CNG stands for compressed natural gas, which is a natural gas fuel stored at high pressure. It has been compressed to 200-250 bar and thus reduced to less than 1% of its volume at standard atmospheric pressure. This makes it easier to store and to transport.
CNG fuel is particularly suitable for passenger cars, light commercial vehicles, light trucks and buses. It offers trucks a range of around 550 km. CNG vehicles driving on biomethane emit significantly less particulate matter* and CO2** than conventional fossil fuels.
Production of biomethane
The renewable and non-fossil variant of CNG is biomethane or bioCNG. Biomethane is produced by fermenting biomass into biogas, which is purified and converted into grid quality gas. The biomass can consist of various types of raw materials, or feedstock, such as straw or tree bark and branches, or organic materials, such as food waste, roadside grass, sewage sludge and animal manure.
Biomethane to bioCNG
The biomethane, which consists of the same molecule as natural gas, namely CH4 or methane, is then injected into the gas grid. The natural gas is subsequently extracted from the grid and compressed by means of a CNG installation to be used as transport fuel. Biomethane can be blended or used up to 100% depending on availability and customer requirements.
Growing network of CNG stations
TotalEnergies strives to make alternative fuels that are cleaner and lower carbon available to as many users as possible. The acquisition of PitPoint in May 2017 has accelerated the growth of TotalEnergies' CNG network in Western Europe. Today, TotalEnergies operates more than 190 public CNG stations in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and France.
TotalEnergies' NGV ambition
In line with its strategic ambitions for natural gas and renewable energy, TotalEnergies aims to expand its European network to 250 NGV, that is CNG as well as LNG, refueling stations with more than 50% biomethane share by 2025; and thus become the market leader in the region.
Overseas, too, the number of NGV locations is growing. For example, in the Americas region, through TotalEnergies' participation in Clean Energy Fuels in the US which, in 2021, operates more than 565 (bio)NGV stations, including some 45 (bio)LNG sites.
In Asia, TotalEnergies, through its joint venture with India's Adani Group, operates more than 200 CNG stations today, with an overall regional target of 600 NGV stations across India and Pakistan by 2025.
- Reduced vehicle emissions, such local air pollutants* and, especially when biomethane is used, less greenhouse gases**.
- Increasing selection of CNG vehicles available on the market, from passenger cars to heavy trucks.
- A CNG engine runs more quietly than a diesel engine, which is advantageous for city distribution at night.
- A complete offer for CNG service stations, for public and for private or dedicated use, from design to installation.
- A large European network with TotalEnergies and AS 24 stations.
- A growing network overseas, for example in the US through TotalEnergies' participation in Clean Energy Fuels and in India through the joint venture with Adani.
- Renewable CNG, also knows as bioCNG or biomethane, offer possibilities.
* A study on air quality from the Sustainable Gas Institute (2019), ‘Can natural gas reduce emissions from transport?’, shows that NGV engines provide a NOx reduction of between 40%-60% (depending on the type of road) compared to diesel, by using a simple clean-up system. For particulate matter (PM), NGV engines ensure as much as 95% lower levels compared to diesel, thanks to a soot free combustion (with no need for a complex after-treatment).
** According to the NGVA Europe & Thinkstep study (2017) on the ‘Greenhouse Gas Intensity of Natural Gas in Transport’ (2017), a reduction in CO2 emissions of up to 16% is achieved by driving on CNG compared to diesel for heavy-duty applications and calculated on a 'Well-to-Wheel' basis. Using biomethane increases this CO2 reduction to as much as 80%.