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EghtesadOnline: Iran's Research Institute of Petroleum Industry and Sharif University of Technology have piloted a project to indigenize special compressed natural gas tanks, which can help expand the CNG fueling network, the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company's director for CNG stations said.

"CNG is typically compressed to 220 bar for use in vehicles, yet the new technology, dubbed as adsorbed natural gas, can not only reduce the pressure to 35 bar but also increase the tank total storage capacity by 40%," Hamid Qasemi was also quoted as saying by Shana, the National Iranian Oil Company's news agency. 

According to the official, the ANG system creates the low pressure, conformable CNG storage solution for full-scale and affordable natural gas vehicle-hybrid deployment. 

Lower compression pressures required to fill ANG tanks allow for the more rapid growth of the sector, according to Financial Tribune.

"Natural gas is usually compressed in four stages in traditional stations before it is converted to CNG," he said, adding that ANG breakthrough will make it possible to produce the fuel in just one stage, resulting in saving a great deal of electricity.

Qasemi noted that the cutting-edge know-how can be an ideal solution to curb gasoline consumption and if the infrastructure to mass produce special tanks and stations is provided, the country can save as much as one million liter of gasoline per day, worth $4 million.

In recent years, natural gas has becoming an increasingly attractive fuel, not least because of the economic savings that can be made in comparison to other fuels but it is generally regarded as being much more environmentally-friendly.

"If the small scale preliminary study being conducted on domestic cars in roads proves to be economically feasible, over $4.5 billion in investment are needed to fully implement the project in seven years," he said, adding that the investment will help the country earn close to $80 billion in the same period through saving and importing gasoline.

The new system will help fuelling stations get rid of huge and costly compressors and replace them with mini CNG booster pumps that incur fewer expenses for transportation and installation, results in commercially viable stations.

"CNG is generally stored in high-pressure cylinders of varying type and construction. Many common cylinders have to be made from thick steel, while ANG minimizes the pressure so cylinders can be made from ultra lightweight materials such as aluminum and composites.  

According to the official, the number of CNG has reached 2,435and plans are in place to build 50 new CNG stations during the next Iranian year (starting March 21) with the help of the private sector, bringing the total number of stations to 2,485.

Qasemi said CNG stations can supply over 2.74 million cubic meters of gas per hour and if the stations work 14 hours a day, daily supply capacity would reach 40 mcm, yet the actual amount presently stands at 21 mcm per day.  

According to the official, to create incentives for the private sector to play a more active role in CNG ventures, the privately-owned station can charge customers 1,400 rials ($0.04) per cubic meter, while state-owned stations charge customers 600 rials ($0.01) for the same amount. 

CNG is projected to comprise up to 35% of Iran's total fuel consumption basket by the end of the Sixth Five-Year Economic Development Plan (2017-22). 

 

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