Skip To Content

Renewable Propane

Renewable Propane

Click to ExpandRenewable Propane

Is propane renewable? Yes, renewable propane is an alternative to petroleum-based propane, made of vegetable oils, natural fats, and grease. The chemical makeup is identical to regular propane, so it can easily be used as a replacement fuel in any propane application. That means all of your propane equipment is already equipped to utilize renewable propane instead of or in alternation with conventional propane. 

How Is Renewable Propane Made?

Renewable propane is made of what would otherwise be considered waste products. These soybean oils, corn oils, yellow greases, and white greases are gathered from commercial kitchens, agricultural processes, and more, and the renewable propane is produced in biofuel refineries using a hydrotreated vegetable oil process.

Because California, Oregon, and Washington offer incentives via programs like the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard, the Innovative Renewable Energy for Buildings Act, and the Clean Fuel Standard, most of the renewable propane in the country is used in these three states. 

Renewable Propane Production

The hydrotreated vegetable oil process used to make most renewable propane is also called hydroprocessed esters and fatty acids (HEFA). Renewable propane is often produced as a byproduct of biodiesel production. The propane is extracted after the hydrogenolysis process, which purifies the fuel and allows for cleaner-burning energy. In the United States, feedstocks that would otherwise end up in landfills are used to make more than 4.5 million gallons of renewable propane every year, with the largest production facilities located in Louisiana and California.

Since renewable propane is a byproduct of the renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel production processes, the production of all these sustainable fuels is expected to grow together. About 50 kilograms of renewable propane is produced with every ton of biodiesel. 

What Are Renewable Propane’s Environmental Benefits?

Renewable propane is a sustainable, low-emissions fuel source that can replace conventional propane wherever it’s used, without needing to modify any equipment, whether it’s an appliance, home heating system, construction infrastructure, or manufacturing machinery. There are many benefits to using renewable propane:

  • Minimize Municipal Solid Waste (MSW): In 2018 alone, the production of biodiesel and renewable propane used more than 7.5 billion pounds of soybean oil, more than 2 billion pounds of corn oil, about 1.7 billion pounds of yellow grease, and more—all of which would have otherwise gone to the landfill. 
  • Financially Support Small Farmers: Renewable propane creates an opportunity for local corn and soybean growers to sell their biowaste for additional income. 
  • Reduce Carbon Emissions: Because it repurposes biowaste and has a smaller carbon footprint, renewable propane reduces overall carbon emissions while being as efficient as conventional propane in heating applications.
  • Promotes a Circular Economy: The production and use of renewable propane helps build a regenerative economy that puts waste products to good use. 
  • Safeguard Human Health: At the point of combustion, renewable propane is carbon neutral. Using renewable propane can contribute to cleaner air, fewer respiratory problems, and less acid rain. 

Choose IPS For All Your Propane Equipment Needs

IPS works directly with propane equipment manufacturers and retailers to provide the highest quality parts and services in the industry. If you are a propane retailer, need bulk plant service work, or require propane equipment, contact us to discuss your solution.