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As gasoline and diesel prices increase, the need for a cleaner and less expensive alternative fuel becomes even more important. Today, there are several kinds of alternative fuels available to us. New technologies that will power the cars of the future are being developed. However some of these technologies are still in its infancy and are not yet readily available. More and more people all over the world are also looking for an alternative fuel. And among the many options available, compressed natural gas or CNG appears to be the viable option. But the question that needs to be answered is whether CNG is indeed a better fuel and why?

Here are the advantages CNG has over petroleum-based fuels such as gasoline.

Compressed natural gas is a clean-burning fuel. It is actually the cleanest of all fossil fuels. Since natural gas is composed mainly of methane, burning it produces carbon dioxide and water vapor. These are the same compounds we exhale when we breathe. Meanwhile, petroleum produces higher carbon emissions, nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide. Burning fuel oil also produces ash particulates that worsen pollution.

Combustion of natural gas releases very small amounts of these compounds. For instance, carbon monoxide emission is reduced by about 80% in CNG-powered cars compared to gasoline-powered vehicles. CNG also produces 45% less hydrocarbons than gasoline. And although natural gas also produces greenhouse gases, it is considerably reduced compared to gasoline or diesel. This helps reduce the harmful effects of greenhouse gases to the environment particularly through global warming.

Since CNG is a clean burning fuel, combusting it leaves little or no residue compared to gasoline or diesel. Thus, the damage to the pipes and tubes of the vehicle’s engine is greatly reduced. There is also less particulate matter that can contaminate the motor oil. This results to longer periods in between maintenance procedures such as tune-ups and oil changes. Consequently, owners of CNG-powered cars enjoy bigger savings on maintenance costs.

CNG also has a high ignition temperature of about 1163 degrees Fahrenheit and a flammability rating of approximately 5 to 15% gas in air. This reduces the risk of fire if and when a leak happens. CNG is also lighter than air and will simply dissipate into the atmosphere in the case of leaks. Meanwhile, gasoline or diesel will pool in the ground when there is a leak which results to a very dangerous fire hazard. Lastly, CNG is a non-toxic fuel that does not pose any danger of contamination to ground water.