Transport Sector

As per all other CGDs, CUGL also started CGD operation with dispensing of CNG to transport sector. It was really necessary since prime motto of CUGL is to reduce air pollution from the city of Kanpur. Another main aspect is Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) is a readily available alternative to Petrol/Diesel/LPG driven vehicles. That’s made by compressing natural gas to less than 1% of its volume at standard atmospheric pressure. CNG consisting mostly of methane, it is odorless and colorless gaseous fuel. It’s drawn from domestically drilled gas wells or in conjunction with crude oil production.

The history of compressed natural gas (CNG) as a transportation fuel dates back to World War II. Natural gas vehicles are a proven technology that have been enhanced and refined over the years into a convenient and extremely safe method of transportation.

Primarily, CGD concept was launched in Kanpur in order to curb the pollution level, progressively this product has become accepted as an economical solution in all segment of vehicles. Today CNG is a fuel available for various vehicular segments such as auto, taxi, passenger car, light and heavy commercial vehicles. Though, it has become a preferred choice for auto and taxi segment as almost 97% of the auto-tempo are plying on CNG. For passenger car and commercial segment, it is in introductory stage and we expect the growth in this segment in near future.

CNG is proven as most economical, eco-friendly and safe fuel. Presently, CNG is about 60 % economical (Running cost) than petrol and apprx. 23% economical than diesel. As long as pollution reduction is concerned, CNG reduces the most hazardous pollutants from the air such as CO2, CO, NOX, SOX, Suspended particles etc.

Transport sector constitutes the vehicles running on the roads of the city. It includes all public transport and private vehicles. Natural Gas is supplied at a pressure of 200 bars as Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) from CNG stations to all the vehicles.

There are 2 categories of CNG customers:

A. Bulk CNG purchaser like UPSRTC, JNNURM, Kanpur Mahanagar Bus Sewa & IIT,
B. Retail CNG Purchaser, customers like auto drivers, private vehicle owners fall under Retail category.

Presently CUGL is supplying CNG to more than 19500 vehicles out of which around 13000 are running in Kanpur and rest 3500 are running in Bareilly. Of the 16000 vehicles running in Kanpur, 3400 are autos, 4700 are tempos, 3000 are loaders, 1000 are private cars and rest are buses. Of the 3500 vehicle in Bareilly, 2600 are autos, 775 are tempos, 32 are buses and rest are private cars.


What is CNG?
CNG stands for Compressed Natural Gas. It is a gaseous fuel and is a mixture of hydrocarbons, mainly methane, in the range of 89% to 90%. Due to its low density, it is compressed to a pressure of 200-250 Kg/cm² (g) to enhance the vehicle on-board storage capacity. 

Is CNG safe?
Yes, it is safe. The properties of CNG make it a safe fuel. It is lighter than air, and hence in case of leakage it disperses into the atmosphere rapidly. Its high auto-ignition temperature of 540 degrees centigrade as against petrol’s 360 degrees centigrade makes it even more safe fuel. Limited combustibility i.e. CNG’s concentration in the air is less than 5% or more than 15%, the gas will not burn even in the presence of a spark adds further to its safety.

What is involved in converting a vehicle to a CNG-friendly one? 
All spark-ignited engines can be converted to CNG, but a specially designed conversion kit is required for the purpose. The kit consists of a cylinder to be fixed in the boot of the car and other equipment to allow gas flow into the engine.

Can a car, fitted with CNG conversion kit, run on petrol after its CNG gets over?
Yes, even after conversion to CNG, the vehicle continues to be fitted with the petrol. The vehicle can therefore run on dual fuel, either on CNG or petrol, whenever desired, simply by flicking a switch on the dashboard.

What is the cost of converting a vehicle to a CNG-friendly one?
The cost of converting a vehicle to CNG depends on its type and make. As on, it roughly ranges between Rs 25,000 to Rs 40,000 (approximately).

What are the dimensions and weight of a CNG cylinder?
CNG cylinders are manufactured from a special steel alloy and are seamless in construction. Their compact size allows them to easily fit into a small car. An empty CNG cylinder with a 50 litre-water-carrying capacity weighs 48 kg (approximately), with a length of 835 mm and a diameter of 316 mm. The 50 litre capacity cylinder is the one most regularly used; cylinders with 45 litre, 55 litre, 60 litre and 65 litre capacity are used as well.

What is the capacity of a cylinder, and mileage from one fill? How does one get to know the quantity of CNG left in the cylinder?
A cylinder with a 50 liter water-carrying capacity is capable of carrying approximately 9 kg of CNG. This is equivalent to 12.5 liters of petrol and will allow a run of about 180-200 kms to a medium sized 1100 CC car. An electronic fuel gauge fitted on the dashboard as part of the conversion kit indicates the quantity of CNG left in the cylinder.

What is the pressure of CNG in a cylinder? Is refueling of a cylinder safe, given the pressure?
CNG cylinders are designed and built in such a way so as to withstand high pressure. The maximum pressure in a CNG cylinder is up to 200 kg/cm2 (g) (about 2840 pounds per square inch (gauge) or psi[g] ). CNG cylinders are safe as they are manufactured as per specific requirements and tested before use, in accordance with international specifications and
standards, and are duly approved by the Chief Controller of Explosives. Moreover, they are provided with a pressure relief device (PRD) that consists of a fusible plug and a burst disc that ruptures in case of inadvertent high pressure and temperature.

How much will be the saving after conversion to CNG?
The fuel bill on the basis of average running of vehicle is reduced up to 60 percent approximately. The cost of installation of the kit is recovered within a year, given average distances covered in driving.

Does CNG kit require servicing?
CNG kit is safe and simple. It gives years of trouble free operation. It doesn’t require frequent servicing. Just as for all other fuels, it is advised to have routine services. An authorized person should be consulted for service. As per Gas Cylinder Rules, 2004, the cylinder should undergo hydro-stretch testing every 3 years to check pressure tolerance.

Does CNG have any harmful effect on the engine?
Owing to CNG’s distinct features, it does not contaminate or dilute crankcase oil, giving a new lease of life to the engine. The absence of any lead content in CNG helps avoid lead fouling of plugs, thereby enhancing plug life. One of the important benefits of CNG is that upon entering the engine in the form of a gas (and not as a spray or mist like other fuels), it doesn’t disturb the presence of lubricating oil in the engine, and reduces chances of wear and tear.

I have a Diesel engine – can it be converted, too?

Converting Diesel cars is not as easy as converting Petrol cars. There is a simple reason for that. The mechanism of Diesel cars is based on the principle of “self ignition”. The combustion in Diesel engines is reached by mixing the Diesel fuel with hot air under a high pressure. Then, the fuel ignites automatically; an ignition spark is not required. (This is also the reason why a Diesel car should never be filled with ordinary Petrol). CNG, however, has a high ignition temperature (about 0°C). Diesel cars do not have sparks to initiate the combustion process. And the heat generated in a Diesel engine is not sufficient to ignite the air-gas mixture. Hence, if a Diesel engine should be converted to a CNG engine, holes have to be drilled into the engine block, and an additional spark plug system needs to be installed. This is very costly and requires much time.

Can a CNG vehicle be driven outside Kanpur?
CNG converted petrol car may be driven outside Kanpur as it is dual fuel car with the option of petrol. However, CNG powered LCV/HCVs may not be driven outside Kanpur, as it is monofuel vehicle.

Is CNG environmentally friendlier than any other fuel?
Yes, it is. As CNG mainly consists of methane, the exhaust fumes of CNG basically consist of water vapors, Carbon Dioxide and some fractions of Carbon Monoxide. There are no other carbons or toxic particles in the exhaust fumes. It is therefore much environmentally friendlier than other fuels.