Listing the Alternative Diesel Fuels CNG, LPG, and LNG

Alternatives to Diesel Fuel: CNG vs. LPG vs. LNG

Diesel fuel (which is refined from crude oil) produces many harmful emissions when it is burned, making diesel-fueled trucks and big rigs a major source of dangerous pollutants which are bad for the environment. That’s why many commercial fleet managers today are considering vehicles that use alternative fuels. Below are three of the top alternative fuels and some of their advantages over diesel.

Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)

Compressed Natural Gas (comprised almost entirely of methane) has become increasingly popular for medium and heavy-duty vehicles because it burns cleanly. CNG produces no soot, particulate matter, or volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and is therefore not difficult to maintain exhaust systems. CNG engines are not only better for the environment, but they also are reliable and often more economical than diesel engines.

Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)

Liquefied Petroleum Gas is a mixture of light hydrocarbons; in the U.S., that mixture is usually 90% or more propane with other gases like butane making up the remainder. Like CNG, LPG shares many of the same benefits – it burns cleanly, can reduce vehicle maintenance costs, and can help eliminate cold weather start issues. One advantage of LPG over CNG is that it is the third most popular motor fuel in the world behind gasoline and diesel, which means it is easier to find and is available in more locations.

Liquid Natural Gas (LNG)

Liquid Natural Gas is the same substance as CNG but in liquid form. CNG is stored in a vehicle’s tank as a gas. With LNG, natural gas is compressed and cooled to extremely low temperatures to turn it into a liquid. That liquid can then be shipped, stored, or used in LNG-powered vehicles. LNG is denser than CNG which means that a vehicle can drive further on a tank of LNG, making it an option for heavy vehicles on long hauls. However, LNG is not widely available and can be more complicated to use.

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