Friday, July 18, 2014

CNG Expiring Tanks and Safety

The mission of the Utah Clean Cities Coalition is to advance the energy, economic and environmental security of the United States by supporting local decisions to adopt practices that reduce the use of petroleum in the transportation sector.

With the mission statement in mind, Utah Clean Cities strives to promote and educate the public and transportation sectors on petroleum reduction. Using alternative fuels for vehicles is excellent, but the coalition would like to further educate those with CNG vehicles.

Every CNG tank has a label that states “DO NOT USE AFTER (expiration date).” Owners of CNG vehicles must keep the expiration date in mind as it is their responsibility to have the cylinder replaced at the end of its life. If the tank is not replaced after its expiration date, there is a high risk of ruptures. CNG tanks’ pressure ranges from 3,000 to 3,600 psi. With such a high pressure, any damage is highly unsafe. 

There are several vehicles with CNG tanks that are expired. Below is a list of vehicles that have expired tanks and should be replaced.

Dodge full-sized vans started as CNG in 1992 and mini-vans began in 1994. The production of these CNG vehicles was terminated in 1997 and 1998.
All Dodge vans that were factory equipped have tanks that have passed the expiration date.

Ford CNG passenger cars came to market in 1993 and continued through 2002. At this time, all Ford CNG Crown Victoria, Contour and pickup trucks that were factory equipped prior to 1999 have expired CNG cylinders.

All CNG Honda Civics manufactured in 1998 and early 1999 are also on the expired CNG tank list.

If your vehicle is listed above, you need to see a certified tank inspector immediately. Certified tank inspectors will be able to inspect your CNG tank and properly drill holes for end of life treatment. Certified tank inspectors will also be able to replace your expired CNG tank with a new one.

Below are certified tank inspectors Utah Clean Cities recommends:

To contact an inspector, click on their name.

Additionally, it is easy to forget about the basics and it is always important to remember safety. Click here for a quick video to refresh on safety precautions for manufacturing, installation, inspection, and end of life treatment for natural gas cylinders. 

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