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WVU Study Pinpoints Ways to Lower Emissions for Increasing Heavy-Duty Natural Gas Vehicle Fleet

Waste Management
Fleet of refuse trucks fueled by compressed natural gas (CNG). Over 20 vehicles were tested under the study including five different refuse trucks.

A new study from West Virginia University’s Center for Alternative Fuels, Engines, and Emissions provides a roadmap to lower methane emissions for future heavy-duty natural gas vehicle fleets.

The findings, published Wednesday, used data from a prior study to project various scenarios that evaluate potential emissions reductions of technological advances and best practices.

WVU professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering Nigel Clark said, as heavy-duty vehicles move from diesel fuel to natural gas, there’s a need to improve efficiency.

“A long-distance truck will do well over a hundred thousand miles a year and is probably getting something like six miles per gallon at present on a national average. So, people are very sensitive about the cost of diesel fuel,” Clark said.

Clark said that because natural gas is a low-carbon fuel, the study’s findings could help reduce the impact of climate change, but there’s also economic motivation.

He said natural gas currently makes up a small share of the fueling of heavy-duty vehicles, but it’s predicted to grow significantly.


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