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Alternative Fuels An energy source alternative to using fossil fuels. Materials or substances that can be used as a fuel, other than conventional fuels. Waste oils, vegetable oils or animal fats, which can be used alone, or blended with fossil fuels.

Alternative Fuels

Liquified Natural Gas


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  #1  
Old 01-27-2016, 08:11:20 PM
PLCtech PLCtech is offline
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Default Liquified Natural Gas

I am new here and I have not known how to search topics. Berkshire Hathaway has bought BNSF a couple of years ago now. Warren Buffet and others want to replace diesel with LNG for the trains. It seems expensive. My local Schwan's truck is LNG. Schwan's is a frozen foods delivery in my area. The driver knows nothing about this when asked. What do others think of Natural Gas to replace diesel given the investments from GE and many others?
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Old 01-27-2016, 08:55:57 PM
Roy V Roy V is offline
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Default Re: Liquified Natural Gas

local refuse co.converted some trucks from diesel to cng, significant loss in power & fuel economy and difficult starting in winter.Govt. grant money I expect.
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Old 01-27-2016, 09:26:00 PM
pegasuspinto pegasuspinto is offline
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Default Re: Liquified Natural Gas

Don't see why it wouldn't work. Locomotives weigh a lot just to get traction, it would be easy to either have a larger engine or use another locomotive even if there is a power loss. Likely will use the exact same engine just drop the compression down to what LNG needs. RR's throughout history have gravitated to the cheapest fuels possible, they have run turbines on bunker C and coal dust, and even flirt with bringing back steam engines from time to time when the price the correct fuels come down. So if LNG saves fuel cost but takes a little more iron and service time to keep them up, they might still do it.
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Old 01-27-2016, 10:35:29 PM
Vanman Vanman is offline
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Default Re: Liquified Natural Gas

While I've been gone from the Bad News, Santa Fe (sorry, I couldn't help it!), for well over ten years, a friend of mine still works there. Oh, word is that the Burlington Northern guys call it the Brand New Santa Fe! LOL!

Anyway, this friend was telling me about an experimental unit that consisted of two locomotives with a liquified natural gas tank car between the two providing both with fuel. This set was back in his locomotive consist, though not MU'd with the rest of his consist. I believe there was also a passenger car connected that was full of computers and (presumably) smart guys.

The REALLY interesting part is that ONE of the units was GE, and the OTHER was EMD! They had representatives from both companies on board, obviously sharing information. If THAT doesn't sound like gov't involvement ala Atlas Shrugged, I don't know what does lol.

Nevertheless, interesting for sure. I think that it's kind of cool to see giant spark ignition engines making a come back. This was quite some time ago, and I haven't heard anything from him since. I'll be seeing him this weekend, so I'll have to query him about it.

Keith
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Old 01-27-2016, 10:47:58 PM
Dave R Dave R is offline
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Default Re: Liquified Natural Gas

For many years my local city utility ran locomotive size diesels on mostly natural gas. Just mixed the NG into the intake and ran the diesel injectors on idle amount to serve as a spark plug. Running since 1948 and still going. They seem to hold up better on NG than on the diesel.
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Old 01-27-2016, 10:55:13 PM
Vanman Vanman is offline
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Default Re: Liquified Natural Gas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave R View Post
For many years my local city utility ran locomotive size diesels on mostly natural gas. Just mixed the NG into the intake and ran the diesel injectors on idle amount to serve as a spark plug. Running since 1948 and still going. They seem to hold up better on NG than on the diesel.
I'd forgotten about that method. And now that you point it out, I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that that's EXACTLY what they were doing with those two locomotives.

Keith
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Old 01-27-2016, 11:37:37 PM
DustyBar DustyBar is offline
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Default Re: Liquified Natural Gas

I remember running propane trucks and tractors on the farm. We noticed spark plugs never fouled and seemed to last forever. Oil stayed a lot cleaner than in gasoline engines. Pull the heads off and hardly see any carbon. I'm assuming CNG or LNG would be the same.
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Old 01-28-2016, 12:11:40 AM
Bill Hazzard Bill Hazzard is offline
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Default Re: Liquified Natural Gas

The problem with LNG is that you have to keep the liquid below -260 deg F and at no more than 4 PSI and as the tank warms up you have to vent some gas to prevent overpressure of the tank. So if you fill your pickup truck up with LNG and come back a week later you will probably have an empty tank. So it's use it or loose it.

The Schwan's truck is probably compressed natural gas which doesn't need to be kept cold. I have seen a few CNG semi's on the road on dedicated runs where they can fill up at certain areas.
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Old 01-28-2016, 12:33:55 AM
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FWurth FWurth is offline
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Default Re: Liquified Natural Gas

I would think that the equipment required to burn compressed natural gas would be basically the same as required for LPG. We use LPG on some farm tractors yet and it does run clean and reduce cylinder wear as it burns clean without combustion residue. The problem with these fuels is in the required extra training to refuel, lack of fueling stations and extra maintenance of the tanks and hoses. When the cost of LPG went up to near the cost of gasoline it was no longer at a cost advantage as you use more LPG per mile and get a bit less performance with a similar size motor. That and the EPA didn't like these pressurized fuel systems as if over fueled the tanks vent off and the explosion hazard if a fuel system leak develops.
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Old 01-28-2016, 08:00:43 AM
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Default Re: Liquified Natural Gas

One of the gas stations that I use has CNG. When they put it in CNG was $1.79 (for a unit comparable to 1 gallon of gas) compared to gas at $4. It seemed like a really good deal. Now CNG is $1.99 and gas is $1.65. John Deere used to have CNG engines for buses and other equipment. They were basically the diesel block and ran really quietly compared to the diesels.
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