Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is natural gas in its liquid form. Specifically, it is natural gas that has been cooled to minus 260 degrees Fahrenheit, the point at which gas condenses to a liquid. In its liquid state, LNG is a clear liquid with a density about half that of water. This volume reduction permits cost-effective transportation of LNG over long distances.
LNG vehicle fuel provides an excellent means to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx), particulate matter (PM), sulfur oxides (SOx), and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. A typical LNG truck will have 90% fewer NOx and PM emissions than a diesel truck, 100% fewer SOx emissions, and 30% fewer GHG emissions. Due to the clean-burning nature of natural gas, LNG powered heavy-duty vehicles can achieve low emission rates without excessive and expensive emission control equipment as is required for diesel engines.
LNG has been the alternative fuel of choice for the heavy-duty market in the North America. There are thousands of LNG delivery trucks, transit buses, waste collection trucks, locomotives, and other vehicles utilizing LNG.
While LNG already enjoys very favorable economics over petroleum and other transportation fuels—with fuel cost savings typically reported in the 30% range – the continued high price of petroleum and growing supply / low price of natural gas is expected to further decouple these traditionally linked energy markets and provide cost savings to fuel hungry end users. Where there exists an LNG production plant, peak shaving or gas processing facility, loading facility or receiving terminal, or even a natural gas pipeline, LNG vehicle fuel will offer the lowest cost fuel option for heavy-duty transportation in the immediate region. For example, where there is an LNG receiving terminal in an industrial port complex, LNG vehicle fuel can also be made available for use in local port delivery trucks, off-road yard tractors, locomotives, ferries and commercial harbor craft, and for cold-ironing large ocean going vessels.