adsorbed on-board storage for CNG vehicles

18 April 2014

EnerG2, a manufacturer of advanced nano-structured materials for next-generation energy storage (earlier post) and NW Natural, an Oregon gas distribution company, are partnering to improve the fuel storage on board vehicles that use Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) by using a new adsorbed natural gas technology.

The adsorbent material packs inside an existing CNG tank and increases the energy density of natural gas at a given pressure. This allows the vehicle to travel longer distances. A CNG tank with adsorbent material could contain 20% more energy at certain pressures and extend the vehicle range proportionately.

We believe the adsorbent technology that we’re developing with EnerG2 will make natural gas fleets an even more attractive choice for business owners. We hope to partner with other companies and agencies as our research and development project progresses.

—Chris Galati, NW Natural CNG Program Manager

The EnerG2 material, which packs at optimal density and has been produced at scale, is compatible with any and all tank geometries and systems. And, in terms of performance, it allows similar volumes of gas to be stored at lower pressure levels of 500-800 psi, as opposed to the more standard pressure levels of 3,000-3,600 psi.

Our carbon adsorbent material for natural gas enables tremendous design efficiency and no wasted space, because a low-pressure tank can be shaped more like a traditional gasoline tank to fit in a space onboard a vehicle that’s about half the size of a high-pressure cylinder. We are pleased to be working with a forward-thinking organization like NW Natural, which has expertise in CNG and CNG fleets, on this demonstration project.

—Dr. Aaron Feaver, CTO and co-founder of EnerG2

NW Natural and EnerG2 expect to complete a series of bench tests and vehicle road tests in the second quarter of 2014. These tests should confirm the long-term viability of the technology and inform future development of the ANG product material.

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