Tier 4 Regulations Could Give Propane, CNG Boost

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published its final Tier 4 regulations that affect heavy duty vehicles, construction equipment and agriculture equipment. Past Tier 4 emission standards have decreased particulate matter and NOx levels over time and it’s is now on engine manufacturers to refine engines to further reduce Nitrogen Oxide emissions that enter into the air. Unless of course, you are already developing engines for alternative vehicles such as those fueled by propane and compressed natural gas (CNG).

CK Power Tier 4 Emission Regulations InfographicSt. Louis-based, family owned CK Power has waded through the EPA’s guidelines and packed everything into an easily digestible infographic. The CK Power team says the new standards are a big deal for engine manufactures since they will need to produce engines that meet the standards. However, the new emission standards don’t necessarily affect engine manufacturers who pursue alternative technologies since these emissions standards are for off-road equipment only – including ag equipment. CK Power is a source of engine and generator power and has published a brief guide on how their customers can be in compliance with the EPA’s final Tier 4 emission standards.

“The EPA has regulated on-road diesel engine applications for even longer than it has regulated non-road applications,” explains the CK Power team. “These are, however, separate from final Tier 4 regulations, which apply specifically to non-road applications. That’s not to say that no vehicles are affected. Farm tractors, excavators and other types of construction earth movers are affected by final Tier 4 standards since these are classified as non-road engines.

“That is unless those vehicles make use of propane or CNG as their main fuel source. Final Tier 4 emission standards apply only to diesel engines.”

amCNG Opens Public CNG Fueling Station in FL

ampCNG has opened its second public-access compressed natural gas (CNG) station in Jacksonville, Florida Located in the Port of Jacksonville at the GATE station along I-295. The station is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week too all CNG vehicles.

JackonvilleStationPumpampCNG selected the location due to Port of Jacksonville being home to one of the largest complexes on the eastern seaboard. The goal is that will a CNG station located in a high traffic area, more truck and fleet vehicles will convert to CNG. The company says the fuel burns 30 percent cleaner and produces 90 percent less particulate emissions, or smog, than its diesel counterpart.

The location features a fast-fill hydraulic intensifier compressor (HY-C) that enable three Class 8 trucks to simultaneously fuel at 10 diesel gallon equivalents per minute. ampCNG also owns and operates the only other CNG station in the area, which is located in southern Jacksonville at 9711 Mining Drive off Highway 1 and 295. With two stations strategically located north and south of the city, ampCNG says CNG trucks can now travel in either direction without needing to stray from their designated routes to refuel, saving valuable time and money.

Louisiana Clean Fuels Honors Republic Services

Louisiana Clean Fuels has awarded its Fleet of the Year Award to Republic Services of Baton Rouge for their use of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). Republic’s collection company, BFI Waste Services has reduced its use of petroleum and emissions by using CNG. Louisiana Clean Fuels presented the Award at its 15th annual Clean Fuel Leader Awards Gala in Baton Rouge on Thursday evening, May 21.

“We have a responsibility to lead by example, and reduce vehicle emissions whenever possible,” said Alexander Burgess, area president of Republic Services. “We believe that we can make a meaningful difference in the communities we serve by doing our part to preserve the natural beauty of the Gulf Coast for future generations. Our employees are proud to call Louisiana home, which makes this recognition special on a personal level for every member of our team.”

Republic Services CNG truckRepublic added 42 CNG powered collection trucks and installed a new natural gas fueling station to support its expanding fleet in Baton Rouge in 2014. Republic plans to deploy 18 additional CNG powered trucks this summer. This expansion, combined with the CNG fleet already serving customers in the Shreveport area, is expected to make Republic Services’ collection company the largest natural gas fleet operator in the State of Louisiana.

“Louisiana Clean Fuels is dedicated to educating both public and private fleets on the benefits of alternative fuels as well as assisting them in their efforts to transition to cleaner burning, domestically produced alternative fuels,” said Ann Shaneyfelt, executive director of Louisiana Clean Fuels, a designated Clean Cities Coalition. “That’s exactly what Republic Services is doing in our area and nationwide. We congratulate Republic for their progress in converting their Louisiana Fleet to CNG. This year, we are proud to honor them with the Louisiana Clean Fuels ‘Fleet of the Year’ award for their successful roll out of their CNG refuse haulers at their Baton Rouge Division.”

According to Republic Services, they operate a fleet of more than 2,200 CNG vehicles and 36 natural gas fueling stations nationwide, and their CNG fleet helps to save roughly 18 million gallons of diesel fuel annually.

ampCNG’s CNG as Truck Fleet Surpasses 30M Miles

ampCNG’s compressed natural gas (CNG) long-haul truck fleet has surpassed 30 million miles. The Class 8 CNG trucks achieved a fuel efficiency of 6.17 miles per diesel equivalent gallon. The company says with this achievement, they have demonstrated the commercial and operational viability of CNG as a fuel for heavy-duty trucks. ampCNG’s primary business is developing, owning, and operating public access CNG fueling stations built for the heavy-duty trucking industry. ampCNG currently owns and operates 21 CNG stations nationwide (19 of which are part of amp Trillium, ampCNG’s joint venture with Trillium CNG) and has plans to open several more this year.

RDF Kenworth PhotoGrant Zimmerman, Senior Vice President of Business Development at ampCNG, said of the milestone, “We are proud that our fleet has now run 30 million miles on CNG and we will be putting our operations experience to good use. We look forward to continuing to share our proven CNG operating experience to help more trucking fleets safely reduce and stabilize their fuel costs by converting to CNG.”

The 42-truck fleet is leased by Renewable Dairy Fuels, a subsidiary of ampCNG, and operated by Ruan. The fleet carries raw milk from Fair Oaks Farms to processing facilities in Kentucky, Michigan, Tennessee and Indiana. Since deploying the CNG trucks in 2011, ampCNG has displaced approximately 4.6 million gallons of diesel and eliminated approximately 7,100 tons of CO2.

Zimmerman added, “We don’t want to be in the trucking business, but we felt it was important to put these trucks on the road to prove that CNG works for the Class 8 market. Along the way, we reduced operating costs for our dairy customers and helped the environment. Furthermore, the drivers report that they actually prefer CNG versus their old diesel units because the CNG trucks are cleaner and quieter.”

Agility Fuel Systems Supplies CNG to UPS

UPS has ordered 445 new 160 DGE Behind-the-Cab compressed natural gas (CNG) systems from Agility Fuel Systems. Once the order is delivered, UPS will be operating nearly 1,600 heavy duty trucks equipped with CNG or LNG fuel systems UPS CNG trucksupplied by Agility. The trucks, once fully deployed, says Agility, are projected to run more than 230 million miles annually and with Agility’s comprehensive field support, are achieving up-time results that are comparable to diesel trucks.

The company has worked closely with UPS to develop and engineer custom specifications for their applications and has provided installation, training and in-servicing support to enable successful deployment and rapid expansion of natural gas in their heavy duty truck fleet. Agility has also supported the UPS natural gas rollout with its portable fueling solution, enabling new LNG trucks to be fueled at the production plant where they are built and quickly placed into service.

“As an early adopter, UPS has been a role model for trucking fleets introducing natural gas into their operations. We are proud to have worked with UPS over the last several years to support their natural gas rollout. Today’s announcement is further validation of our technological leadership, innovative and space saving fuel system designs, reliability and industry-leading field support,” said Chief Executive Officer of Agility Fuel Systems Barry Engle.

Nopetro to Roll Out CNG in Florida

The Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority (LYNX) has awarded Nopetro a contract to build and operate a compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations, provide improvements to its maintenance facility and convert the public but fleet to CNG. In addition to fueling LYNX’s bus fleet, Nopetro’s station will also be available to serve private commercial fleets and the public at large.

“Once again, LYNX is at the forefront of the nationwide movement to build sustainable public transportation systems,” said John M. Lewis Jr., CEO of LYNX. “Switching to CNG makes sense both financially and environmentally for Central Florida transit, and Nopetro’s collaboration made an easy choice even easier.”

NoPetro-CNG Fueling StationLYNX has estimated that converting their city buses from diesel to CNG will achieve a return of investment in three years. The fleets are expected to be converted by the second half of 2015. The plan is for LYNX to purchase and/or lease an initial 35 CNG buses and to have more than 150 CNG buses in their fleet within the next five years.

“This partnership will positively impact the 30 million riders who utilize LYNX public transportation services each year, as they travel throughout Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties,” said Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, Chair of the LYNX Board of Directors. “Converting our buses to run on CNG is part of our continuing efforts to improve operations through innovative technologies.”

Nopetro cites converting to CNG offers more than financial savings to local government agencies. Experts note that switching to CNG cuts emissions drastically, including particulate matter by 89 percent, carbon monoxide by 70 percent, carbon dioxide by 25 percent and nitrous oxide by 80 percent.

Jorge Herrera, co-founder and CEO of Nopetro, concluded, “We are proud to work with LYNX and look forward to helping the agency continue to offer affordable public transportation services while creating a cleaner environment. The switch from diesel to CNG will spur significant savings and position LYNX ahead of the curve across the country.”

Wyoming Biodiesel, CNG, Electric Drivers Could Face Tax

Wyoming logoPossibly trying to prove that no good deed goes unpunished, drivers of biodiesel-, compressed natural gas-, and electric-powered vehicles in Wyoming could face a new road tax. This article from the Jackson Hole News & Guide says a tax on alternative fuels is pending in the state’s legislature.

Most Wyoming drivers pay 24 cents tax at the pump for gasoline; the alternative fuels tax would tax fuels other than gasoline the same 24 cents on an amount equivalent to a gallon of gasoline.

Taxes on gas — and those that would be collected on other energy — are earmarked to pay the cost of the state’s roads.

“There needs to be some kind of equitable way for them to contribute to the upkeep of roads and signage,” said Rep. Michael K. Madden, chairman of the Joint Revenue Interim Committee that will sponsor the bill.

The bill’s sponsor says the new tax would make things more fair.

Ironically, the Wyoming legislature is usually pretty averse to road taxes. But when you consider the amount of fossil fuels produced by the state, it’s no wonder in this case lawmakers are looking at a measure that would give Big Oil another leg up.

2015 Bi-fuel Chevy Impala Fueled by Trash

Man’s best friend is going to be getting less table scraps now that they can be used to fuel the new 2015 Bi-fuel Chevrolet Impala. The CNG vehicle can motor around town on food and beer waste. Cleveland-based quasar energy group uses organic waste to produce biogas that is converted into Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). The methane gas that is produced from biogas is processed, removing all carbon dioxide and impurities to make Renewable Natural Gas (RNG). When compressed, RNG is a direct replacement for CNG.

Quasar sources raw waste materials from a variety of industries. For instance, its Columbus, Ohio Renewable Energy Facility processes up to 25,000 wet tons of biosolids from the City of Columbus Department of Public Utilities for wastewater. Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians, contributes food waste for CNG-production after it’s been macerated in an industrial-sized InSinkErator Grind2Energy garbage disposal and Anheuser-Busch’s Columbus brewery provides an organic by-product to quasar for conversion to methane gas.

2015 Bi-fuel Chevy Impala“If you can buy renewable fuel at $1.95 per gallon while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, everybody wins,” said Mel Kurtz, president of quasar energy group. “quasar’s Columbus facility can produce 1.3 million gasoline gallon equivalents of CNG each year.”

The CNG tank mounted in the trunk has the equivalent capacity of 7.8 gallons of gasoline, which is expected to offer approximately 150 city miles of range on compressed natural gas based on GM testing. With gasoline and compressed natural gas combined, expected range is 500 city miles based on GM testing. EPA estimates are not yet available.

“To avoid feelings of range anxiety common in owners of CNG-only vehicles, we made the Impala bi-fuel, allowing our customers to drive on CNG when available and on gasoline when it’s not,” added Nichole Kraatz, Impala chief engineer.

Impala’s bi-fuel system seamlessly switches to gasoline power when the CNG tank is depleted. Drivers who wish to change fuels while driving can do so by simply pushing a button. A light on the instrument panel indicates when CNG is being used, and there is no interruption in the vehicle’s performance.

City of Columbus Dedicates CNG Station

Columbus, Ohio is now home to its second compressed natural gas (CNG) station. The station was made possible in part from funds provided by Clean Fuels Ohio (CFO). CFO provides technical support for transportation professionals, advocates for sustainable transportation energy policies and serves as a resource clearinghouse for fleets, policy makers and the public.

“We have been so fortunate to assist a wide range of businesses and individuals in exploring the advantages of alternative fuels,” said CFO Executive Director Sam Spofforth. “We help each organization to look at the variety of options available to them, and, when available, help them get the grant funding they need to get their projects off the ground.”

sidebar4One way CFO does this is through the organization’s Driving Force Fleet Advisors which provide assessment and planning, project development assistance, funding strategies, monitoring, follow-up and training to fleet managers. Fleets can also gain certification and public recognition for their efforts through CFO’s Ohio Green Fleets.

When the City of Columbus began its move to alternative fuel vehicles, there was little infrastructure in the state for compressed natural gas (CNG) explained Kelly Reagan, the city fleet administrator. “Mayor (Michael) Coleman made the commitment that we would build our own fueling infrastructure to support this alternative vehicle program.”

The city now operates two public access fast-fill CNG stations, with two additional stations planned, which will be open to the public. In addition, the city operates two electric vehicle charging stations that are also open to the public. “Clean Fuels Ohio gave us the opportunity to start down this road,” said Mayor Coleman. “They provided the resources we needed to start this program. They helped us get underway.”

In the case of Dillon Transport, partnering with a customer, Owens Corning, provided a pathway to a multi- state project. “Our work with Clean Fuels Ohio resulted in an attractive funding package that appealed to our customer,” explained Dillion Transport Vice President Charles Musgrove. The company has converted 17 Ohio trucks to natural gas, and fuels through an expanding network of public stations in Ohio. The company has a similar operation with the customer in Florida. In addition, Dillon Transport is increasing its use of CNG vehicles nationwide.

Ultimately, the cost of fossil fuels and a concern for sustainability have motivated many fleets to make the commitment to alternative fuel vehicles. “Companies began really needing to find answers, once it was obvious that fuel prices were going to remain high,” added Spofforth. “Companies want to do the right thing – but they don’t quite know how to put the pieces together, get funding and make the choices they need to make. We’ve been able to help many varied fleets look at those options and make the decisions that lead them to sustainability.”

In 2011 and 2013, the City of Columbus was named the #1 Government Green Fleet in North America, and continues to be a role model for fleets considering transitioning to alternative fuels.

HP Hood Converts Fuel Oil to CNG

HP Hood’s plant located in Lafargeville, New York is converting from fuel oil to compressed natural gas (CNG) as a boiler fuel. According to the company, CNG is much less expensive than fuel oil, therefore the new technology will make the plant more competitive. After the conversion, the plant will emit 26 percent less CO2, much less SO2 and NOx, and almost no particulates.

HP Hood’s Lafargeville plant is not located on a gas pipeline so needed another conversion HP Hood CNG truckoption. NG Advantage LLC provided the answer. NG Advantage trucks CNG using its “virtual pipeline” of 27 trailers to deliver the natural gas from existing pipelines to large institutions and industrial facilities in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts and is now expanding into eastern New York State.

HP Hood LLC was founded more than 160 years ago and has grown to be a national company distributing dairy products throughout the United States. Today, HP Hood is now one of the country’s largest branded dairy operators with 15 manufacturing plants throughout the United States. As a leader in its industry, Hood is committed to conducting business in a way that maintains a vigilant focus on sustainability.

NG Advantage will begin delivering natural gas to very large energy users that do not have access to a pipeline in upstate and eastern New York in Q4, 2014. The company said it is committed to bringing the economic and environmental benefits of natural gas to customers located beyond the reach of pipelines. Customers do not need to build storage tanks as the tractor/trailers automatically arrive 24/7 and gas is drawn directly from the trailers into the boilers at the plant.

Freeman Covert, Director of Operations at the HP Hood Lafargeville plant, expressed his support of the conversion to CNG. “As we strive to work smarter and better, we are pleased that the partnership with NG Advantage creates both environmental and business efficiencies.”

According to NG Advantage, their customers save 20-40 percent off the cost of their process and comfort heating bills by replacing fuel oil as their primary source of heat with cleaner, less expensive, North American natural gas.

NG Advantage CEO Tom Evslin added, “We are pleased to have the opportunity to bring the benefits of natural gas to HP Hood, its customers, employees, and neighbors. We are looking forward to bringing natural gas beyond the pipeline to New York institutions just as we have already done in New England where we got our start.”