Emerging technology company BlackPak Inc., along with partners ATMI Inc. and SRI International, is working on a new family of adsorbed natural gas storage systems for automotive applications that will enable the creation of compressed natural gas (CNG) storage apparatus ‘in a variety of shapes, sizes and configurations.’
BlackPak says the storage systems that it develops are based on nano-porous materials that will allow vehicle designers and OEMs to integrate CNG storage that conforms to the available spaces in light-duty vehicles while maintaining trunk space. The technology also enables low-pressure storage: 500 psi, as opposed to the 3,000+ psi common to traditional CNG cylinders.
The company says its technology has ‘the potential to drastically reduce the upfront capital expenditure and operating cost of such systems, as well as simplify the requirements for tank filling appliances.’
Product development is being supported by $4.6 million in funding through the federal Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy's (ARPA-E) Methane Opportunities for Vehicular Energy (MOVE) Program. BlackPak's R&D ‘leverages technology developed and spun out from SRI International as part of a prior award under the MOVE program,’ the company says.
ARPA-E has provided funding for similar projects that are aimed at the development of new CNG-storage technologies, such as those being pursued by Ford and REL Inc.