Low Pressure Material-Based Natural Gas Fuel System

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Dearborn, Michigan
Project Term:
09/17/2012 - 03/31/2015

Technology Description:

ARPA-E and Ford Motor Company agreed to mutually conclude this project. Ford is developing an on-board adsorbed natural gas tank system with a high-surface-area framework material that would increase the energy density of compressed natural gas at low pressures. Traditional natural gas tanks attempt to compensate for low-energy-density and limited driving range by storing compressed gas at high pressures, requiring expensive pressure vessels. Ford and their project partners will optimize advanced porous material within a system to reduce the pressure of on-board tanks while delivering the customer expected driving range. This porous material allows more gas to be stored inside a tank by utilizing a surface energy attraction to the natural gas. These materials would be efficiently and cost-effectively integrated into a natural gas vehicle system that will promote and contribute to the widespread use of natural gas vehicles.

Potential Impact:

If successful, Ford’s low-pressure material-based natural gas fuel system would result in lowering the cost of on-board tanks station compressors, and fuel that serve to increase natural gas vehicle driving range.


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.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Jason Rugolo
Project Contact:
Dr. Mike Veenstra
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


Savannah River National Laboratory
University of California, Berkeley

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