iGAS overcomes CNG hurdles

An Australian company has come up with an innovative way of overcoming some of the hurdles that are associated with using compressed natural gas (CNG) as a heavy vehicle fuel.

IGAS, based in Staplyton in Queensland has developed a
high-pressure direct injection CNG system and fuel storage module
designed for heavy duty prime movers.

Traditionally CNG is not considered a viable fuel for heavy
vehicles despite being inexpensive and abundant in Australia.

CNG usually requires large storage cylinders that take up a lot of
chassis space on a prime mover. This makes it difficult to get
enough gas on the vehicle for it to have a viable range.

By using Westport’s existing 15-litre HD525 HPDI liquefied natural
gas (LNG) engine as a starting point, iGAS has developed its own
patented hydraulic pumping system and storage module which is
purported to give an effective range of 1,000km.

CNG is usually cheaper than LNG as it does not require further
processing and cooling to become a liquid, and doesn’t dissipate
when the vehicle is parked.

CNG also does not require protective clothing when refuelling as
the fuel does not cause cold burns. Westport Innovations has
granted iGAS OEM status, as has Western Star Trucks in
Australia.

The company has two of its own CNG-powered Western Star 4800FX
prime movers working full time in B-double and single trailer roles
in south eastern Queensland for both Simon Transport and Chalmers
with success to date.

iGAS is set to expand its own fleet of trucks as it continues to
refine and develop its CNG system as well as further develop
portable refuelling infra- structure.

American firm Carbon Cutter Transport LLC has already purchased an
iGAS system to conduct trials on a prime mover that runs between
Salt Lake City, Utah and the Port of Los Angeles.

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