Monday, March 14, 2011

How Great an Idea is Natural Gas Powered Vehicles?

Since the main focus of this blog is supposed to be about hydrogen in our energy economy, maybe I should write something about hydrogen. A commenter mentioned that hydrogen is a storage of energy not a source of energy. He is right and I mention that all the time. Now natural gas is an energy source. It is being pushed pretty hard because it produces less carbon than coal, is available in abundance and pretty cheap. Like hydrogen, natgas, has to be compressed or liguefied to to be a protable energy for trucks and stuff. Compressed is easier, but takes up space, just like hydrogen, so bigger vehicles are better suited for compressed natgas.

Some people think that switching to natgas for your truck or bus will cut down on carbon emissions. Carbon is all the rage of course, so how true is that thought? Hmmm?

Here is a link to the Engineering Toolbox I am going to borrow a table from their blog because I am lazy today. I am giving them a link, talking them up, but I really should ask permission. Hopefully, they won't get too hacked off.

Click to enlarge

1) Commonly viewed as a Bio fuel

2) Bio Energy is produced from biomass derived from any renewable organic plant, including

dedicated energy crops and trees
agricultural food and feed crops
agricultural crop wastes and residues
wood wastes
aquatic plants
animal wastes
municipal wastes and other waste materials

I will touch up the table later, but notice Specific emmission of CO2 column (that is the last column on the bizzarro chart). Natural gas is 0.23 and diesel is 0.24. Yep, that is right, natgas produces a whopping 0.01 Kilogram of CO2 less per Kilowatt of energy! So do you think putting a million hydrogen fuel cell vehicles on the road is the same as converting a million semis to natgas. Not even close, hydrogen rules!

The table, now that it isn't so bizarre, has very useful information. I need to double check, but the values seen accurate. The engineering tool site is very informative if you have some questions or want to double check my stuff. There are a few guestimates on previous posts that I should tighten up.

No comments:

Blog Archive