Chrysler, currently the only manufacturer to offer mass-production CNG-powered pickup trucks, has developed a patent-pending technology that mimics human lungs in order to increase compressed natural gas (CNG) tank capacity.
“Within the human lung are countless individual sacks called alveoli,” says Enrico Pisino, Chrysler Group’s Senior Manager-Innovation. “These sacks combine to expand the lung’s total air capacity. We are using this same approach to improve the packaging of CNG tanks.”
The new technology, which supported in part by a $50,000 grant from the Michigan Economic Development Council’s Technology Innovation Challenge, will help increase range of CNG-powered vehicles by expanding tank capacity while preserving space intended for passengers and cargo.
There’s no word when the new tanks will become available for customer purchase, but they will probably be fitted on the company’s Ram 2500 CNG, the industry’s only mass-produced CNG-powered pickup truck.