Based on a study by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, liquefied natural gas has a higher heating value (energy content) of 55 MJ/kg vs. 87 gasoline’s 44.4 MJ/kg , but loses when compared based on volume (25.3 vs. 32.0 MJ/liter, respectively). Depending on the different blend of gasoline and quality of natural gas, the numbers can vary. For example, the Department of Energy lists gasoline as having 47.0 MJ/kg. The Engineering Toolbox site lists it at 47.3 MJ/kg, while natural gas get 43.0 MJ/kg, actually lower than gasoline. To add to that, compressed natural gas has about 42% smaller volumetric energy content. So I’d say the numbers are close, and a good study is needed to compare the actual energy produced in commercial car engines using different technologies to determine a winner.
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