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frankzappa

Challenges

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Despite its advantages, the use of natural gas vehicles faces several limitations, including fuel storage and infrastructure available for delivery and distribution at fueling stations. CNG must be stored in high pressure cylinders (3,000 to 3,600 psi (21,000 to 25,000 kPa) operation pressure), and LNG must be stored in cryogenic cylinders (−260 to −200 °F (−162 to −129 °C)). These cylinders take up more space than gasoline or diesel tanks that can be molded in intricate shapes to store more fuel and use less on-vehicle space. CNG tanks are usually located in the vehicle's trunk or pickup bed, reducing the space available for other cargo. This problem can be solved by installing the tanks under the body of the vehicle, or on the roof (typical for buses), leaving cargo areas free. As with other alternative fuels, other barriers for widespread use of NGVs are natural gas distribution to and at fueling stations as well as the low number of CNG and LNG stations.

The need to keep LNG tanks cold makes it unsuited for vehicles that are not in frequent use. If misused, gas fumes are likely to build up in the car, which can lead to the inhalation of unsafe fumes and possible explosions in the car engine.

Other challenges include: relatively price and environmentally insensitive but convenience seeking private individuals; good profits and taxes extractable from small batch sales of value-added, branded petrol and diesel fuels via established trade channels and oil refiners; resistance and safety concerns to increasing gas inventories in urban areas; dual-use of utility distribution networks originally built for home gas supply and allocation of network expansion costs; reluctance, effort and costs associated with switching; prestige and nostalgia associated with petroleum vehicles; fear of redundancy and disruption. A particular challenge may be the fact that refiners are currently set up to produce a certain fuels mix from crude oil. Aviation fuel is likely to remain the fuel of choice for aircraft due to their weight sensitivity for the foreseeable future.

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