Safety

  • People often have a negative perception of the safety of using Compressed Natural Gas in countries where it is not an established source of fuel because they confuse it with Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) which have caused some severe accidents in the past. Countries such as Thailand have stopped supporting LPG and are turning to Natural Gas for their transport fuel needs.
  • Natural Gas has been used for over 70 years with a good track record. Technology has also been used to improve the safe use of Natural Gas. While it is not fail-proof, it offers a significantly reduced risk to people and infrastructure.
  • The fact that Natural Gas is lighter than air also makes it safer. If it escapes from its storage containers, it immediately disperses into the atmosphere because it is only 70% the weight of air. Unless it escapes in a completely sealed room, which is highly unlikely, it should never accumulate to the point of explosion.
  • LPG, petrol, and diesel are heavier than air and have the tendency to form pool fires, which increase the risk of fire and explosion during an accident or leakage. Natural Gas does not form pool fires and is therefore easier to manage and handle.
  • Natural Gas does not ignite easily. It requires a temperature of 600˚C to ignite, while petrol and LPG ignite at 450˚C.
  • CNG is a high-pressure technology and by definition has to be compressed into CNG cylinders. Components for the pressure reduction station or regulators for vehicles are designed to withstand this pressure level and are therefore intrinsically safer than LPG systems.
  • Cylinders are manufactured under very strict safety norms and are subject to tests with pressures much higher than the ones during regular refilling. Design and testing pressure is 1.5 times the working pressure for vehicles and 250 bar for industrial applications.
  • Natural Gas distribution to the refuelling station usually occurs via pipelines, whereas LPG for mobile use is almost always transported by tanker trucks on public roads and therefore more prone to accidents. Safety requirements for more rigid pressure equipment apply for CNG.
  • Due to their robustness, structure, shape and location inside the vehicle, CNG cylinders are less dangerous than a petrol tanker in case of collision.
  • There may be safety issues if CNG is not handled correctly and, as in any operational environment, safety training and awareness apply