QTWW is working with BASF to bring this MOF technology to trucks. The game changer is that heavy duty trucks will be able to use CNG for longer range trips and smaller tanks can be installed on lighter weight cars and trucks. If the MOF technology works it will expand QTWW market 10 fold.
In general, this area of technology is known as ANG (Adsorbed Natural Gas), and it is the next logical step beyond Type IV tanks. ANG allows MUCH more methane molecules to be stored in the same volume at same pressure - even more methane at much lower fill pressures. One BIG advantage to ANG is the promise of form fitting tanks. With lower pressure, you do not need a large cylinder pressure vessel, but it can be any shape, say the shape of an existing liquid fuel tank or even a flat panel say below the bed of a pickup truck to allow higher clearance. Vehicle range along with the size of the round tank and fill times of CNG tanks over one liquid fuels are some of the drawbacks that ANG addresses. With lower operating pressure, some talk about a safety advantage as well, but I also see lower energy required to complete a fill. Glad to see that $QTWW is taking steps to move in this direction, as I see ANG as the largest threat to Type IV tanks (even as its adoption for production vehicles is years away with design and certification cycles).
Great video post. This shows exactly how the technology works and its benefits in natural gas storage. However here's the problem I see. This won't ever be used by large freight companies because the infrastructure for diesel is already in place. In order to use high pressure natural gas in storage tanks like these, large compressors capable of pressurizing the natural gas to over 3000 psi must be installed and maintained. Also, I imagine the underground tanks used currently to store diesel wouldn't be large enough to hold the amount of natural gas required to run the vehicles in operation currently. One more thing too. Diesel engines are incompatible with natural gas engines because diesel engines are four stroke and have no sparkplug. You can't combust the natural gas without a sparkplug. Therefore all new trucks would need to be bought by the freight companies in order to run off of the natural gas. The only places that could conceivably benefit from this technology are in places that natural gas is already being used like in forklifts/small utility vehicles, recreational vehicles, and off-grid applications. These roles are currently being met with liquid natural gas. In order for me to buy at this price, quantum would need to prove that its new technology is being implemented in one of the roles I stated earlier and is also being bought by companies and regular people to be used in these applications. I personally would love to buy one of these tanks for my camper so I could spend more time camping rather than worrying about my propane levels. Unfortunately it doesn't seem like Quantum or BASF or anyone with this technology will be giving me this option anytime soon. The price of $7 is definitely unjustified not because of the shortcomings in technology but because of the shortcomings in implementation, advertising, marketing, and management.
Not only is diesel to CNG possible, for high use vehicles it has a very quick break even of 10 month to make the conversion at today's high diesel prices. And this is without any govt incentives that allow the payback to come faster.
Economics of Diesel-to-Natural Gas Conversions
Cost of Conversion Over-the-Road Truck or Bus incl.: $ 20,000
Engine Mods., Conversion Kit, CNG Tanks
Truck driving 6,000 miles/month = 1,000 Gallons Diesel
@ $ 4.00 / Gal. fuel cost per month $ 4,000
Natural Gas costs 50% of Diesel – savings per month $ 2,000
ROI = 10 Months
3 yr benefit ~ $52,000 per truck in fuel savings.
Jason, it is FALSE that diesels cannot run on CNG. It's been proven over and over again..
However, there ARE challenges.. It usually involves a mixture of CNG and diesel in the combustion chamber.
GE is working with the railroads to develop bi-fuel Diesel/CNG engines for locomotives. Here's an excerpt from an article..
(Start quote)"“The economics are very powerful,” says Mark Little, director of GE Global Research. “Diesel fuel is somewhere on the order of 10 times more expensive than natural gas, per unit of energy. There’s switching going on all over the place.”
GE has developed locomotive engines that still use diesel but can also run on up to 80 percent natural gas. It recently started testing the locomotives with the freight railroad company BNSF.
Meanwhile, some trucking companies have developed similar technology for long-haul trucks. This month, for example, UPS will begin testing 10 dual-fuel trucks that use technology from Clean Air Power, a company based in Leyland, England.
Companies are likely find dual-fuel engines more tempting than natural gas–only engines, because drivers can revert to diesel if natural gas pumps aren’t available or if the price of natural gas goes back up. “The biggest concern for fleets is the issue of fuel price volatility,” says Amy Myers Jaffe, executive director for energy and sustainability at the University of California, Davis. “So there’s a lot of interest in dual fuel.” (end Quote)
Article is from "Technology Review" Oct 8th, 2013
Btw, ZHRO is asserting that they have the ability to use a special injector/spark plug to convert Diesel engines to CNG. Jury is still out on that, IMO.. But promising..
Sentiment: Strong Buy
If you dig into the MOF details a little more you will see that it allows for storage of CNG at lower pressures which would reduce the need for large expensive compressors. The trade off is pressure versus range. You should also note that lowering the pressure will allow for smaller tanks and thus open the market for lighter trucks. One thing that BASF is holding close is the change in energy density. We know that there is a 2.4x increase from CNG to LNG. From my understanding the MOF will knock LNG out of the equation.
Regarding having to have spark plugs to ignite the gas you might want to look at some of the hybrid diesel/CNG conversion technologies.
"Demonstration vehicles equipped with natural gas fuel systems containing BASF MOF materials were introduced in 2013, and a heavy duty Kenworth truck up-fitted with BASF’s energy storage technology will also be on display at the NGV Americas conference. The storage system on this class 7 T440 truck utilizes a Type IV natural gas storage pressure vessel, designed and up-fitted by Quantum Technologies, a leader in the development and production of integrated natural gas fuel storage systems. The demonstration truck is also equipped with a BASF natural gas emissions catalyst."
This is a excerpt from a news article from BASF article 197 November 13th.