Chrysler has developed a patent-pending technology that mimics human lungs in order to enhance its CNG tank capacities.
The next generation of fuel tanks powering Chrysler’s compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles are inspired by human lungs and address limitations in current CNG tank designs.
“Within the human lung are countless individual sacks called alveoli,” says Enrico Pisino, Chrysler Group’s Senior Manager-Innovation. “These sacks combine to expand the lung’s total air capacity. We are using this same approach to improve the packaging of CNG tanks.”
Though CNG has an advantage in terms of cost over standard gasoline, its energy density is less by volume causing CNG-powered vehicles to require larger fuel tanks in order to deliver comparable range to a standard gasoline-powered vehicle. Chrysler hopes its new CNG tank designs will be a no-compromise solution that helps conserve space.
The American automaker currently has the only factory-built CNG-powered pickup with its Ram 2500 CNG that can travel 255 miles on CNG and a total of 745 miles when equipped with an available 35-gallon reserve gas tank. Other automakers however are putting a focus on CNG technology with GM offering an upfit option in its HD trucks and is even adding a CNG variant to the Impala sedan.
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