Propane Autogas – Conversions and Infrastructure

Propane: An Economic & Environmental Fuel Choice

April 2008, Green Fleet Magazine - Feature

by Brian Feehan

In addition to reducing dependency on petroleum imports, alternative, cleaner fuels play a key role in addressing worsening environmental problems caused by rising consumption of conventional fuels. Propane is rapidly establishing itself as an important alternative fuel with its impressive environmental benefits and inherent practical and cost advantages over gasoline, diesel, and other alt-fuels.

Reliable Supply Available

Propane, also known as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), is one of the nation's most versatile sources of energy, supplying about 4 percent of total domestic energy needs and fueling more than 10 million vehicles worldwide.

Approximately 90 percent of the U.S. propane supply is produced domestically, while the majority of the remaining 10 percent is imported from Canada and Mexico. Approximately 55 percent of propane is produced from natural gas processing and 45 percent comes from the refining of crude oil. Thus, propane is a readily available, secure energy source whose environmental benefits are widely recognized. Propane is also an approved, alternative clean fuel listed in the 1990 Clean Air Act, as well as the National Energy Policy Act of 1992 and 2005.

Safe Reputation Upheld

Propane has a remarkable safety record, due in large part to the stringent codes and regulations developed by the propane industry and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Among propane use benefits are:

  • Only ignites, when combined with air, if the source of ignition reaches 940° F.
  • Gas is nontoxic and produces minimal emissions.
  • Not harmful to soil or water.
  • The Propane Emergencies Program established to train first responders.

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