By Clarissa Kell-Holland
For the most part, the days of full-service fueling options at truck stops across the country are a thing of the past.
That’s not the case for truckers fueling up with liquefied natural gas – or LNG.
Greg Roche, director of business development for Clean Energy Fuels, said fueling attendants are on site to help “transition the drivers to the new (LNG) fueling system.” Eventually, Roche said drivers can self-fuel with proper training, which the attendants can provide.
Roche said there is some confusion in the trucking community about LNG. He said one comparison unfairly equates LNG with propane gas. While propane can be highly flammable, LNG is usually not.
Even though gloves and a clear face shield are worn when fueling up, it’s because LNG is a cryogenic fuel, cooled to minus 260 degrees Fahrenheit. When LNG comes in contact with warmer air during the fueling process, it creates a vapor that disappears in the air, but doesn’t release harmful toxins.
If there is a collision and an LNG tank is punctured, the liquid fuel will not explode. It evaporates instead of pooling on the ground.
Fuel is dispensed at 20 to 40 gallons per minute, so fueling usually takes around five minutes, according to Clean Energy.
A diesel particulate filter is needed on the Kenworth T800 trucks with 15-liter engines because the engines run on 5 percent diesel to ignite the gas.
The Sterling trucks with 8.9-liter engines do not need a DPF because they run completely on LNG. These trucks also don’t have to comply with EPA and CARB idling restrictions, which apply only to diesel-powered engines, so an APU is not needed on those trucks. LL