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One key objective for vehicle manufacturers is to develop technology and infrastructure to facilitate the progression from combustion to conversion by the year 2050. In the short to medium term however, the combustion of fossil fuels such as petrol and diesel, coupled with advanced transmission innovations and emission control technology that are governed by strict Euro VI regulations appears to be the main path forward for the transport sector and the environment. This paper presents the feasibility of utilising the developing compressed natural gas network capabilities as part of a systematic approach to establishing the necessary groundwork for a hydrogen based transport economy. Results of tests conducted by Technological University Dublin to evaluate natural gas engine performance and exhaust emissions compared with conventional fossil fuelled engines were examined. The paper also outlines Gas Networks Ireland’s vision for the future of transport and the use of compressed natural gas as a fuel alternative for the transport sector. The barriers to implementing a strategic plan for gas fuel for the transport sector are also reviewed. This includes the public’s perception of gas as a transport fuel, on-board storage of gas, related weight and extreme pressure issues, range limitations, dual fuel operation, gas quality and the necessary fuelling infrastructure. By resolving some of these problems, the transition to a hydrogen based economy for transportation purposes may prove feasible by 2050.
Brunton, J., Howlett, J. and Kennedy, D. (2016) The feasibility of utilising compressed natural gas as part of a systematic approach to establishing the necessary groundwork for the hydrogen based transport economy. Paper presented at Irish Transport Research Network Conference, 2016, DIT, Grangegorman, Dublin.