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Railroad Commission of Texas
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Natural Gas Benefits
Unlike fuels derived from crude oil (propane, gasoline, diesel, etc.), Natural Gas is non-toxic (contains no poisons, chemicals, etc.). It naturally burns cleaner and leaves little carbon residue to dirty the motor oil, spark plugs or air.
Typical dedicated NGVs can reduce:
• Benzene emissions by 97% compared to diesel and 99% compared to gasoline.
• Nitrogen oxides (NOx) by more than 50% compared to diesel and 60% to 90% compared to gasoline.
• Carbon dioxide (CO2) by 10% compared to diesel and 30% to 40% compared to gasoline.
• Carbon monoxide (CO2) by more than 90% compared to diesel and gasoline.
• Non-methane hydrocarbons (NMOG) by 50% to 75% compared to gasoline.
• Lead and sulfur emissions by 100% compared to both diesel and gasoline.
• Smoke and particulate matter (PM10) up to 90% compared to diesel.
Natural Gas is one of the safest transport fuels available. In its natural state, Natural Gas is odorless. As a safety measure, it is odorized with Mercaptan prior to distribution to provide a ready means of leak detection. A normal person can detect the smell of gas at a concentration as low as 0.3% by volume in air. That concentration is about 16 times lower than the level which will support combustion.
Natural Gas is lighter than air. Unlike liquid fuels such as diesel, petrol or LPG, which are heavier than air and pool on the ground creating fire hazards and potential pollution, should a CNG leak occur, the gas will disperse rapidly into the atmosphere and dissipate.
Natural Gas has no known toxic or chronic physiological effects (It is not poisonous). Exposure to a moderate concentration may result in a headache due to oxygen deprivation but it is likely that the smell would be detected well in advance.
Natural Gas has a high ignition temperature, about 1,200°F, compared with about 600°F for gasoline. It also has a narrow range of flammability. In concentrations of air less than about 5% and above 15% natural gas will not burn. The high ignition temperature and limited flammability range make accidental ignition or combustion of natural gas very unlikely.
Natural Gas is stored in cylinder tanks which are much stronger than petrol tanks. The design of the cylinders is subject to a number of "severe abuse" tests such as heat and pressure extremes, gunfire, collisions and fire. The systems are also fitted with valves and other safety devices to prevent leakage and eliminate the risk of an explosion⎯actually making them safer than the legal requirements stipulate.
Natural Gas is readily available. It is widely used in homes and businesses through-out the United States for heating and cooking. It is piped directly to the user, it is dependable, and no onsite storage is required. These same pipelines are used to deliver Natural Gas to a fueling terminal to fuel NGVs.
It is economical: Because it is in ample supply un the US, readily available, does not have to be refined from crude oil, or need to be transported to / from far away destinations; Natural Gas is inherently less expensive than liquid fuels and/or those refined from crude oil.
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