We all know the benefits of having CNG as an alternative fuel in our vehicle. It costs less and causes much less pollution. However, one does compromise with boot space for runnig the car on CNG as the cylindrical fuel tank takes up practically almost all of it. In sedans such as the Honda Civic, the tank cuts the trunk capacity by half while in hatchbacks like the Maruti Suzuki Swift, the tank is the sole owner of the boot.
And we do have a point here. The cylinder does not occupy all of the volume of the boot and there is some left around it, however, this is a waste as one cannot practically use it for storing things which ofcourse cannot change shape. But with a patent-pending technology being developed by Chrysler, a proper CNG tank maybe soon introduced which can take on any shape necessary to fit within the vehicle's chassis, thereby significantly reducing the wastage of volume.
Looking at the volumetric efficiency of the human lung, made up of millions of individual sacks known as alveoli, Chrysler's engineering team is taking inspiration and developing a patent-pending natural gas tank design that will offer greater capacity than today's conventional cylindrical tanks and better packaging flexibility, similar to that of liquid fuel tanks. The research is being partially funded by the state of Michigan's Economic Development Council's Technology Innovation challenge, from which Chrysler received a $50,000 grant.
No specific date has been announced for when this technology might reach mass-production, however, this as a concept is brilliant and we can only pray for Fiat to introduce as soon as possible.