We fill pre-series Lada with natural gas. Vadim Nikishev understood the interest of AvtoVAZ in gas fuel vehicles and why methane was assigned to its role.
I sit in the usual West view, turn the ignition key and … everything is as usual: a second later the VAZ-21129 engine is ready to take anywhere. Although for a thousand kilometers, even further – of course, provided that the 55-liter tank is refueled, and two cylinders of 50 liters are filled with methane to the outset. Yes, yes, it’s a two-fuel Lada – and she’s not that alone!
Propane or methane?
If today we ask taxi drivers how much money goes into gasoline, every second will say that they have equipped their car with gas-cylinder equipment and refueled with propane-butane for a long time. The benefit is obvious, which is confirmed by the experience of operating the editorial sedan Nissan Almera (also, by the way, Togliatti production). A year ago, for a set of HBO, we gave 25 thousand rubles, and since then, Kirill Mileshkin has saved at gas stations, giving a liter for fuel is one and a half times less than driving on gasoline. The volume of the toroidal tank is small – only 42 liters, and the consumption of propane-butane is higher than gasoline, about a liter – but the kit has already paid for itself.
And what is the interest of AvtoVAZ to gas-fueled cars? And why his role was assigned to methane?
– Firstly, natural gas, consisting mainly of methane, is the most environmentally friendly. The formula of methane – CH4, and propane – C3H8, – reminds the basics of chemistry, the chief engineer-designer for the development of the department of car architecture Sergei Ivlev. – Everyone burns carbon dioxide (CO2) and water, but methane is easier to oxidise, and in addition to combustion products, it produces less. Secondly, it is a safe gas: it is lighter than air, so it does not accumulate in the trunk or under the car, unlike the propane-butane mixture. Thirdly, the reserves of natural gas are explored for a hundred and fifty years ahead. The price of fuel for CNG refueling stations (car gas filling compressor station – Ed.) Is about 12 rubles per cubic meter, and it can be driven as much as 1.1 liters of gasoline.
Then why, why do not we all go for methane?
First of all, infrastructure is poorly developed. In Italy, which is comparable in area to the Tomsk region, there are more than a thousand methane refueling stations – and in Russia the CNGS network has only about 250 stations!
The roots of this problem are a thing of the past. At the then price of gasoline and the development of the fleet in the Soviet Union there was no acute need for alternative energy sources. Methane was remembered only in especially difficult cases, as, for example, in the mid-1930s. In the USSR, the last surge of interest, to which we owe the current basic infrastructure, happened relatively recently: from 1983 to 1992, 357 methane stations were built, of which 188 after the collapse of the Union in Russia. Some will remember the city buses, trucks and taxis with a gas cylinder Equipment: then transport enterprises were transferred to save gas. In our time, methane was again talked about as a promising fuel. They talked in the government of the country, in the regions, in car factories – and in the Gazprom corporation.
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