Natural gas is a cost effective alternative for forklifts that provides emission benefits as well as worker health and safety advantages. Propane forklifts can be converted to natural gas operation using aftermarket technology. Tests have shown that natural gas forklifts can reduce carbon monoxide emissions by up to 90% providing a significant improvement in indoor air quality. A natural gas forklift is refuelled using a small compressor with a hose connection. There is no need to lift and replace heavy fuel storage cylinders and there is no risk of frostbite from exposure to liquid fuel. There are many manufacturing facilities in Ontario that use natural gas forklifts. There are also warehouse operations in British Columbia and Québec that also use natural gas.
Natural gas ice resurfacers are available from two original equipment manufacturers – Resurfice Corporation and Zamboni. Many municipalities and arena operators choose natural gas ice resurfacers due to their lower emissions impact, reduced fuel costs, and operational advantages. Natural gas produces lower levels of carbon monoxide. It is lighter than air, so it will dissipate in the air and be vented to the outside by the building ventilation system. Natural gas has a narrower flammability range and a higher ignition temperature compared to other fuels. Fuel storage cylinders do not need to be handled by workers as natural gas is dispensed directly into the vehicle’s fuel storage tanks. Indoor air quality improves with the use of natural gas.