Propane has always been a “green” fuel, far ahead of today’s trend. It is considered the world’s most convenient and versatile fuel, as it is clean, efficient, economical and less expensive than electricity.
More than 14 million families use propane to fuel their furnaces, water heaters, air conditioners, outdoor grills, fireplaces, dryers and range tops. Propane is helping Americans shrink their carbon footprint by providing a “green” solution for the environmentally conscious consumer.
Commercial energy users such as hotels, restaurants and retail stores, use propane for many of the same purposes as residential customers. Propane is also used as an engine fuel for powering over-the-road vehicles, forklift trucks and stationary engines in co-generation systems and standby generators.
Propane is used on more than 660,000 farms for irrigation pumps, grain dryers, standby generators and other farm equipment. It is an essential fuel for crop drying, flame cultivation, fruit ripening, space and water heating and food refrigeration. Propane is easy to transport and used in areas beyond natural gas mains. Because it is 270 times more compact as a liquid than as a gas, it is economical to store and transport as a liquid.
Business owners across the country choose this clean-burning fuel for bus, taxi, delivery and other fleets to minimize air pollution in metropolitan areas.
In the near future propane will be used to power an emerging technology device called “fuel cells.” Fuel cells are environmentally friendly, highly efficient devices that will use propane gas to generate electricity and heat water in residential homes and commercial businesses. Automobiles, buses and trucks of the future will also be powered by fuel cells designed to operate on environmentally friendly fuels such as propane.
Some Propane Fast Facts
Propane fireplaces, unlike wood-burning fireplaces, are clean and do not emit noxious fumes or black smoke into the air.
Unvented propane space heaters produce fewer air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions than oil-burning space heaters and their 99.9% efficiency saves customers money.
Propane grills are better for the environment than charcoal, which releases 105 times more carbon monoxide than propane.
Propane clothes dryers are much more efficient than electric dryers. They use less energy resources and cost less to operate.
Propane water heaters can provide more hot water at a more affordable price. Switching from a traditional electric water heater to a propane tankless water heater can reduce energy costs by up to 50% a year.
Production and Distribution
Propane is a by-product of both natural gas processing and crude oil refining. Most of the propane consumed in the United States is produced in North America. Propane is produced from liquid components recovered during processing of natural gas; including components of ethane, methane, propane, and butane, as well as heavier hydrocarbons. Propane and butane, along with other gases, are also produced during crude oil refining.
Propane is shipped from its point of production to bulk distribution terminals via pipeline, railroad, barge, truck, or tanker ship. Propane marketers fill trucks at the terminals and distribute propane to end users, including retail fuel sites.
To the right, you will find a graphic of the typical distribution route. Who would have ever thought it took this many steps to heat your home and light your stove??