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.”

Waste Management Converts Trucks to CNG

wmala1While you might not see a garbage truck as one of the cleanest vehicles on the road, one company is trying to make sure that at least its emissions are clean. Waste Management, in a partnership with the American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest (ALAUM), the American Lung Association in Utah (ALAUT) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, converted seven diesel engine waste haulers to compressed natural gas (CNG) engines.

By switching to CNG, Waste Management is reducing over 14,000 tons of lifetime tailpipe emissions, benefitting the residential neighborhoods and schools these trucks frequently operate near. The waste haulers will reduce 47.31 tons of nitrogen oxides (NOx), 2.38 tons of particulate matter (PM), 2.22 tons of hydrocarbons (HC), 10.84 tons of carbon monoxide (CO) and 13,944.49 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2).

Mobile source emissions are the leading cause of outdoor air pollution. This project achieved significant emission reductions, helping the American Lung Associations mission to fight lung disease and improve lung health, said Glenn Lanham, Executive Director, American Lung Association in Utah.

In addition to helping people breathe easier, the CNG-powered vehicles beat Waste Management’s emissions reductions and fuel efficiency goals set in the company’s corporate sustainability program.

Biodiesel Producer Uses CNG to Deliver Green Fuel

highplainsbioenergy1This could be considered double-dipping in the realm of alternative fuels, as a pork producer is using compressed natural gas (CNG) to deliver its waste fat-to-biodiesel fuel. According to this story in The Oklahoman, High Plains Bioenergy, a subsidiary of pork producer Seaboard Foods that turns waste fat into the green fuel, is using the CNG to get the product to service stations, as well as Seaboard Foods using CNG to get its pork products to market.

“Seaboard Foods continues to investigate other opportunities to integrate CNG into our fleet operations, and we are excited about the potential for expansion in the near future,” [Seaboard Foods CEO Terry Holton] said.

High Plains has contracted with TruStar Energy to build a large fast-fill CNG station in Guymon. The dual-compression station will be configured to serve a wide array of trucks that Seaboard and its subsidiaries use to move their products.

It will be California-based TruStar’s first fueling station in Oklahoma, but it has built more than 60 stations throughout the country since 2008.

“Building this station for High Plains Bioenergy and Seaboard Foods is very exciting to us at TruStar Energy because we’re working with another company with a strong commitment to renewable energy,” TruStar Vice President Scott Edelbach said.

Seaboard officials add that are putting together a database of fueling stations so they can work CNG trucks into their nationwide distribution network.

All They Want for Christmas Is a Biogas Generator

Franklin, Vermont farmers Denna and Mike Benjamin were heading into the holidays with a big wish: natural gas to start their anaerobic digester to convert the methane fro their cows’ manure to electricity. The project was partially funded by a federal grant, and if the digester was not operating by year’s end they would lose a major portion of the money.

The challenge they were facing was not living near a natural gas pipleline and a “shot of pure gas” was needed to get the biogas generator going.  So the Benjamins called NG Advantage, a company that trucks compressed natural gas (CNG) to very large industrial NGA starting farmers methane producer 2013 6customers not located on gas pipelines. The company brings several tractor-trailer loads of gas each day to their large customers, whose factories run their boilers 24/7. These isolated facilities save an estimated 20-40 percent on their fuel bills and emit 26 percent less CO2. The Benjamins hoped that NG Advantage could bring them the much-needed natural gas to get their digester operating.

Even though the Benjamins did not need a trailer full of gas, NG Advantage worked with the Benjamins’ engineer, John Forcier of Forcier Consulting Engineers PC, Christopher Herrick, the Chief of the Vermont HAZMAT Response Team, Mike Raker of the Green Mountain Power Renewable Development Fund, Robert Achilles of the Vermont State Agency of Agriculture, and a Canadian company Bio-Methatech, to make a small delivery of gas available to the Benjamins within two days of the phone call. General Transportation of Bridge Water, MA (NG Advantage’s hauler) provide the use of their tractor at no charge to help reduce the cost.

NG Advantage’s VP of Operations and Safety, Gerry Myers, organized the holiday rescue team. He explained why the company went out of its way to help the Benjamins, “Environmental stewardship and embracing the needs of our community at large are embedded in our company’s daily operations. Helping the Benjamin family and Riverview Farm achieve success with their digester project was the right thing to do.”

Denna Benjamin described why it is important for them to build a digester at the Riverview Farm by saying, “We, as other farmers, are looking for ways to diversify our income steam so that we can keep farming. This project seemed like a way to do that and to improve the environment at the same time.”

The Benjamins built the anaerobic digester to use the manure from their cows to create electricity that they can sell back to the grid, to generate heat their farm, and to create a byproduct that provides dry bedding for the cows. By using the methane from the manure to generate electricity, they also eliminate the substantial release of greenhouse gas that would have otherwise naturally occurred. Continue reading