LNG: An Alternative Fuel For Road Freight Transport In Europe
Free (open access)
235 - 246
J. Osorio-Tejada, E. Llera, S. Scarpellini
Currently, energy consumption in the worldwide transport sector depends on 92.8% oil fuels. This dependency, among other problems, produces high levels of harmful emissions, which makes it necessary to increase the use of less polluting and more cost-effective alternative sources as natural gas. Furthermore, this alternative fuel must have autonomy, security and as optimal storage volume as the natural gas use in liquid state. This paper reviews the liquefied natural gas (LNG) use advantages over other fuels and analyses its introduction prospects in the transport sector in Europe, specifically in road freight transport. Natural gas (NG) technology for transportation is mature and extended through the compressed use (CNG) in urban light vehicles. However, CNG has not been attractive for extra-urban use mainly by the limited energy storage volume and difficulties for NG stations installation. For this problem, a LNG vehicle with the same fuel tank size could travel up to 2.4 times the distance compared with CNG. LNG in heavy-duty trucks reduces GHG emissions per kilometre up to 20% and almost 100% SOx and particulate matter, as well the noise in inner cities, compared to diesel trucks. An additional advantage is the operation cost savings that would give a LNG conversion payback between 1 and 3 years. The European Union has promoted the construction of LNG stations by the TEN-T programme and projects as the ‘LNG Blue Corridors’ in order to create a road network with LNG stations each 400 km. In addition, the world natural gas reserves would ensure the energy supply for the transport sector in Europe. Hence, the LNG for road freight transport is a potential alternative to replace the traditional fuels in the short to medium term.
LNG, liquefied natural gas, freight transport, heavy-duty vehicle