Storage of Fuel in Hydrates for Natural Gas Vehicles (NGVs)

[+] Author and Article Information
G. Y. Yevi

NSF Engineering Research Center, P. O. Drawer CN, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762-5618

R. E. Rogers

Department of Chemical Engineering, P. O. Drawer CN, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762-5618

J. Energy Resour. Technol 118(3), 209-213 (Sep 01, 1996) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2793864 History: Received September 20, 1994; Revised May 20, 1996; Online December 05, 2007


The need for alternative fuels to replace liquid petroleum-based fuels has been accelerated in recent years by environmental concerns, concerns of shortage of imported liquid hydrocarbon, and congressional prompting. The fact is accepted that natural gas is the cheapest, most domestically abundant, and cleanest burning of fossil fuels. However, socio-economical and technical handicaps associated with the safety and efficiency of on-board fuel storage inhibit its practical use in vehicles as an alternative fuel. A concept is presented for safely storing fuel at low pressures in the form of hydrates in natural gas vehicles. Experimental results lead to gas storage capacities of 143 to 159 volumes/volume. Vehicle travel range could be up to 204 mi. Controlled decomposition rate of hydrates is possible for feeding an automotive vehicle. Upon sudden pressure decrease in the event of a vehicle accident, the rate of release of hydrocarbons from the hydrates at constant temperature is 2.63 to 12.50 percent per min, slow enough to prevent an explosion or a fireball. A model is given for predicting the rates of gas release from hydrates in a vehicle wreck. A storage tank design is proposed and a process is suggested for forming and decomposing hydrates on-board vehicles. A consistent fuel composition is obtained with hydrates.

Copyright © 1996 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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