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Propane and the Environment

Propane and the Environment

Liquefied petroleum gas, commonly referred to as propane, is a widely used fuel source that offers many unique advantages. For decades, propane has been used to power everything from heavy-duty industrial equipment to home water heating and camping stoves. Today, with our growing focus on the environmental impact of our choices, many people are asking, “Is propane bad for the environment?” 

There are many pervasive myths about clean energy. In this article, we’ll discuss the effects of propane on the environment, as well as some of the biggest advantages you can expect to gain from using propane. 

Is Propane Gas Bad for the Environment?

Propane is an environmentally friendly choice. While it does emit a low level of carbon dioxide, it’s relatively clean burning when compared to gas or diesel. It does not emit sulfur dioxide, methane, nitrogen oxides, and other wastes. The 1990 Clean Air Act lists it as an approved source of clean energy.

Propane Tanks

It’s also a safer choice. It doesn’t harm the soil, lakes, groundwater, or ocean. If propane spills, it simply turns to vapor, and that vapor is only harmful to humans when you inhale extremely high concentrations. It’s rare for anyone to be exposed to levels that high in a typical leak or spill situation. Though propane itself has no odor, propane companies typically add mercaptan to the fuel as a safety measure. This is a foul-smelling but harmless gas that makes a propane leak easy to smell and identify.

The list of environmental benefits of propane goes on:

  • It dissipates quickly
  • It doesn’t pollute the air
  • Because it emits less carbon dioxide, it doesn’t contribute as much to acid rain
  • It’s safer to transport propane than other fuels
  • Propane spills and leaks are less damaging to the environment than other fuels when they spill

Propane’s Environmental Impact

Because of its reduced environmental impact, propane is a preferred fuel source for a variety of applications and industries:

Two White Propane Tanks With Valves
  • Factories and Warehouses: Harmful emissions from propane forklifts are 19% lower than emissions from forklifts that run on gasoline.
  • Landscaping: Propane mowers are often preferred over gasoline mowers.
  • Agriculture: Propane is a great choice for irrigation engines and other equipment, and it performs well in cold weather. Diesel emits almost 100% more particulate matter than propane.
  • Transportation: Autogas vehicles emit fewer greenhouse gases than gasoline vehicles. The demand for these vehicles is increasing: within the next five years, we may see up to 100% more Autogas vehicles on the road. Propane is also growing in popularity as a fuel choice for buses, taxis, and police vehicles. Though propane holds less energy than gasoline and provides slightly lower fuel efficiency, the high octane rating can lead to improved performance and less maintenance when paired with an optimized engine.
  • Household: Carbon emissions from a propane grill are 50% lower than emissions from a charcoal grill. You can heat your home and run your major appliances on propane.

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An Infographic Explaining Propane's Environmental Impact

Tomorrow’s Clean Energy Solution — Available Today

Propane delivers many advantages over other energy sources. As a low-carbon fuel alternative, it is not only cost-efficient but environmentally friendly as well.  In 2022, roughly 60% of America’s electricity was generated by burning fossil fuels. This creates high levels of greenhouse gas emissions, in addition to being very expensive.

Propane, on the other hand, is considered a clean-burning fuel. Not only does it emit far fewer amounts of greenhouse gases, but it can even be made from innovative, carbon-neutral sources. Renewable propane is produced from used cooking oils and other types of grease waste products. Since it is non-toxic, switching to propane can not only significantly lower your greenhouse emissions, but protect the soil and groundwater as well. 

Reduce Your Emissions While Increasing Cost Savings

With its diverse variety of uses, propane offers a way to simplify your energy needs, all while protecting the environment and saving money. Propane produces far fewer greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline, diesel, and even electricity. When used to power vehicles, propane autogas dispensers provide fast and easy fuel access and can even be installed alongside traditional diesel and gasoline pumps. Taking advantage of the benefits of propane has never been easier. 

Experience Unrivaled Reliability 

As a highly versatile clean energy alternative, propane meets industry-diverse needs for reliable power. When coupled with other types of renewable energy sources, it offers unbeatable dependability. Propane is a great choice to complement solar or wind energy systems to ensure consistent energy access.

Choose IPS for All Your Propane Equipment Needs

This article was created for informational purposes to help more people discover the facts about propane, beyond its common misconceptions. At IPS, we support propane retailers by offering the highest possible quality parts and services. If you’re looking for plant service work or need propane equipment, get in touch with our team today.