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CNG STatioJohnny Williams, The Daily and Sunday Review

CNG Station, Johnny Williams, The Daily and Sunday Review

 Natural Gas Power

How does the natural gas power output, specifically methane, compare to that of gasoline? The answer depends on a lot of factors but for the same engine using different fuel systems, a natural gas engine will produce about 17% less power. The lower power is not an indicator of an inferior fuel, but a matter of chemistry.

The optimum Air/Fuel Ratio for gasoline is 14.7 parts air to 1 part gasoline. At this point, the gasoline combusts at the highest efficiency, leaving no fuel unburned and no excess air in the combustion chamber.

The optimum Air/Fuel Ratio for methane is 17.2 parts air to 1 part methane. The 17% difference in the optimal Air/Fuel Ratio means that the same engine will produce about 17% less power with each revolution.

The power difference can be overcome by using a different displacement or compression optimized for natural gas in order to achieve the same level of output.  The differences in optimum Air/Fuel Ratio is important to understand when evaluating natural gas performance.

Renewegy is currently evaluating natural gas options for both compressed natural gas and liquid propane for on-highway application.

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