Propane is a fuel source that is the product of natural gas and crude oil that can be found in many homes and offices around the world. Also referred to as petroleum gas, the effect of propane on the environment is often overplayed, owing mainly to its derivation from these two fossil fuels. Nevertheless propane is still seen as an effective fuel for household heating, cooking and appliance use, due to its availability, relative price and safety record.
In terms of the environment however people still have particular concerns about it in terms of home use. First things first, it’s best to read and understand propane by doing your own research and satisfying your own queries. The best advice one can take is to learn more about propane directly from suppliers themselves. These are the most informed people when it comes to its usage and environmental track record.
That said, let’s investigate a little further into propane’s’ effects on the environment and try to develop further understanding about it as a fuel source in general.
As a common fuel for outdoor gas grills, propane is popular in summer barbecue parties and also for heating in areas where natural gas is hard to come by or brings significant disadvantages. Waste treatment, weed control and crop drying are all common uses of propane by farmers and agricultural workers but it is also frequently seen in industrial usage, such as for powering turbines for electricity generation or as a vehicle fuel source. The United States and the UK are large consumers of propane, dependent on it mainly for infrastructure rather than for vehicle usage.
As it is a fairly clean-burning fuel, propane has clear advantages over other fuel sources due to having a lower carbon content. That said, combustion of propane still leads to waste production, as happens with the combustion of most fuel sources, in terms of methane, nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide. Propane should be seen as a more environmentally friendly alternative to more established and widespread fuel sources however as it produces significantly less harmful emissions and has a much lighter impact in light of global warming concerns.
Propane in Vehicles
One such way in which switching to propane could prove a massive benefit to the environmental state of the world is if it is phased into vehicle usage more as an alternative source to diesel or petrol.
As modern technology enables several heavy and light-duty vehicles to use propane the main stumbling block is the expense such vehicles carry over conventionally fueled alternatives. That said, this is largely a nonsensical argument as the cost offset by the continued use of propane as a fuel source is much less than that for conventional fuel, meaning that greater savings can be made over the long term once the initial investment as been made.
Propane’s higher octane rating over gasoline means that vehicles will generally run better too, a massive benefit if you take into consideration the longevity a vehicle could have if switched to using propane as its primary fuel source.