Concrete inFocus - Spring 2014 - (Page 8)

best practices Emergence of Compressed Natural Gas How CNG can save you money Jean Feingold C ompressed natural gas (CNG) is a fuel alternative made by compressing natural gas to less than one percent of its volume at standard atmospheric pressure. Consisting mostly of methane, CNG is odorless, colorless and tasteless. It comes from natural gas wells located mostly in the United States. While CNG is not the dominant transportation fuel used today, its use is growing. Benefits of Conversion CNG mixer trucks were introduced in the United States in 2009 and are now running in eight states, said Tom Harris, vice president of fleet sales/product development for McNeilus Truck. Ozinga Ready Mix Concrete began testing CNG-powered concrete mixers in 2011. "As a fourth-generation American family business it was important for us to transition our fleet to run on an American energy source," said Tim Ozinga, director of communications. "About 98 percent of natural gas is produced in North America, reducing our dependence on foreign oil, improving national security and creating much needed jobs in America." Ozinga also noted the environmental benefits of natural gas due to its significantly reduced carbon emissions and clean-burning engines which require less maintenance. Converting to a CNG-powered mixer fleet has a steep initial cost. A CNG ready mix truck costs about $35,000 more than a comparable diesel mixer, explained Harry Gladfelter, industry manager, construction trades, at Clean Energy Fuels. The higher cost is largely for the CNG tanks. This investment starts paying back immediately with the lower price of CNG fuel, typically $1 per gallon equivalent less than diesel at public stations and up to $2 less from ready mixed companies' own private fueling stations. Gladfelter said for a fleet with 10 CNG mixers, each burning 8,000 to 10,000 DGE annually, the payback time would be 3.5 to 4.5 years using public stations and half that with a private fueling station. This does not include building the private station, which can run from $600,000 to $2 million depending on its size and scope. Gladfelter suggests public station use for fleets smaller than eight CNG vehicles. Clean Energy operates a network of more than 175 public CNG fueling stations in the United States. Although there are no current federal programs, several states offer incentives, grants and rebates to help with CNG conversions. For example, Pennsylvania covers half the cost of station installation, and Illinois gives alternative fuel vehicle rebates and fleet incentives. Clean Energy can assist in preparing grant applications. Prominent green CNG tanks on this CNG-fueled mixer truck. Photo courtesy of Jeffry Swertfeger, TruStar Energy. 8 ı SPRING 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Concrete inFocus - Spring 2014

Emergence of Compressed Natural Gas
MMC Materials Converts to Compressed Natural Gas
Fuel Saving Tips from Coast to Coast
Responsible Sourcing for Concrete
NRMCA Services and Tools
Index of Advertisers
Corporate Suite
Concrete Mixer Trucks and the Environment: Get the Connection?
Pavement Roughness and Fuel Consumption
CEMEX ‘Job-Safe’ Program Wins NRMCA 2013 Innovation in Training Award

Concrete inFocus - Spring 2014