What a better inspiration for the functionality of a product than the human body, which has been around for about 150,000 years. Well Chrysler thought it was a good idea, and that’s exactly what they’ve done for the new fuel tanks for their compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles.
“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.”
These lung-like CNG tanks will be used in the Ram 2500, which is available on the market now. The next-gen gas tanks will not compromise anything – expanding to allow more CNG to fill it, and also maintain and conserve space for cargo and passengers.
Compressed natural gas is cheaper by about $1 compared to the gasoline per-gallon-equivalent, but to have the same amount of energy output, more CNG is needed. This means that larger tanks are needed in order to deliver a comparable performance and range.