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CNG Glossary of Alternative Fuel Terms

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As in most industries, the CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) Industry has it's own terminology and acronyms.  Below is a helpful guide to assist you in understanding terms you might hear regarding CNG and Alternative Fuels.  We're always expanding this list and welcome suggestions via e-mail   info@wisegasinc.com.
 
Term: Definition:
AFV AFV is an acronym which typically stands for Alternative Fuel Vehicle.  An Alternative Fuel Vehicle is any vehicle which utilizes a fuel source in lieu of or in addition to (for purposes of petroleum reduction) gasoline or diesel.  The most common AFV's run on hybrid-electric, biodiesel and CNG.
Alkane Alkanes are chemical compounds that consist only of the elements carbon and hydrogen or hydrocarbons wherein these atoms are linked together exclusively by single bonds (saturated compounds) without any cyclic structure. Alkanes belong to a homologous series of organic compounds in which the members differ by a constant relative atomic mass of 14.
Biodiesel Biodiesel refers to a vegetable oil or animal fat based diesel fuel.   Biodiesel is typically made by chemically reacting lipids (e.g., vegetable oil, animal fat) with an alcohol.  Biodiesel is meant to be used in standard diesel engines and is thus distinct from the vegetable and waste oils used to fuel converted diesel engines. Biodiesel can be used alone, or blended with diesel.
Carbon A naturally abundant, nonmetallic element that occurs in all organic compounds and can be found in all known forms of life. Diamonds and graphite are pure forms, and carbon is a major constituent of coal, petroleum, and natural gas.
Carbon Dioxide A colorless, odorless, incombustible gas, CO2
Cellulosic Ethanol
Cellulosic Ethanol is found in plant cell walls and is the most abundant naturally occurring organic molecule on the planet.  This makes it a potentially limitless source of energy.
 
Ethanol burns cleaner than gasoline, producing significantly less GHG.  Even factoring in the amount of fossil fuel required to make it, the fuel still comes out cleaner than regular gasoline.
 
Ethanol produced from cellulosic material such as switchgrass or corn stalks is considered by many to be a better alternative to corn-based ethanol primarily because it doesn't rely on food crops to be produced.
Coal A natural dark brown to black graphitelike material used as a fuel, formed from fossilized plants and consisting of amorphous carbon with various organic and some inorganic compounds.
Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) is a fossil fuel alternative to gasoline or diesel.  Although the combustion of CNG does produce greenhouse gases, it is a more environmentally clean alternative to those fuels.  CNG is also much safer than other fuels.  Natural gas is non-toxic, cannot "spill" due to the fact that it is lighter than air, and disperses quickly when released and contains no carcinogens.  CNG is primarily composed of methane [CH4]) and is compressed to less than 1% of its volume at standard atmospheric pressure.  
CNG CNG is an acronym for Compressed Natural Gas
EPA EPA is an acronym for Environmental Protection Area
Fossil Fuel Fuels formed by natural resources such as decomposition of buried dead organisms. The age of the organisms and their resulting fossil fuels is typically millions of years, and sometimes exceeds 650 million years. These fuels contain high percentage of carbon and hydrocarbons.
Greenhouse Gas
Greenhouse gases (GHG) are gaseous components of the atmosphere that contribute to the greenhouse effect.
 
Hydrocarbon Any of a class of compounds containing only hydrogen and carbon, as an alkane, methane, CH4, an alkene, ethylene, C2H4, an alkyne, acetylene, C2H2, or an aromatic compound, benzene, C6H6.
Methane Methane is a chemical compound with the molecular formula CH4.  It is the simplest alkane, and the principal component of natural gas.
Methane Clathrate Large amounts of methane trapped within the crystal structure of water ice.  Significant deposits of methane clathrate have been found under sediments on the ocean floors of Earth.  Also known as Methane Hydrate.
Methane Hydrate (see Methane Clathrate)
Methanogens Methanogens are microorganisms that produce methane as a metabolic byproduct.
Natural Gas Vehicle Term which applies to any vehicle which utilizes compressed natural gas as a fuel, either dedicated of bi-fuel.
NGV NGV is the acronym for Natural Gas Vehicle and the term applies to any vehicle which utilizes compressed natural gas as a fuel, either dedicated of bi-fuel.
Petroleum An oily, thick, flammable, usually dark-colored liquid that is a mixture of various hydrocarbons, occurring naturally in various parts of the world and commonly obtained by drilling: used in a natural or refined state as fuel, or separated by distillation into gasoline, naphtha, benzene, kerosene, paraffin, etc.