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SoCalGas funds demonstration of adsorbed natural gas technology for light-duty trucks

Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) will fund a field demonstration of adsorbed natural gas bi-fuel vehicles powered by natural gas compressing technology developed by Adsorbed Natural Gas Products, Inc. and Ingevity.

Adsorbed natural gas technology uses Ingevity’s Nuchar activated carbon to reduce the storage pressure of natural gas without sacrificing the volume of natural gas stored through a process called adsorption. Using this type of fuel provides a cleaner and lower cost fuel option for large, light-duty vehicles, such as SUVs, half-ton pickup trucks, and service vans, than diesel, gasoline, or traditional compressed natural gas fuel.

It is the unique ‘capture and release’ properties of our Nuchar activated carbon that makes this incredible new transportation option possible. Having SoCalGas as a project partner will provide invaluable insight and support as we work to demonstrate the value of adsorbed natural gas to the natural gas community and light-duty vehicle fleets, and commercialize this exciting new technology.

—Ed Woodcock, executive vice president and president of Performance Materials at Ingevity

Adsorbed natural gas vehicles can be fueled at public-access compressed natural gas stations, as well as conveniently from home or work through a refueling compressor. They operate at significantly lower fueling pressure than standard compressed natural gas vehicles, refilling at 900 psi instead of 3600 psi.

This reduces energy consumption by more than 50% and decreases fueling time by more than 60%. Additionally, these vehicles can travel long distances on adsorbed natural gas before seamlessly switching to gasoline. As natural gas costs $1.00-$1.50 less per gasoline gallon equivalent than gasoline, adsorbed natural gas offers a lower-cost fueling alternative.

Natural gas vehicles can reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by as much as 30%, carbon monoxide by 85%, and carcinogenic particulate emissions by 99%. Adsorbed natural gas vehicles are 90% cleaner than the Environmental Protection Agency’s current nitrogen oxide standard and emit more than 25% fewer greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than comparable gasoline and diesel vehicles. When refueling with renewable natural gas, GHG emissions can be reduced by up to 125%.

SoCalGas is providing funding for the project with research and development funds authorized by the California Public Utilities Commission and will also test and validate the adsorbed natural gas vehicles during a six-month demonstration period.

Results from SoCalGas’ demonstration will support a commercial rollout of adsorbed natural gas vehicles to fleet operators in Southern California.

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