CNG Vehicles `Less Likely to Ignite than Petrol Models`

Experts say compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles have a far lower chance of bursting into flames than petrol models. but do not rule out poor installation of CNG kits as a root cause of fires.
Gas expert Gilbert von der Aue noted that petrol is three times as flammable as CNG.
He pointed out that petrol has a lower explosive limit (LEL) of 1.4. while natural gas has an LEL of four. LEL is a measure of flammability – the lower the number. the higher the flammability index. He added that CNG will burn only in a narrow range of concentration.
Mr von der Aue was previously with German firm C Melchers. a leading proponent of CNG here. It has since quit the business.
According to data provided by the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF). CNG vehicle fires made up between zero and 2.6 per cent of annual vehicular fires from 2014 to May 22 this year. As of the end of last month. there were 2.634 CNG vehicles here. accounting for 0.3 per cent of the total vehicle population.
The SCDF had said earlier that the separate fires that engulfed two Trans-Cab CNG taxis recently were caused by the drivers lighting cigarettes in cabins filled with gas from leaks.
Mr von der Aue said this was an unlikely cause. although he did not rule it out. CNG is infused with a strong. pungent smell. he explained. The drivers would have got out of the cabs or they would have felt quite sick.

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