Natural Gas – Conversions, Vehicles and Technology

A Primer on Natural Gas Fueling

December 2014, Green Fleet Magazine - WebXclusive

by Rob Minton

Photo by Becky May.
Photo by Becky May.

Here are several key terms to kinow when discussing natural gas fueling. Understanding them will help anyone sound like a pro when discussing natural gas including:

Fuel Types

Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)

  • The vehicle fuel tank is a high pressure (3,600 psi) cylinder.
  • A CNG vehicle gets about the same performance as a gasoline vehicle with only a slightly lower gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE).
  • CNG is used in light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicle applications.

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)

  • Produced by super-cooling natural gas to negative 260-degrees Fahrenheit in order to convert it to a liquid. LNG is typically used in heavy-duty truck applications.

Vehicle Types

Dedicated Vehicle

  • Designed to run only on natural gas

Bi-fuel Vehicle

  • Runs on either natural gas or gasoline, with two separate fueling systems connected the same internal combustion engine.

CNG Infrastructure Types


  • Drivers can fill up in the same amount of time as a gasoline vehicle.
  • Best suited for retail stations, where vehicles arrive in need of a quick fill, and CNG can be dispensed alongside gasoline.


  • May take many hours to fill up; the time depends on the number of vehicles fueling, compressor size, and storage.
  • Typically used for fleets with central refueling locations that allow vehicles to fill up overnight.

To read more about making the switch to natural-gas-fueled vehicles, click here.


  1. 1. Ronnie Oldham [ December 22, 2014 @ 04:40PM ]

    Alwlays appreciate any press supportive of NGVs, but did want to point out that the photo above is an electric vehicle.

    Also, I curious what Rob meant by "only a slightly lower gasoline gallone equivalent (GGE)". My experience with dedicated CNG conversions is actually a slight MPG increase.

  2. 2. Paul Clinton [ December 23, 2014 @ 03:12PM ]

    Ronnie, thanks for the heads up. We've updated it. -- Web Editor

  3. 3. João Reis Simões [ January 08, 2015 @ 11:41PM ]

    CNG should give better mpg because it´s easier to mix two gases instead of a liquid with a gas. When changing from diesel to CNG mpg reduces drastically because Diesel engines are much more eficiente than Otto engines; hear the benefit is the reduction of the price. Changing to LNG is the best.


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