Texas A&M University is developing a highly adsorbent material for use in on-board natural gas storage tanks that could drastically increase the volumetric energy density of methane, which makes up 95% of natural gas. Today's best tanks do not optimize their natural gas storage capacity and add too much to the sticker price of natural gas vehicles to make them viable options for most consumers. Texas A&M University will synthesize low-cost materials that adsorb high volumes of natural gas and increase the storage capacity of the tanks. This design could result in a natural gas storage tank that maximizes its ability to store methane and can be manufactured at low cost, side-stepping two major obstacles associated with the use of natural gas vehicles.
If successful, Texas A&M University's highly adsorbent materials would significantly improve the volumetric energy density of methane, driving down the cost of using natural gas in vehicles.
Improving the convenience of natural gas vehicle ownership could reduce our dependence on foreign oil and make consumers less vulnerable to sudden oil price shocks.
Natural gas vehicles produce approximately 10% less greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline-powered vehicles throughout the fuel life cycle.
Compressed natural gas currently costs half as much per gallon of gasoline equivalent. With the average American spending over $2000 per year on gas, enabling the use of natural gas vehicles could save drivers $1000 per year.