At Emons Cargo 2WIN, we believe in embracing innovative solutions that reduce our carbon footprint and offer cost-effective options for our clients in the international road freight industry. Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) trucks are an example of a more sustainable and efficient future in logistics. Nowadays our fleet counts 80 LNG-powered trucks, and the number is still growing.
These trucks will soon be transformed into Bio-LNG powered vehicles, but that’s a tale for another blog!
A Little LNG History
The story of LNG-powered trucks began in the 1970s. Triggered by geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, the world found itself in the grips of an energy crisis. This crisis served as a catalyst for innovation and inspired a search for alternative energy sources. In the following years, the concept of using Liquefied Natural Gas as a transportation fuel began to gain traction. As the 1990s rolled in, LNG-powered trucks made their debut. However, it is necessary to wait till the 2000s to witness the real take-off as LNG trucks emerged as a cleaner-burning alternative to diesel. Nowadays, LNG-powered trucks’ popularity keeps rising as environmental concerns and stringent emissions regulations keep increasing.
What is LNG?
Liquefied Natural Gas is a form of natural gas that has been cooled to extremely low temperatures to convert it from a gaseous state to a liquid state. This liquefaction process makes it more practical for storage and transportation, especially over long distances.
LNG is primarily composed of methane, the main component of natural gas. It may also contain small amounts of hydrocarbons like ethane, propane, and butane.
To become LNG, natural gas is cooled to approximately -260°F (-162°C) at atmospheric pressure. At this temperature, natural gas becomes a clear, colourless, and odourless liquid.
In road freight transportation, the LNG is stored in cryogenic tanks on the vehicle. When needed, the LNG must be re-gasified. This process involves warming the LNG back to its gaseous state. In this form, the gas can be sent to the engine, where it is combusted to produce power.
Green Benefits and Costs Savings
LNG trucks are making substantial contributions to both environmental sustainability and economic viability in the transportation sector. LNG is a cleaner-burning fuel compared to diesel. When combusted, it produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide (CO2), as well as pollutants such as nitrogen oxides (NO) and particulate matter.
Apart from the improvement in the overall carbon footprint of the transportation sector, it must be pointed out the significant cost-reduction LNG can bring about. Natural gas prices tend to be more stable than oil prices which are more subjected to global geopolitics and supply and demand dynamics.
Challenges to Overcome
While LNG trucks offer numerous advantages, some challenges still exist. Infrastructure for LNG refuelling stations and distribution networks isn’t as widespread as traditional fuels. LNG needs to be stored in specialized fuel tanks and cryogenic systems. Additionally, the energy density of LNG is lower than diesel, which can affect vehicle range and payload capacity.
Toward a Greener Tomorrow
Research and development efforts are ongoing to improve the energy density of LNG and expand infrastructure. Some companies are exploring the use of renewable natural gas (RNG), derived from organic waste, as an even more sustainable alternative to traditional LNG.
The adoption of LNG trucks is expected to grow as emissions regulations become stricter and as infrastructure and technology improve. LNG serves as a transitional fuel, paving the way for further innovations in alternative fuels, such as hydrogen and electric trucks.
At Emons Cargo 2WIN, we are committed to staying at the forefront of these advancements, offering a reliable, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly transportation solution. As the road to a greener future unfolds, we are here to lead the way.
Join us on this exciting journey toward more sustainable international road freight. Together, we can change and make our world a better place, one kilometre at a time.
Stay tuned for an update on Bio-LNG.