Leading the way to a cleaner and safer environment for the citizens of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) has converted 20 of its 500 plus fleet of vehicles to run on compressed natural gas (CNG). This is part of the Authority's commitment to environmental protection and reduction of harmful emissions and is done in strategic partnership with Al Wathba Central Services, which provides free training and workshops for ADFCA staff that use the vehicles.
Ahmed Abdul Karim Al Sharaf, Acting Director of Communication and Community Service at ADFCA said the first CNG vehicle that the initiative of the Authority was in tune with the directive of the Government of Abu Dhabi for environmental protection and the conservation of natural resources. "These objectives figure on top of our priorities. It springs from our profound realization that the protection of the environment is an essential requirement for balanced, complete and sustainable growth," he explained.
"As part of our commitment to the environment, we strive to incorporate environmental considerations in all stages of the planning of developmental projects. The word sustainability has now thankfully become an integral part of governmental parlance and the projects announced are all in line with the objectives of achieving sustainability," he pointed out.
Al Sharaf said converting vehicles to run on CNG is a natural extension of the several other steps the Authority has taken towards environmental protection. "We have recently launched initiatives to reduce the consumption of water in irrigation, besides making non-cultivation of water intensive crops such as Rhodes grass among the conditions for receiving government farming assistance," he added.
"We believe that it is important to do all we can to make life easier for the present and coming generations through better protection of our environment and reduction of pollution. By the end of 2015, we intend to convert 20% of our vehicles to run on CNG powered alternatives," he concluded.
According to International studies a reduction of 10% - 15% of greenhouse gas emissions can be achieved throughout the lifecycle of the vehicle if converted to CNG. Recent research carried out has concluded that a vehicle engine using CNG will typically emit 80% less Nitrogen Oxides, up to 70% less Carbon Monoxide and 80% reduction in non methane organic gasses, thus improving air quality.
CNG is considered a safer alternative to gasoline as the gas has a very limited flammability range of between 5% and 15% in air as opposed to gasoline which will ignite at much lower concentrations (1.4% in air). Other benefits of using CNG include reduced maintenance costs to the vehicle and longer vehicle life cycle due to less wear and tear to the engine. When all these factors are added up the carbon footprint of a vehicle running on CNG when compared to a petrol engine can by reduced by as much as 25%.