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Energy Conservation Potential in Natural Gas Fueled Reciprocating Engines - A Preliminary Market Evaluation
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A study was undertaken of the usage rates of both fuel and lubricants in reciprocating engines fueled with natural gas. The study was conducted to determine the potential for energy conservation, if use is made of more fuel efficient natural gas engine oils. Governmental and non-governmental published reports and personal interviews with users, suppliers, and manufacturers were utilized in estimating fuel and lubricant consumption figures for the year 1976. Certain important facts emerged: 1) The installed horsepower of reciprocating engines fueled by natural gas was estimated at 38,800,000 hp. 2) Reciprocating engines fueled by natural gas operated an estimated 115.2 billion brake horsepower - hours. 3) Total natural gas consumed to operate these reciprocating engines in 1976 was estimated at 962 billion cubic feet. 4) The estimated crankcase and cylinder lubricants consumed in natural gas reciprocating engines in 1976 was 33.6 million gallons. This figure represents 2% of the total United States lubricant usage. 5) Widespread use of more fuel efficient crankcase and cylinder lubricants (containing stable colloidal additives) could result in a savings of 28,850,000,000 cubic feet of natural gas each year. The natural gas thus saved would be sufficient to serve all residential customers in the metropolitan Houston area for nine (9) months of each year.
Johnson, D. M. (1979). Energy Conservation Potential in Natural Gas Fueled Reciprocating Engines - A Preliminary Market Evaluation. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu). Available electronically from