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Compressed Natural Gas As An Alternate Source of Fuel

-Anish Thomas Exam no. 16001 VIII Sem, Roll no 14801 Automobile Engineering L.D. College Of Engineering, Ahmedabad

CNG as a fuel is clean, economical and has been used world wide to power vehicles. There are over 1,200,000 vehicles running on CNG in the world. Existing petrol vehicles can use CNG by installing a bi-fuel conversion kit and the converted vehicle will have the flexibility to use CNG or petrol. Lead free Its use substantially reduces harmful engine emissions Keep the environment clean. Operational cost of vehicles running on CNG is 1/3rd that of petrol.

Constituents of CNG



Propane C4 and higher C6 and higher CO2 + N2 Hydrogen

1.7 0.7 0.2 0.2 0.1

Maximum Maximum Maximum Maximum Maximum

Carbon Monoxide
Oxygen Sulphur

0.5 10 ppm

Maximum Maximum

Properties Of CNG

Good anti-knock qualities hence does not ignite readily

Octane number is 130, so it burns at much higher temperature Has high compression ratio of 12:1 CNG fuels have higher thermal efficiencies Non-toxic Lighter than air and hence safe to use

CNG Engines
CNG as a fuel is used in Dual fuel engines which works on both gas and diesel They are similar to diesel engine in construction if 5% of total fuel used is diesel

This 5% diesel is required to ignite gaseous mixture and stabilize its combustion
By fuel options it is suitable to retrofit options because of flexibility Dedicated CNG engines are the engines that work on CNG as fuel at all load conditions they are similar to spark ignition engines

CNG Kit Parts

Pressure Regulator Petrol Solenoid Valve with manual override switch Stops petrol flow when operating on CNG On-Off valve and refueling connector Opens or stops gas flow of the regulator and induces a refueling device Control Module/Change over Switch

Electronic connect component with fuel selections switch

CNG Level Indicator NRV in petrol return line

CNG Kit Parts

Gas-Air Mixer

CNG Cylinder with valve, vapour bag and bracket

Petrol Hose Low pressure gas hose Ignition Advance Processor High Pressure Gas Tube Wire Harness Pressure Gauge

Working cycle of CNG

Natural Gas is compressed to between 3,000 to 3,600 pounds per square inch (20 bar) It is stored on board the vehicle in the cylinders installed in the rear/undercarriage.

When the engine requires natural gas, it leaves the cylinder, passes through a valve and travels through a high-pressure fuel injector in multi point fuel injection (MPFI) vehicles through a specially designed natural gas mixer/injector where it is properly mixed with air.
Natural gas then flows into the engines combustion chamber and is ignited to create the power required to drive the vehicle. Special solenoid operated valves prevent the gas from entering when it is shut off.

Vehicles suitable for CNG conversion

Any petrol vehicle engine can be converted to operate on CNG. Vehicles with catalytic converters can also be fitted with CNG kit without any difficulty Diesel engines can also be converted on CNG either be installing dual fuel kit or converting the existing diesel into spark ignition engine

CNG Kit Installation

Cylinders are usually mounted in the luggage space of the vehicles.

In station wagons and hatchback vehicles, they are mounted behind the rear seat or in some cases underneath the chassis.
Cylinder must be located in a protected position to minimize the damage in the event of an accident and shall not be mounted on the roof until specific approval is available. Specially designed steel clamps which completely surround and grip the cylinders are used to mount these on vehicles. These clamps are anchored to the body of the car with suitable stands so as to facilitate the efficient use of best space.

CNG Kit Installation

The payload of the vehicle would be naturally reduced by amount equivalent to the weight of the gas cylinder Fitment of CNG kit required general inspection of the vehicle, audit of electrical items like battery, ignition coil, spark plug, distributor wires, point and condenser, mechanical installation of the kit components and finally tuning on petrol as well as on CNG Generally, conversions can be done in a single day

Performance Curves of Engine working on CNG fuel

The effect of engine speed on brake power and thermal efficiency is shown All parameters are controlled electronically for optimum performance of the engine

Engine speed (rpm) vs. Brake horse power (kw)


B r a 100 k e


15% Reduction

p o w 60 e r

Natural Gas

k w
20 800 1600 2400 3200 4000 4800 5600 6400


Engine speed (rpm) vs. Thermal Efficiency (%)


T h e r m a 30 l E f f

Natural Gas


800 1600 2400 3200 4000 4800 5600 6400


Physical properties of CNG

Properties Liquid Sp. Gravity Heat of Evaporation Unit BTU/Lb Petrol 0.74 160 Diesel 0.84 200 CNG -

Density relative to air

Auto ignition temp. Flammability Limit Flame temperature Octane no. Cetane no.

oC % in air oC -

232-282 18 1977 87 10

225 0.6 505 2054 45

540 3 15 1790 127 10

Emission Control
CNG has 85 to 95% Methane and is the lightest hydrocarbon This makes the natural gas inherently the clean burning fuel

There is reduction in the emission of CO, CO2, NOx, etc.



Natural Gas


Natural Gas


24% Reduction

CO2 %

C O2 10

21% Reduction


Natural Gas

0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0

Excess air ratio

NOx (ppm)

N 27% O Reduction X 2000



Natural Gas

THC (ppm)

T H C 4000
60% P Reduction P 2000 M


Natural Gas

CNG reserves in India

India has twice as much gas reserves as oil reserves

Obtained from Mumbai High, Baroda, Ahmedabad, Surat & Bharuch, Krishna-Godavari Basin, Assam and Tripura

Safety Issues
The like hood of this flammable mixture occurring is less for natural gas than for LPG since the NG is lighter than air and tends to float away LPG vapour is heavier than air and tends to form pools near the ground. The cylinders carrying CNG are very durable and are tested under harsh conditions of fire, explosion, heat and pressure extremities, collision. It has a narrow range of flammability It has high ignition temerature

Advantages of CNG
Emissions: Natural Gas is the cleanest burning fuel 70% lower level of CO than a comparable petrol vehicle Its Cheap Its Engine-friendly Its Safe High Availability Its Easy to Tap Its Odorless

Disadvantages of CNG
The storage cylinder takes a lot of space as the gas once filled has to travel at least of 400 kms Loss of power and efficiency CNG gas stations are not widely spread in India


Use of CNG will make you healthy wealthy and wise ;-)