Companhia de Gas de Minas Gerais (Gasmig) and the Brazilian Association of Gas Distribution Companies (Abegás) have presented new technology directed toward the use of natural gas as fuel in heavy vehicles, especially in public passenger transport, and discussed programs to encourage conversion of heavy vehicles to use compressed natural gas (CNG) at a recent workshop on a Strategic Vision for Heavy Vehicles in Belo Horizonte, the capital of and largest city in the state of Minas Gerais. A prototype bus and truck were on display. Workshop participants were able to enjoy a bus ride through the region of Savassi, observing no loss of power compared with a similar diesel bus while enjoying a noticeably quieter ride.
The introduction of natural gas buses into the city, currently serviced only by diesel buses, is aimed at addressing serious concerns of pollution and noise. “It was always thought to exchange gasoline for gas, we now have the replacement of diesel. We want to show it to the authorities, trying to convince them to open the discussion in Belo Horizonte,” said the president of Gasmig, Fuad Noman in a report by Estado de Minas.
One of the presentations at the workshop came from representatives of the Gas Department of Economic Development, Energy, Industry and Services of the State of Rio de Janeiro, who informed the gathering of the introduction of a ‘CNG Diesel Flex’ or dual-fuel bus introduced in May this year. The engine features high-efficiency natural gas consumption: 1 liter of diesel can be replaced by 0.9 cubic meter of CNG. This system emits 80% less particulate matter, one of the worst culprits of urban center pollution, and 20% less CO2, a major cause of global warming. Operational savings on fuel and maintenance were already apparent in the first month of operation, according to the Abegás coordinator of the CNG Committee, CNG Richard Jardin.