A new study from West Virginia University’s Center for Alternative Fuels, Engines, and Emissions provides a roadmap to lower methane emissions for future heavy-duty natural gas vehicle fleets.
The findings, published Wednesday, used data from a prior study to project various scenarios that evaluate potential emissions reductions of technological advances and best practices.
WVU professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering Nigel Clark said, as heavy-duty vehicles move from diesel fuel to natural gas, there’s a need to improve efficiency.
“A long-distance truck will do well over a hundred thousand miles a year and is probably getting something like six miles per gallon at present on a national average. So, people are very sensitive about the cost of diesel fuel,” Clark said.
Clark said that because natural gas is a low-carbon fuel, the study’s findings could help reduce the impact of climate change, but there’s also economic motivation.
He said natural gas currently makes up a small share of the fueling of heavy-duty vehicles, but it’s predicted to grow significantly.