Gas-powered driving and sailing – The cost and environmental impact of natural gas and green gas as transport fuels

In recent years a number of new gaseous fuels have emerged for road vehicles and ships: compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG) and biogas from a variety of sources including manure digestion and landfill gas (bio-CNG or bio-LNG). CE Delft has investigated the costs and environmental impact of these uses of gas, and compared them with those of conventional diesel and the ‘regular’ biofuels  biodiesel and bio-ethanol.

The CO2 emissions of the green gas routes are substantially lower than for diesel (an 80-90% reduction). The natural gas routes can also reduce CO2 emissions (by 15-35%), but this depends very much on where the natural gas is sourced. The green gas applications lead to considerably lower CO2 emissions than biodiesel and wheat-based bio-ethanol. In all cases, air pollutant emissions are also considerably lower.

The basic costs of driving and sailing on these fuels (i.e. exclusive of charges and taxes) are generally substantially higher than in the case of diesel, but in certain applications may be similar to or lower than for liquid biofuels.

The study was commissioned by the New Gas Platform, part of the Netherlands’ Energy Transition.