Munich Personal RePEc Archive

In quest for a sustainable motorization: the CNG opportunity

Stocchetti, Andrea and Volpato, Giuseppe (2010): In quest for a sustainable motorization: the CNG opportunity. Published in: Int. J. Automotive Technology and Management , Vol. 10, No. 1 : pp. 13-36.

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This article aims at describing the opportunity deriving from the substitution of conventional fuels, as gasoline and diesel, with the Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), frequently indicated as methane. The use of CNG systems in vehicles cannot be considered the ultimate solution to the problem of pollution generated by road transport, but the advantages of this fuel are: a) relevant, as it concerns consumer’s expenses and ecological aspect; b) rapidly achievable, waiting for availability of new technologies capable of more relevant advantages; c) close to hand for several countries: Europe and U.S. and those where the motorization is at the take-off stage, like the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China), and others like: Iran, Pakistan, Indonesia and so on. In fact, such countries in take-off stage on the one hand have extensive reserves of methane, and on the other hand need to cut emission urgently, specifically in areas with a high density of population. From the economic point of view CNG results a viable solution with few contraindication. The most important bottleneck is represented by a possible shortage in the distribution network. If a country is crossed by a gas pipeline this shortage could be overcome rapidly and without relevant costs. In the others the solution could be achieved either through gas carriers ships or through local production of biomethane by the exploitation of biomasses.

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