Imdaad Vehicles Get Greener with Compressed Natural Gas

Jun 12, 2024 10:37:17 AM


Imdaad Vehicles Get Greener with Compressed Natural GasImdaad is proud to be one of the first companies to switch heavy goods vehicles to run on compressed natural gas. It’s another example of the company’s commitment to environmental sustainability without compromising performance. It’s working alongside Emirates Transport, a company that uses various sustainable vehicle management measures including an innovative dry car wash technology that saves tens of millions of litres of water each year.

What is compressed natural gas?

Compressed natural gas (CNG) is natural gas stored under high pressure to take up less space. It’s similar in some ways to the well-known liquid petroleum gas with Three key differences: 

  1. CNG is made with methane rather than propane
  2. CNG is compressed in a way that keeps it as a gas rather than converting it to a liquid.
  3. CNG is odourless, clear, and non-corrosive.

What are the environmental benefits?

Compressed natural gas brings environmental benefits both in the moment and over the long term. It contains no sulphur, lead, or benzene and emits around 80% less carbon monoxide than traditional fuels.

As it contains no heavy metals or particulates that affect performance, it causes less residue damage. That means pipes and tubes in vehicles last longer, in turn reducing the need for new materials and even new vehicles.

In the unwelcome event of a leakage, compressed natural gas is less problematic. It has a far higher ignition point than ordinary fuels, so is less likely to be a safety risk. It’s also lighter than air so quickly disperses naturally, unlike petrol or diesel which can run off and contaminate the ground or water sources.

Compressed natural gas can even reduce noise pollution as it can mean vehicles operate more quietly.

What are the cost benefits?

As the name suggests, compressed natural gas is considerably more efficient to store in a vehicle. That can reduce loads or allow for longer journeys without refuelling. That in turn allows for more efficient routing and logistics.

How does converting large vehicles work?

It’s possible to build specialist compressed natural gas engines from scratch, but this makes little financial or environmental sense for existing vehicles. Instead, a conversion process uses a dual-fuel approach. This means keeping a diesel fuel system but only using it as a starter process: think of it as a “liquid spark plug”. The vehicle then injects the compressed natural gas once it's moving, using it as the main fuel source.

While converting to the dual fuel system is a well-established process for lighter vehicles, it’s not a simple task to do so with heavy vehicles such as refuse trucks. That’s where Emirates Transport and its specialist subsidiary Al Etihad Centre came in, using its expertise to pioneer the groundbreaking modifications. It’s converted more than 14,000 vehicles to dual fuel but after many years of development and trials, this is the first real world modification for heavy goods vehicles.

Why is Imdaad involved?

Imdaad prides itself on embracing technical innovation to operate more sustainably. It’s always taken the approach that it’s not just what it does that matters (for example, its material recycling facilities), but how it does it. Switching a fleet to dual fuel reduces Imdaad’s environmental impact and makes the company a case study for others to learn from and follow. It’s also another contribution to the UAE’s ongoing program of sustainable development where economic growth does not come without regard to the region’s natural resources.