On Alternative Fuel Vehicles
In July, Neighborhood Network staff were treated to nearly 3 weeks with a compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicle, which served as a great learning tool about CNG. The CNG Honda Civic was on loan from Greater Long Island Clean Cities Coalition and Homeland Energy Resources Development, the contractor for American Hondas Alternative Fuel Vehicle program. Two staff, Neal and Beth, were offered a training session by Ron Gulmi of Keyspan Energy Delivery on how to fuel up the vehicle at the Keyspan CNG Fueling Facility in Hicksville.
The procedure is similar to a regular gasoline pump but has a few different steps since you are dealing with a gaseous substance and not a liquid. We learned that 125 standard cubic feet (SCF) or 5.56 lbs of natural gas is equivalent to 1 gasoline gallon. You can go about 180(local)-240(highway) miles on one full tank. The car is continuously variable transmission, which makes for a smooth ride. There are currently several fueling stations on Long Island.
Some more facts are that natural gas becomes liquid at -258oF, and though many people fear that natural gas is easily ignitable, the truth is that it is only ignitable at 1200oF. Additionally, an exact mixture of gas and air between a 5%-15% flammability range is needed for ignition. Compressed natural gas is also lighter than air, so in the unlikely event of a tank puncture the gas would dissipate.
If your municipality would like to give a test run with this vehicle, contact Barry Carr at Homeland Energy, 315-234-6676 or Ron Gulmi at Keyspan Energy Delivery, 516-545-5164. For further information about the locations of natural gas fueling stations on L.I. contact Ron Gulmi or Andria Adler, at Greater Long Island Clean Cities, 631-969-3700.