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POTENTIAL OF CNG

AS A FUEL FOR
VEHICLES

Project report submitted is partial fulfillment of the


requirements for the award of degree of bachelor of management
studies, Mumbai University.

Project submitted by:


Yogesh D Solanki
T.Y.B.M.S (V Semester)

UNDER THE GUIDANCE OF:


PROF. DR. KARTHYKEYAN

SYDENHAM COLLEGE
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INTRODUCTION

Transport plays a significant role in the overall development of a nation’s economy. However,
this sector also accounts for a substantial and growing proportion of air pollution in cities. In
addition, the sector contributes significantly to greenhouse gases emissions and is a major
consumer of petroleum fuels.
According to recent WHO estimates up to one lakh people die annually because of the adverse
effect of the air pollution. As per Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) a nodal pollution
monitoring authority in the country, automobiles contribute the highest amount of hydro carbon
in the air as much as 81 % of the suspended particulate Matter (SPM).
Delhi, being one of the most polluted cities in the world, has reached frightening proportions
with over 3000 metric tons of air pollutants emitted in the capital every day. Delhi figures in the
list of six cities, which have acute air pollution problems. The other such cities are Mumbai,
Kolkata, Nagpur, Ahmedabad and Kanpur.
Due to Projected increases in Gasoline/diesel vehicles use, even the strictest feasible emissions
controls on petroleum fuel vehicles will not substantially reduce total emissions. The use of
petroleum for transportation results in large quantities of pollutant emission from vehicles,
refineries and fuel stations. Light gasoline vehicles are a major source of non-methane hydro
carbons (NMHC) and NO the main prcusors in Ozone and the single largest source of CO.
Heavy duty diesel vehicles are significant sources of NO. Particulate matter (PM) and SO. NO
and SO can cause acute and long term illness and premature death, reduce agriculture
productivity, damage materials, reduce visibility and contaminate ground water and coastal areas.
Altogether, transportation continues to be a major source of toxic air pollutants in urban areas.
Air quality is not likely to improve as long as petroleum is the primary transportation fuel.
Methane hydro carbons (NMHC) and NO the main precursors in Ozone and the single largest
source of CO. Heavy duty diesel vehicles are significant sources of NO. Particulate matter (PM)
and SO. NO and SO can cause acute and long term illness and premature death, reduce
agriculture productivity, damage materials, reduce visibility and contaminate ground water and
coastal areas. Altogether, transportation continues to be a major source of toxic air pollutants in
urban areas. Air quality is not likely to improve as long as petroleum is the primary
transportation fuel.

Overview of the transport sector in India

In India, the share of the transport sector in GDP (gross domestic product) in 1997/98 was 7.3%
(1993/94 prices). Road transport and the railways account for the majority of this contribution.
The transport sector is also the second largest consumer of energy, next only to industry and
commercial energy consumption about 98% of which is in the form of HSD and gasoline, grew
at the rate of 3.1% per annum in the 1970s and at 5.6% per annum in the 1990s
The relationship between transport and emissions in India is established via the use of fossil
fuels. The linkage between transport and the environment is particularly visible in the urban
transport sector due to the dominance of road transport. In addition, the transport sector accounts
for a large and growing proportion of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions.
GROSS CARBON EMISSIONS FROM ALTERNATIVE
TRANSPORT FUELS

The method used in this research has two main components. The first is an examination of each
energy industry in detail, using primary sources of data from power stations, oil refineries and
anhydrous ethanol production from molasses. The processes involved in each case are examined,
taking into account energy use in any necessary auxiliary activities to evaluate the total carbon
emissions. The second component is a detailed examination of one specific form of public
transport. This is a three-wheeled 8-seater used in the city of Lucknow in North India. It is
chosen because it is available with a petrol or compressed natural gas (CNG) spark-ignition
engine (and hence could alternatively be ethanol-fuelled) and in a battery-electric version. Both
parts of this data-gathering have been specific to the situation in India. In energy conversion the
refinery crude composition and processes, basic resources of biomass and the mix of primary
energy for electricity generation are different in each country. The types of vehicle used also vary
considerably from region to region. It is observed that while CNG and electric-powered vehicles
may have low and zero tailpipe emissions respectively, gross pollution from such vehicles and
their associated resource systems maybe significant. In the case of electrically-propelled vehicles
the gross carbon emission is comparable with that for similar petrol-engine vehicles since about
80 % of electricity production in India is fossil-fuel-based. In comparison, CNG shows a
reduction of about a third. Alcohol-fuelled vehicles, by comparison, can show neutral (i.e., zero
net) carbon emission. The importance of gross pollution assessments in rational choice of a fuel
cannot be overemphasised.

A life-cycle or so called ‘‘well-to-wheel’’ analysis of a fuel draws attention to the fact that CO2 is
produced not only in the combustion of a fuel at the point of use but also during extraction,
refining and transportation of the fuel. This indirect CO2 production is generally associated with
energy inputs in these processes but may also be related to the inherent nature of the processes
involved (Figure1).
Figure
1. Net energy and gross CO2 emissions

G = gross energy produced by combustion of fuel

F = total feedback energy in fuel production processes 1, 2 and 3 = F1 + F2 + F3

N = net energy available from the fuel = G – F

1. CO2 emissions
The sum total of such direct and indirect CO2 emissions may be termed gross CO2 emissions. It
should be pointed out here that, apart from CO2, emission of other polluting agents from a fuel
such as SOx, NOx, particulates, aldehydes and lead might also be considered. The present study
is limited to CO2 emission because of its serious implications for global warming. For a
transport fuel, the term ‘‘life-cycle’’ refers to althea events that begin from the source and end at
the wheel. In particular it includes stages of feedstock extraction, fuel processing and refining,
fuel transport, fuel storage and distribution, and finally combustion in the engine of a transport
vehicle to power its wheels. As a practical example, gross CO2 emission has been evaluated for
an important alternative transport fuel, bioethanol produced in Indian conditions, and this has-
been compared with that for oil, compressed natural gas (CNG) and electricity. A new figure of
merit for grading a fuel was proposed by the authors in earlier papers [Prakash et al., 1998; 2000]
-- linking net energy and gross pollution from fuel, where bioethanol was taken as an example.
Now this work has been extended and the current paper assesses the gross pollution from various
transport fuels on a per kilometre basis, when actually used in similar passenger vehicles for
public transport under Indian conditions.

2. Significance of bioethanol as petroleum substitute in India

India is one of the largest sugar-cane producers in the world and its sugar industry is the second
largest among the Indian process industries, next only to cotton textiles [Gehlawat, 1990]. The
estimated annual sugar-cane production in India [MoF, 1997] is 274 million tonnes (Mt) of
which about 51 % are processed in sugar mills, 39 %is used in small gur and khandsari (raw and
crude sugar) units and 10 % is used as seed material [Ravindranathand Hall, 1995]. The main by-
products of the sugar industry are bagasse and molasses. Molasses accounts for about 5 % of the
mass of the cane crushed and a yield of 285 litres (l) of ethanol/t of molasses can be achieved
[Gehlawat, 1990]. Considering only the molasses available from sugar mills, this source can
potentially produce two million m3 of ethanol a year. The annual consumption of petrol in road
transport in India [TERI, 1997] is about 4.7 million m3. The calorific value of ethanol is 21.1
MJ/l compared with 31.8 MJ/l of petrol [Yacoub et al., 1998], resulting in a potential of petrol
substitution by ethanol in road transport of about28 % (on equivalent energy basis) under Indian
conditions From practical considerations, however, it would be easier to introduce gasohol
(petrol containing 10 % anhydrous ethanol by volume) as a transport fuel, since the introduction
of this blend would require no engine modifications and vehicle volumetric fuel consumption
essentially remains unchanged [SEIS, 1980]. With the introduction of gasohol, the annual petrol
saving potential in road transport would be approximately 0.5 million m3 at the current level of
petrol consumption in India. Such a substitution should directly reduce petroleum imports and
replace octane-boosting lead alkyls in petrol, as have been done successfully in many countries
[Hall and House, 1995].
Blending of ethanol with petrol provides additional benefits. The changes in refinery operations
that are required to produce fuel of the same octane number without lead reduce the quantity of
fuel that can be produced from a barrel of crude oil. This is because reforming lower octane-
rating hydrocarbon components to increase the percentage of more complex octane-boosting
molecules alters the chemical constitution of the petrol. This reforming process consumes
additional energy in the refining process – energy directly lost from every barrel processed. The
addition of ethanol to petrol

Table 1. Process energy requirements


Process Energy consumption Energy recovered
MJ/I MJ/I
Fermentation 0.95
Distillation 11.88
Dehydration 4.84
Effluent treatment 3.30 11.27
Auxiliary equipment 0.21
Total 21.18 11.27

effectively gives the required octane boost and the reforming requirement is correspondingly
reduced. This means that every barrel of petrol blended with alcohol produced decreases crude
oil demand, not only by the quantity of petrol directly replaced by ethanol but also by the crude
oil saved through the value of ethanol as an octane enhancer [SEIS, 1980Unleadedpetrol is now
available in India but its use can create its own problems. Fuels containing high proportions of
aromatics and olefins produce relatively higher concentrations of hydrocarbon compounds that
have a potential to participate in reactions leading to the production of the harmful
photochemical smog. In addition, some aromatic compounds are known to be carcinogenic and
nerve toxins. For these reasons, the current trend favours the lowering of aromatics content in
petrol [Al-Farayedhiet al., 2000].

3. Gross carbon emission from anhydrous ethanol in India.


In the case where bioethanol is to be used in India as a petrol blend in road transport without
engine modifications, the use of anhydrous ethanol is essential [SEIS,1980]. Hence it is
important to carry out energy and environmental analysis of anhydrous ethanol production from
molasses as practised in India. With this objective, energy inputs in ethanol production were
obtained from a representative industrial alcohol plant located in the state of Uttar Pradesh (UP),
India. The plant, which has a production capacity of 100 m cube/day, is operated on a three-shift
basis (24 h/day). The production process consists of three stages: fermentation, conventional
distillation and dehydration, followed by effluent treatment that is now mandatory for all
distilleries. Energy consumption in each of these stages is in the form of process steam and
power derived from backpressure steam turbines. These turbines use steam generated at 4.5 MPa
(gauge) from bagasse-fired boilers.Bagasse is obtained through backward integration of the
distillery with a sugar mill having a cane-crushing capacity of 8000 t/day. The mill-wet bagasse
contains about 50 % moisture and has a calorific value [Gehlawat, 1990] of 9.5 MJ/kg.
Data recorded from the boiler and the back-pressure turbine used gave the following results:-

• 1 kg of steam generation requires 0.45 kg of bagasse, i.e., 4.3 MJ of primary energy.

• 1 kWh of power generation requires 7 kg of steam,i.e., 30 MJ of primary energy.

• About 1400 m3 of spent wash produced per day from100 m3/day of distillate is treated
biologically via anaerobic digestion, generating biogas. Approximately 35m3 of biogas is
generated per m3 of spent wash. This biogas, containing about 60 % methane and having
an approximate calorific value 23 MJ/m3, is fed directly into the boilers to save bagasse.
The energy consumption recorded during various stages of ethanol manufacture is summarized
in Table 1 and more detail may be found in a previous paper by the authors[Prakash et al., 1990].

4. Carbon emissions and uptake

There are significant carbon emissions in the form of CO2 during the production process of
ethanol. A large amount of CO2 is released during fermentation, as well as in the burning of
biogas and bagasse in the boilers used. CO2would also be released in transporting ethanol from
the distillery to the point of use and, of course, in its eventual
Combustion. In all of the above processes (except traditional transportation), however, the raw
material used (molasses) and energy inputs (bagasse and biogas) are derived from biomass
(sugar-cane) from the nearby fields. Therefore, one can safely assume that much of the carbon
released is eventually absorbed through photosynthesis insular-cane. Hence, in this case, gross
carbon emissions minus carbon uptake may be considered to be nil or, almost, very small.

5. Gross carbon emissions from oil and CNG

An accurate assessment of gross carbon emissions froma fuel requires a detailed energy analysis
of its production process. However, indicative values of carbon release rates (as CO2) for fossil
fuel processing and combustion are available [Goldenberg et al., 1988] and are given below:
Gross carbon emissions from natural - 13.5 kg per GJ released in combustion gas

Gross carbon emissions from - 19.9 kg per GJ released in combustion


petrol

Specific energy content of - 46 MJ/kg


natural gas [Baruah, 1993]

Specific energy content of petrol - 42.9 MJ/kg


[Yacoub et al., 1998]

Hence, gross carbon emissions from natural gas


= (0.0135 kg/MJ) ´ (46 MJ/kg)
= 0.62 kg C/kg of fuel
and gross carbon emissions from oil= (0.0199 kg/MJ) ´ (42.9 MJ/kg)
= 0.85 kg C/kg of fuel

Figure 2. Typical Vikram vehicles: 410P petrol-engined (left) and EV electric-powered (right)

To obtain the feedback energy requirement for CNG, energy data for compression were obtained
from the Gas Authority of India Ltd as follows.

• In a typical CNG plant, natural gas is compressed from about 40 bar to 250 bar through
reciprocating compressors in a two-stage process.

• The total electricity consumption in the process (compressor motors, oil pumps, cooling
water pumps, valves, etc.) was estimated to be in the range 0.6-0.7 kWhe/kg of natural
gas.

• The initial compression of natural gas to 40 bar from the lowest pressure of about 3 bar
consumes an additional 0.2 kWhe/kg of natural gas.

• Hence, the aggregate electricity consumption in compression averages about 0.85


kWhe!kg of natural gas. Carbon emissions (as C02) in conventional (coal-based)
electricity generation [Brown, 1992] are approximately 0.25 kg C/kWhe. About 80 % of
the utility power generation in India [MoF, 200 I] is thermal (mainly coalbased) and the
remaining 20 % comes from carbon-free (hydro and nuclear) resources. Therefore, I
kWhe power generation in India is associated with approximately 0.2 kg C emission.
Hence, gross carbon emission from I kg CNG = 0.62 + 0.85 x 0.2 = 0.79 kg C

6. Gross carbon emission from electric vehicles

To estimate gross carbon emissions from electric vehicles, practical data was obtained from
Scooters India Limited (SIL) at Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh), India. SIL is involved in the
manufacture, running and maintenance of its fleet of 8-seater three-wheelers. These are called
Vikram “tempos”and are used for public transport in the city (Figure 2). Each vehicle uses 12
lead-acid traction batteries (6 V, 200 Ab) which run a DC series motor (72 V, 5.5 kW). The
average range of the vehicle on one charge is about 100 km and the data recorded from the
charging station shows electricity consumption in the range 16-18 kWhe for fully charging a
discharged battery bank. Since I k Whe power generation in India is associated with
approximately 0.2 kg C emission (as in the above paragraph), gross carbon emission from SIL's
electric vehicles is estimated as:
[(0.2 kg C/kWhe) x (17 kWhe)]/ [(l00 km) x (8 passengers)] = 4.3 g C/passenger-km

7. Comparative assessment of gross carbon emissions from various transport fuels

Apart from manufacturing electric vehicles, SIL is also involved in the manufacture of petrol-
and CNG-driven 8-seater three-wheelers for public transport. These are also known as Vikram
tempos as they are similar to the electric vehicles in design, but have an engine of 3.4 kW (200
cm3, 2-stroke) and steel chassis, unlike the fibre-reinforced plastics used for electric vehicles.
There is also a diesel vehicle but this is smaller and not directly comparable so has been omitted
from this study. Fuel consumption in the petrol and CNG-driven tempos was observed as
follows.
I kg CNG is required for 35 km average run or I I petrol for an average run of 18 km.
Considering gross carbon emission from petrol and CNG per kg of fuel, gross carbon emission
from SIL' s tempos is evaluated as: 4.4 gC/passenger-km for petrol-driven vehicles and
2.8 gC/passenger-km for CNG-driven vehicles.
A comparison of the gross carbon emissions from various transport fuels in Indian conditions is
shown in Table 2.
8. Conclusions
It is concluded that bioethanol, as produced in India, can play a significant role in reducing life-
cycle carbon emissions. If used as a petrol blend, it can help reduce oil imports as well as reduce
aromatics pollution from unleaded petrol.

Table 2. Gross carbon emissions from various transport fuels

Indicative values of gross carbon emissions from various alternative transport fuels have been
evaluated and are presented in Table 2. The table shows that gross carbon emissions from electric
vehicles are significant and are comparable with those from oil-fuelled vehicles, while CNG is
the least polluting among conventional fuels. This shows that although some fuels may be
"clean" locally, they can cause considerable pollution on a global basis. The study further
demonstrates that gross pollution from a fuel would decrease if clean and renewable energy
resources were used in its production process, as in the case of bioethanol manufacture in India.
The study needs to be extended, of course, to assess gross emissions of other pollutants from a
fuel, e.g., SOx, NOx, particulates, aldehydes and lead, to obtain a comprehensive gradation of
fuels, thereby helping in the rational choice of a fuel.
A comparison with similar life-cycle assessments for automobile fuel/propulsion system
technologies for North America is provided below which further corroborates the conclusions
drawn above.
Comparison with similar life-cycle assessments for automobile fuel/propulsion system
technologies

Comparing fuels and propulsion systems requires a comprehensive, quantitative, life-cycle


approach to the analysis. It must be more encompassing than “well-to-wheels” analysis. Well-to-
wheels comprises two components, the "well-to-tank" (all activities involved in producing the
fuel) and "tank-to-wheel" (the operation/driving of the vehicle). The analyses must include the
extraction of all raw materials, fuel production, infrastructure requirements, component
manufacture, vehicle manufacture, use, and end-of-life phases (dismantling, shredding,
disposal/recycling) of the vehicle. Focusing on a portion of the system can be misleading. The
analysis must be quantitative and include the array of environmental discharges, as well as life-
cycle cost information, since each fuel and propulsion system has its comparative advantages.
Comparing systems requires knowing how much better each alternative is with respect to some
dimensions and how much worse it is with respect to others. Since focusing on a single stage or
attribute of a system can be misleading, e.g., only tail pipe emissions, the lifecycle implications
of each fuel and propulsion technology need to be explored.
MacLean and Lave [2003] have provided a very detailed review of a dozen studies on the life-
cycle implications of a wide range of fuels and propulsion systems that could power light-duty
vehicles in the US and Canada over the next two to three decades. The studies vary in the
fuel/propulsion options they consider, the environmental burdens they report and the
assumptions they employ, making it difficult to compare results. All of the studies, however,
include the "well-to-tank" and "tank-to-wheel" activities and the majority of the studies include a
measure of efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions associated with these activities. Comparison
has been limited to these activities and measures.
Table Al provides a summary of the ranges of efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions reported
in the studies for the well-to-tank portion for the various options. For the well-to-tank portion for
the production of electricity, renewable fuels and hydrogen, differing fuel production pathways
are most important. Owing to the range of different production options for these fuels (as well as
other issues such as study assumptions), results are much more variable. In addition, there is less
experience with producing these fuels, resulting in more uncertainty. It is important to
distinguish between total and fossil energy required for production when comparing efficiencies
among the fuels. Petroleum-based fuels have the highest efficiency for the well-to-tank portion
when total energy is considered. However, if only fossil energy is considered, biomass-based
fuels such as ethanol become more attractive.
The tank-to-wheel portions are more difficult to compare. Each study uses its selected vehicle
(e.g., conventional sedans, light-weight sedans, pick-up trucks) and many present assumptions
regarding the vehicle efficiencies. The studies, however, do not generally report the range of
assumptions or test conditions.

Table A1. Comparison of life-cycle inventory studies: well-to-tank


efficiencies and greenhouse gas emissions

Notes
1. Efficiency (%) is defined as: (energy in the fuel delivered to consumers/energy inputs
to produce and deliver the fuel) 100, e.g., 100 MJ of energy input results in 80-87
MJ of petrol delivered to the consumer.
2. Negative GHG emission values for ethanol result from carbon sequestration during
feedstock growth as well as if a credit is given for selling excess electricity (produced
through cogeneration schemes) to the grid and therefore offsetting CO2 emissions from
conventional electricity generation.

The well-to-wheel results (the sum of the well-to-tank and tank-to-wheel activities) of the studies
are still more difficult to compare. The baseline vehicle (with a few exceptions) is a current
petrol-fuelled ICE port fuel injection vehicle; it combines an efficient well-to-tank portion with a
relatively inefficient tank-to-wheel portion. A direct injection diesel vehicle is considerably more
efficient and therefore results in lower emissions of carbon dioxide even though the carbon
content in the diesel (and hence the well-to-tank portion of the C02 emissions) is higher than that
in petrol. Fuel-cell vehicles have a high theoretical efficiency but generally a low-efficiency
well-to-tank portion, which offsets some of the vehicle efficiency benefits.
Table A2 shows the ranges of values reported in the life-cycle studies for the well-to-wheel
greenhouse gas emissions. All of the fossil fuel options result in emissions of large amounts of
greenhouse gases. Ethanol and hydrogen have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
significantly. This, however, is highly dependent on the pathways for ethanol and hydrogen
production, especially the amount of fossil fuel inputs during production. Some of the hydrogen
options result in higher greenhouse gas emissions than those of a petrol ICE vehicle. Results for
hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) are dependent on the efficiency improvements over conventional
vehicles that are assumed.A numerical comparison of C02 emission data presented in Table A2
with those reported in Table 2 should be made with caution. The large differences in numerical
values arise from the differing manner in which C02 emissions have been expressed. In Table 2,
emissions are expressed in grams of carbon (only) released as CO2 per passenger-km travelled.
In Table A2, emissions are in grams of C02 equivalent per km travel of the vehicle examined.
C02 equivalent refers to the amount of carbon dioxide by weight emitted into the atmosphere
that would produce the same radiative forcing as a given weight of another greenhouse gas, e.g.,
methane or oxides of nitrogen.
Carbon dioxide equivalents are the product of the weight of gas being considered and its global
warming potential.
Table A2. Comparison of life-cycle inventory studies: well-to-wheel
greenhouse gas emissions

Numerical differences not withstanding, broad conclusions drawn by MacLean and Lave are
very similar to what has been obtained under Indian conditions in this article: all of the fossil-
fuelled vehicles (including electricity-driven) result in large GHG emissions. The two options
that have potential for the largest GHG emission reductions are the ethanol and the hydrogen-
fuelled vehicles if the fuels are produced with little or no fossil fuel inputs.
COMPRESSED NATURAL GAS (CNG)

What is CNG? Properties of Natural Gas:


CNG is the short form of Compressed Natural Gas. The Natural Gas has less energy density as
compared to Liquid Fuel and hence it is compressed to over 200 Kg/cm² (g) pressure to make it
CNG for use in the automobile sector. In its natural form it is colourless, odourless, non-toxic
and non-carcinogenic. However, this natural gas is mixed with an odorant to add flavour similar
to the odour of LPG from a domestic cylinder so as
to facilitate detection of its leakage. The typical composition and physical properties of CNG (i.e.
Compressed Natural Gas) is as follows:
Typical Composition:
Methane : 88%
Ethane : 5%
Propane : 1%
CO2 : 5%
Others : 1%
____
Total : 100%

Physical Properties:
Non-toxic – Natural gas being lead/sulphur free, its use substantially reduces harmful engine
emissions. When natural gas burns completely, it gives out carbon dioxide and
water vapour - the very components we give out while breathing!
Lighter than air – Natural gas being lighter than air, will rise aboveground level and disperse in
the atmosphere, in the case of a leakage.
Colourless – Natural Gas is available in the gaseous state, and is colourless.
Odourless – The gas in its natural form is odourless, however, ethylmercaptan is later added as
odorant so as to detect its leakage.
Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) is used as a fuel in transport sector in many countries. It is a
safe, clean burning and environment friendly fuel. It has been established that exhaust emissions
like hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide are significantly reduced as compared to other fuels.
Toxic emissions such as lead and sulphur are completely eliminated. Existing petrol vehicles can
use CNG by fitting a conversion kit. The CNG converted vehicles have the flexibility of
operating either on petrol or on CNG.
An experimental programme to use CNG as fuel in transport sector in the country was initiated
by GAIL in 1992, whereby CNG was made available in Delhi, Mumbai and Baroda. The supply
of CNG in Mumbai and Delhi are managed by two joint ventures viz. Mahanagar Gas Nigam
Ltd. and Indraprastha Gas Limited respectively and in Surat and Ankleshwar, by a private
company. The average cost of converting a petrol car to CNG is about Rs.35,000. There are over
10,000 CNG converted Petrol vehicles in Mumbai and over 3000 such vehicles in Delhi. 11
buses of DTC are running on CNG in Delhi, with 2 existing diesel buses converted to CNG on
trial basis.
CNG dispensing retail outlets on mother-daughter concept as well as online dispensing units
have been set up in Delhi. Under the former system, Natural Gas is compressed and filled into
truck mounted cascades (basket of cylinders) in the mother compressor station and transported to
daughter units for dispensing to CNG vehicle. The mother station initially set up in Ghaziabad
has been re-located and brought near to Delhi at Sarai Kale Khan, in May’97. At present there
are seven daughter and four on-line dispensing retail outlets in Delhi. Further expansion of the
infrastructural network to 80 CNG outlets is proposed by March 2000. The process of acquiring
land sites to set up the required number of outlets is going on.
WHY CNG?

Reasons for switching over to this alternate fuel are mainly:

1. Economic benefit: The cost of CNG is almost a third of the cost of Petrol in terms of calorific
value resulting in substantial saving in fuel cost, and investment on the CNG kit is paid back in a
short period
2. Environment friendly: The use of CNG as a fuel reduces vehicular exhaust emissions
significantly. Carbon Monoxide emissions are reduced by 70 to 90% and Hydrocarbon emissions
by 40 to 60% as compared to vehicles that use the conventional fuel - Petrol. Carbon Dioxide
emissions, a cause for global warming, are also reduced significantly by 10%
3. 100% Income Tax Depreciation: Corporate Organisations, firms, etc. can claim 100%
depreciation on a CNG Conversion Kit as this is a pollution controlling equipment.
Organisations that buy CNG Conversion Kits should consult their Income Tax Consultants and
avail of the depreciation benefits
4. Flexibility and ease of use: The basic engine characteristics of a vehicle are retained while
converting it to run on CNG. The vehicle therefore is capable of running either on Petrol or CNG
at the flick of a switch on its dashboard.

The Fuelling Process


There are very few CNG refuelling stations. Of the ones that exist, there are three basic types.
Fast fuelling stations which take five to ten minutes for refuelling, ideal for retail roadside
pumps. Slow fuelling stations which take from five to eight hours to fill, ideal for a fleet of
vehicles which have a long idling time. Combined Fast and Slow fuelling stations which can
cater to both the above categories.CNG is stored at compression stations which are directly
connected with the gas pipeline. Here the gas is compressed to a required pressure and aids
fuelling. CNG can also be transported to other retail outlets by cylinder trucks. these trucks carry
a number of cylinders which provide CNG to fuel stations which are not connected by pipelines.
These fuelling stations could be placed alongside petrol and diesel pumps too. the whole process
requires proper infrastructure and transportation.
Bi-fuel Possibility

Vehicles can also be operated in the dual mode like Petrol-CNG and Diesel-CNG. Experiments
of these kinds have been conducted on vehicles by TELCO,Kirloskar Cummins Ltd., Ashok
Leyland, IBP, OIL, Delhitransport Corporation and Gujarat Road Transport Corporation. The
results were quite satisfactory.

The Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) has requested vehicle manufacturers to nominate
workshops and undertake conversions on their vehicles. The actual performance could be
monitored by the Indian Institute for Petroleum (IIP), Kit suppliers from Italy and New Zealand
have joined hands with oil marketing companies and vehicle manufacturers to train and initiate
conversion from petroleum products to CNG.

Many countries around the world, including India, have abundant reserves of natural gas.
Hopefully, it is only a matter of time when things begin to take a turn for the better and CNG
would be as prevalent as petroleum products.
|
What does the kit comprise of ?
1. The Cylinder
The cylinder is used to store CNG at a working pressure of 200 bar. It is fitted with a shut-off
valve and a safety burst disc. The cylinders are type approved by the Chief Controller of
Explosives, Government of India.

2. The Vapour Bag.


Fitted onto the cylinder, the Vapour Bag is used to enclose the cylinder valve and the pipes
connecting it and is vented out of the car

3. The High Pressure Pipe


This High Pressure Pipe connects the refuelling valve to the CNG Cylinder and Pressure
Regulator

4. The Refuelling Valve


The Refuelling Valve is used to refuel the CNG cylinder

5. The Pressure Regulator


The Pressure Regulator has a Solenoid Valve to shut-off gas supply to the engine. The CNG
stored at a high pressure in the cylinder is reduced to just below atmospheric pressure by this
unit. This negative pressure is also a safety feature that will not allow gas to pass through when
the engine is not running.

6. The Gas-Air Mixer


The Gas-Air Mixer is a unique component, specially designed to suit each engine model. It
precisely meters gas fed into the engine.

7. The Petrol-Solenoid Valve


The Petrol-Solenoid Valve is used to cut off petrol supply to the engine when it is run on CNG

8. The Selector Switch


The Selector Switch is fitted at the dashboard, enabling the driver to choose either the CNG
mode or the petrol mode of operation. The electronics built into this unit also ensures safety by
switching off the gas solenoid whenever the engine is switched off. It also serves as a fuel
indicator for the quantity of CNG available in the cylinder

POLLUTION REDUCTION IN CNG FUELLED VEHICLES

The use of CNG in vehicles has lead to considerable reduction in air pollution as is evident from
the following data:

A. Auto rickshaw – Three wheelers:

B. Passenger Cars:
C. Diesel Buses:

Pilot project of GAIL :

• Objective: A pilot project was initiated by GAIL (India) Ltd. in collaboration with Indian
Institute of Petroleum, Dehradun to establish the feasibility of using CNG as an
alternative to liquid fuels such as Diesel & Petrol used by buses & automobiles in 3 cities
namely Delhi, Mumbai & Baroda.

• Infrastructure of GAIL under pilot project: 1 Mother station was initially put up at
Ghaziabad which has since been shifted to Seakale Khan. This mother station was
feeding to 5 daughter stations in Delhi. 3 Nos. online stations were added making total 9
Nos. of Cogitations during the pilot phase of the project. The station design and safety
norms followed were as per New Zealand standards.
CNG CONSIDERED AS ALTERNATIVE FUEL :

CNG is totally safe. It is non-toxic, non-corrosive and non-carcinogenic (totally free from cancer
– inducing agent). CNG being predominately methane (CH4) is 0.6 times lighter then air while
petrol is 3-4 times heavier. Being lighter then air, it disperses fast unlike petrol or LPG, which
tends to remain around the place of leakage. CNG does not catch fire easily, as it requires a much
higher concentration of 5.15% in the air to ignite against the 1.8 % required for petrol. CNG also
requires a higher ignition temperature of 540O C as compared to with petrol, which requires 232-
282 O C, which prevent CNG from catching fire as quickly as petrol. CNG cylinders are very
robust materials, which minimizes the chances of leakage. CNG promises a breath of fresh air
and is environmental friendly. CNG is lead-free and substantially reduce the harmful engine
emission to keep the surroundings and air clean.
CNG INTRODUCED AS ALTERNATIVE FUEL :
A special report of Environmental Pollution and Control Authority (EPCA) Committee headed
by Sh. Bhurey Lal comprises of Secy. Transport, Delhi Government, A member from Center for
Science and Technology and a member each from Ministry of Environment and Ministry of
Petroleum suggested use of CNG in all commercial vehicles in NCR in addition to ban on
registration of diesel cars in Delhi. However, the Delhi Government was in favour of propane gas
as alternative fuel and set up a propane gas station for DTC buses but the Center did not approve
the propane conversion kit. Even the option was not favoured by Sh. Bhurey Lal Committee.
Thus the Hon’ble Supreme Court accepted CNG as alternative fuel for Gasoline and diesel
vehicles.
DEADLINE OF 31.3.2001 FIXED FOR POLLUTING VEHICLES :
The Hon’ble Supreme Court vide its orders on 28.7.1998 fixed the dead line of 31.3.2001 for
gasoline/diesel run commercial vehicles in view of the June 1998 affidavit of Secretary Transport
Delhi Government assuring that the City Bus fleet could be converted to CNG mode by
31.3.2001.
CNG TECHONOLOGY ---TESTED & EXPERIENCED
CNG has been successfully used as auto fuel in several countries. As of now, there are more than
12 lakh CNG driven vehicles in the world. Argentina, Canada, Italy, New Zealand and USA are
among the countries where CNG is being used as auto fuel for some years/. Pakistan is also
successfully running a staggering 1, 60,000 vehicles on CNG. Almost entire transport system is
running on CNG in Pakistan. This conversion process has been on the past five to six years.
Most vehicles in Japan run on LPG, but , now they are also opting for CNG. Even Bangladesh is
also in its way to convert its transport fleet to CNG mode. In India, Mumbai has been the first to
use the CNG mainly for taxies.
VEHICULAR AIR POLLUTION IN DHAKA: The air pollution in few big cities of
Bangladesh is a very serious concern. As per a World Bank Study, as many as 15000 deaths
(5000 in Dhaka), a million cases of sickness requiring medical treatment and 850 million cases
of minor illness can be avoided annually if air pollution levels in the country’s four principal
cities are reduced to match standards in force in developed countries. The same report further
estimates the economic cost of these avoidable deaths and sickness to be US $ 200 to 800 million
every year. Dhaka has heterogeneous traffic flows. Three wheelers, out of which ninety percent
are two stroke engines baby taxis and two wheelers, are dominant in the vehicle fleet in terms of
both number and mileage. The number of two stroke engine three wheelers has tripled from
1990-96. Air pollution levels in Dhaka are considerably higher than the Bangladesh standards or
the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for residential areas. Most experts here blame
three-wheelers with two-stroke engines and the heavy-duty diesel vehicles for the high pollution
levels. They see leaded gasoline as the principal source of lead in the atmosphere. As many
countries have phased out leaded gasoline, Bangladesh is also working on the problem. Due to
pressure from green lobby to reduce air pollution in Dhaka, the government decided that three-
wheelers would be made to run on non-polluting compressed natural gas (CNG). Initially, all
such decisions remained on paper. The reason might be that there was support for converting
three-wheelers to CNG instead of banning them so as to prevent the sudden unemployment of at
least 250,000 people. Here it is worth mentioning that motor vehicles per thousand people in
Dhaka city is still low in comparison to other capital cities of developing countries but the likely
higher economic growth in the future with even faster increase in population will definitely result
in fast growth in vehicles fleet in Dhaka. Besides the composition and size of vehicle fleet, poor
maintenance, excessive commercial use, fuel adulteration, use of lubricants of sub standard
quality and poor management of traffic will further result in severe congestion and vehicular
pollution in Dhaka.
Keeping in view the above problems, Dhaka Urban Transport project was launched by the
Government of Bangladesh and the Dhaka City Corporation. The International Development
Association (IDA), the World Bank’s concessionary arm approved the credit of US $ 177 million
for the project. The Government also wanted to develop an Air Quality Management System to
reduce Dhaka’s severe air pollution. The World Bank provided Bangladesh a $ 4.7 million
Learning and Innovative Loan in 2000 for a Bangladesh Air Quality Management Project
(AQMP) under which Dhaka would pilot new ways of controlling urban air pollution.
Next step in the direction of reducing air pollution in Dhaka is to popularize the use of CNG
vehicles, as in many other cities of the world.
ECONOMICS OF CNG VEHICLE PROGRAM IN DHAKA: Worldwide, improving air
quality in urban settings has been a long-standing planning objective and road transport using
diesel vehicles has been identified as major contributor to such air pollution. To help address this
problem, increasingly stringent vehicle emission standards came in to force worldwide. It also
stimulated research into alternative fuels and technologies that promise cleaner and lower
emissions. Various fuels that are alternatives to diesel and petrol have been proposed for use in
vehicles. Alternative fuel vehicles use such fuels as compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied
natural gas (LNG), methanol, ethanol, bio-diesel fuel and propane. Among these fuels, Natural
Gas, either in the form of CNG or LNG, is more in the news. Reasons behind the popularity of
these fuels are economic as well as environmental. Many countries like Argentina, Canada, Italy,
New Zealand and United States of America have substantial NGV programs. Brazil, Chile,
China, Colombia, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Pakistan and Thailand are in various phases
of developing such programs.As early as in 1985-86, Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation started
a project to use CNG in vehicles instead of Gasoline. The World Bank donated Tk 225.1 million
to initiate the project. The primary objective of this project was to reduce vehicular emissions as
combustion of CNG produces less pollutant than the gasoline.After a decade in 1996, there were
only 86 vehicles converted under the project, while in that year the volume of traffic in Dhaka
only was composed of 84411 cars, 9135 buses, 15600 trucks, 66360 three wheelers and 121156
two wheelers. In year 2002, there were only five CNG filling stations in Dhaka, out of which 4
has been established by Rupantarit Prakritika Gas Company Limited (RPGCL) and one was in
joint venture between a Chinese company and RPGCL. The gas supply to these filling stations
was quite erratic, particularly during morning hours when gas pressure decrease due to domestic
use. The need was felt to create an efficient transmission and distribution network to improve
and secure a reliable supply of gas. Further, as conversion of vehicles to CNG has now become
imperative to save the city from the menace of air pollution that has turned the capital into
almost a 'gas chamber', need was felt to set up number of CNG filling stations to cater the
growing demand when large numbers of vehicles get converted to CNG. Realizing the urgency
the Bangladesh Government has taken up the CNG conversion process issue within its 100-day
action plan for implementation. To expedite the process, the government has already given
permission to 13 private companies to set up CNG conversion units. The economic benefits
arising from the CNG vehicle program in Dhaka are expected to accrue to consumers of various
categories such as vehicle owners, users of transport, workers and the economy in general.
Additionally, benefits on account of improved environment and thus health status of the
population in Dhaka and macro economic contribution of the CNG program for further
development of the energy and particularly, gas sector are equally important.
Economic Benefits to Vehicle Owners & Users:The amount of consumer surplus (economic
benefits) arising from CNG Program will directly benefit the vehicle owners. Operating cost of
CNG vehicles is lower than that of vehicles run on alternate fuel i.e. petrol or diesel. Thus
vehicle owners will benefits from reduced operation costs in terms of resource cost savings. For
instance, if hundred percent of the bus fleet of the Dhaka is converted to CNG, the present value
of likely stream of economic benefits in terms of resource cost savings in the coming twenty
years period, at twelve percent rate of discount, will be about 16000 million Taka. Similarly, the
conversion of whole vehicle fleet of Dhaka to CNG will fetch the present value of likely stream
of economic benefits in terms of resource cost savings over a twenty year period, at twelve
percent rate of discount, to the tune of 32000 million taka.
However, the experience shows that vehicle owners will not transfer a portion of consumer
surplus to end-users. Therefore, intervention by Government / administration is required to
ensure that end users of transport also get a share in consumer surplus arising from transport
component in the proposed project.
Benefits to Operators of Filling Stations:Another potential beneficiary of the CNG program
will be the CNG filling station operators because the demand for CNG as fuel is going to
increase and they will earn from the increased sale of CNG. Initially, the profit might not have
been significant because of low gas pressure leading to sub optimal sale proceeds at the end of
the day. However, their income will significantly increase due to the program that will ensure the
regular supply of gas with optimum pressure
Network Benefits: Total consumption of gas by vehicle fleet of Dhaka will be less than the
supply of gas provided by an optimum size of the transmission and distribution network.
Therefore, consumers of other categories such as households, commercial or industrial
consumers will consume the additional supply of gas, over and above the consumption by
transport in the city. Discussions (by author a year back) with RPGCL, the distributor of gas in
Dhaka, revealed that presently, the supply of gas is less than demand, particularly during peak
hours. It results in lower than optimum supply pressure in the existing gas distribution network
and thus existing consumers did not get the proper supply of gas. As suggested by officials of
RPGCL, the investment in up gradation and augmentation of gas transmission and distribution
network will help in improving the supply of gas to existing consumers by maintaining optimum
supply pressure in the network. The possible consumers of the additional supply of gas by the
upgraded network may be grouped under to heads depending upon the physical location of the
newly added transmission and distribution network and its area of coverage. First group will be
households and commercial consumers in the Dhaka city and other possible consumers may be
industries in the outer periphery of Dhaka. In case of first group of consumers, i.e. household and
commercial, economic benefits on account of improved network for supply of gas will be in
terms of resource cost savings because the cost of natural gas is lower than that of other alternate
fuels. In other words, consumers will be able to get same amount of energy, which they used to
get from alternate fuels, by spending less. Such benefits will occur to existing as well as new
consumers.In case of use of gas in industry, the economic benefits will be in terms of net
incremental output (net value added) to the economy. The quantum of such benefits depends
upon the type of industries likely to consume the additional supply of gas. Discussions with
officials of RPGCL indicated that a few gas based power plants have been proposed in Dhaka
region, which may be the likely consumers of the additional gas supply. This possibility becomes
even more likely in the light of the fact that the gas based power plants in Bangladesh are not
getting the requisite supply of gas for power generation. However, possibility of supplying gas to
industries in outer Dhaka region simultaneously with the supply to CNG filling stations may not
be feasible because of the incompatible spatial patterns of industrial development and spread of
city. Therefore, the network benefits are more likely to occur to household and commercial
consumers.
Health Benefits due to Reduced Pollution : Proportionate share of Dhaka in reported cases of
death and sickness was taken on the basis of proportionate share of Dhaka in the total population
of major cities of the country and thus, economic benefits associated with reduced health
problems due to use of CNG was estimated for the city. The benefits in terms of savings in cost
of health impact due to air pollution was estimated under three heads, viz. loss of human capital
– deaths due to air pollution, loss of work person days on account of sickness due to air pollution
and expenditure on treatment.
The estimated cost of health problem due to air pollution in Dhaka comes to about Tk 25000
million per year. In other words, Tk 25000 million as health benefits can occur to the economy, if
an air pollution level in Dhaka is reduced to match standards in force in developed countries.
Macro Economic Benefits -Foreign Exchange Savings: It is generally argued that market for
gas in Bangladesh is limited This argument seems misplaced when demand scenario for gas in
Bangladesh is analyzed in the context of possibilities of replacement of other imported fuels such
as petrol and diesel by gas. Judging from the size of the oil bills in the BOP, the fact of the matter
appears to be that Bangladesh had been an energy deficient country.Projections[ by Power
System Master Plan (PSMP) put the likely growth in energy demand in Bangladesh at 10% per
annum. Assuming the same rate of growth in demand for petrol and diesel, calculations reveal
that demand for these energy products is going to be more than four times after 15 years.

Projected* Demand for Petrol and Diesel in Bangladesh


‘000 MT

Year Petrol Diesel


1995-96 174.00 1303.00
2000 280.00 2098.00
2005 451.00 3378.00
2010 726.00 5438.00
2015 1169.00 8755.00
Projections are based on power demand forecasts made by the Power System Master Plan
(PSMP), which predict that power demand is going to grow at 10% per annum in the
country.
Keeping in view the current import bill of the country for these fuels, limited available reserves
of petroleum and exploration activities there, the domestic production is not going to meet this
increasing demand. To meet the increasing demand for petrol and diesel there are two options
available with the government- either increase the imports or replace the use of these fuels by
domestically produced natural gas.
The first option has no economic logic. For example, in 1995-96, 1007 thousand MT of diesel
was imported which was valued at 183 Million US$. Assuming that the ratio between imported
fuels and domestic production will remain the same, as at present, and demand growth will be as
predicted by PSMP, the likely quantum of import of diesel alone will be about 6700 thousand
MT in 2015.

Projected Imports of Diesel in Bangladesh


000MT

Year Diesel
1995-96 1007
2000 1621
2005 2610
2010 4206
2015 6775
Thus, considering the existing level of imports of these products and precarious position of
foreign exchange reserves, Bangladesh cannot afford to depend on imports of energy fuels to
meet the increasing demand.The other viable option is to replace the petrol and diesel by natural
gas as a fuel in industry and transport.For example, let us consider the case of replacing use of
imported diesel by domestically produced natural gas in the industry and transport sector, and
resulting foreign exchange savings. Since the replacement of diesel with gas is a gradual process
and takes few years to fully materialize, the savings in foreign exchange will be smaller in the
initial years. But after 4-5 years such savings will pick up. Thus the import substitution may
save the country foreign exchange to the tune of about US$ 90 Million in 2005, which may
increase
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