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Natural Gas Technologies

Fueling Stations

As oil prices continue to rise, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has started looking for alternative fuels which would cost less, have lower emissions, and decrease our dependence on the Middle East’s oil reserves. One option that has become more feasible is the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to fuel vehicles. Natural gas is an extremely clean burning resource that has become cost-competitive with other fossil fuels. Natural gas is best stored and transported as a compressed or liquefied gas. For such technology to succeed, a fueling station infrastructure must be developed.

Photo of the INL-designed fuel station
This INL-designed fueling station offers both LNG and CNG to consumers. It looks very much like a normal fueling station that any one of us might visit. LNG is transported to the fueling station on trucks, and then transferred into the 15,000 gallon storage tank. The natural gas is brought in as a liquid because it is a more efficient form. The liquefied natural gas either be used as LNG or it can be evaporated and sold as compressed natural gas.

Pumps are equipped with special nozzles to protect users from problems related to pressurized or cryogenic materials. Regardless of high pressures or low temperatures, these pumps work much the same as those used to fill a car or truck with gas or diesel.

Photo of a fueling station

This fueling station is mostly used by fleet vehicles in the San Joaquin Valley area. Such vehicles include public school buses.

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