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Propane Autogas

Propane, also known as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) or “autogas,” is a three-carbon alkane hydrocarbon (C3H8). It is a nontoxic, odorless gas at ambient temperature and pressure. It can be stored as a liquid at moderate pressures (300 PSI) or at temperatures below -44oF. In its liquid form, the energy density of propane is 270 times greater than in its gaseous form. However, a gallon of liquid propane has approximately 25% less energy content (BTUs) than a gallon of gasoline.

Propane is a byproduct of natural gas processing and crude oil refinement, and therefore it is not a renewable energy source. Propane fuel used for vehicles must be 90% propane. Butane (C4H10) is a common minor component, as well as propylene and butylene. Commercial propane also contains the odorant Ethyl mercaptan, which aids in leak detection.

How Will It Benefit My Business?

According to the Propane Education & Research Council, there are nearly 200,000 on-road propane vehicles with certified fuel systems in the United States. Many are used in fleet applications, such as school buses, shuttles, and police vehicles. The benefits of NGVs and propane autogas vehicles have been widely established and publicized. These include:

  • Reduced dependence on foreign oil(based on ample domestic supplies now and for the foreseeable future)
  • Better fuel price stability and reduced fuel costs in the long run
  • Reduced tailpipe and well-to-wheel emissions (as compared to gasoline and diesel counterparts)
  • Reduced fuel and maintenance expenses, often leading to a lower TCO

Propane Resources

Resources for more information on this fuel

Propane Basics

Interest in propane as an alternative transportation fuel stems from its domestic availability, high-energy density, clean-burning qualities, and relatively low cost.

Laws & Incentives

State and federal governments enact laws and provide incentives to help build and maintain a market for propane fuel and vehicles.

Propane Vehicles

The availability of new light- and medium-duty propane vehicles has surged in recent years, especially for fleet use.

Benefits & Considerations

Using propane as a vehicle fuel increases energy security, can provide the convenience of onsite refueling economically, and reduces air pollution and the environmental impacts of vehicles.

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