A group of researchers from the Research Center for Gas Innovation (RCGI), an Engineering Research Center (CPE) consisting of FAPESP and Shell, are testing vehicular natural gas (CNG) in a gasoline-powered hybrid vehicle.
In the vehicle were installed two gas tanks, each with 7.5 cubic meters (m³). In the preliminary tests, the engineered hybrid made 22 kilometers per liter of gasoline. Already with CNG, in urban circuit, the vehicle traveled 28 km with 1 m³ of natural gas.
"The vehicle already has a very low consumption of gasoline, but the consumption of CNG was even lower," said Professor Julio Meneghini (photo), RCGI's scientific director and one of the project's members.
The tests were done in the city. “On the road we haven't tested it yet, but we know that the combustion engine is very demanding in this condition, and the hybrid car ends up with a performance more similar to the conventional one,” says engineer Renato Romio, head of the Institute's vehicle engine laboratory. Mauá de Tecnologia and one of those responsible for the project at RCGI.
Romio says that with the use of CNG, compared to gasoline, it is doubly gained. “First, because of the efficiency of the hybrid; and second, because it emits less CO2 using CNG. That's because methane, when burned, emits 15% less CO2 than gasoline. ”Methane is the main component of natural gas.
Future tests will involve more robust testing of fuel consumption measurement as well as measurement of CO2 emissions and other greenhouse gases and pollutants. Project members will also test the use of biomethane in gas and ethanol tanks instead of gasoline.
The project team also has the participation of professors Guenther C. Krieger Filho and Celma de Oliveira Ribeiro, both from the Polytechnic School of the University of São Paulo (Poli / USP); Suani Coelho, from the Institute of Energy and Environment of the University of São Paulo (IEE-USP); and, indirectly, of researchers from the team of the Engineering Research Center Urban Ernesto Stumpf, headquartered at the Mauá Institute of Technology, associated with Poli / USP and the Technological Institute of Aeronautics (ITA).