How Do Liquefied Natural Gas Trucks Work?

Heavy-duty liquefied natural gas (LNG) vehicles work much like gasoline-powered vehicles with a spark-ignited internal combustion engine. The natural gas is super-cooled and cryogenically stored in liquid form, usually in a tank on the side of the truck. LNG is most often used in heavy-duty vehicles to meet range requirements. Because it is a liquid, the energy density of LNG is greater than CNG, so more fuel can be stored on board the vehicle. This makes LNG well-suited for Class 7 and 8 trucks traveling longer distances.

Key Components of a Liquefied Natural Trucks

Battery: The battery provides electricity to start the engine and power vehicle electronics/accessories.

Electronic control module (ECM): The ECM controls the fuel mixture, ignition timing, and emissions system; monitors the operation of the vehicle; safeguards the engine from abuse; and detects and troubleshoots problems.

Exhaust system: The exhaust system channels the exhaust gases from the engine out through the tailpipe.

Fuel filler: This is a filler or “nozzle” used to add fuel to the tank.

Fuel injection system: This system introduces fuel into the engine’s combustion chambers for ignition.

Fuel line: A metal tube or flexible hose (or a combination of these) allows for transferring fuel from the tank to the engine’s fuel injection system.

Fuel tank (liquefied natural gas): Stores liquefied natural gas on board the vehicle until it’s needed by the engine.

Internal combustion engine (spark-ignited): In this configuration, fuel is injected into either the intake manifold or the combustion chamber, where it is combined with air, and the air/fuel mix is ignited by the spark from a spark plug.

Transmission: The transmission transfers mechanical power from the engine and/or electric traction motor to drive the wheels.

Source: Alternative Fuels Data Center: How Do Liquefied Natural Gas Trucks Work? U.S. Department of Energy. Retrieved from

About Kinetrex Energy

Kinetrex is the U.S.’s leading inter-state liquefied natural gas (LNG) company and operates two significant LNG production facilities. Kinetrex provides turn-key energy solutions from a comprehensive portfolio of natural gas solutions including: LNG, renewable natural gas (RNG) and pipeline natural gas. For more information about using Kinetrex Energy LNG in your transportation business, visit