Why Propane Equipment?
Propane is a gas normally compressed and stored as a liquid. It is nontoxic, colorless and virtually odorless. It offers the same performance characteristics as natural gas. Propane has been used as a transportation fuel since the 1940s and is capable of powering light-, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles equipped for its use. When used as vehicle fuel, it is known as propane autogas.
Interest in propane as an alternative fuel stems from its domestic availability, high energy density, clean-burning qualities and relatively low cost. It also presents no threat to soil, surface water or ground water. It is the world’s third most common transportation fuel, behind gasoline and diesel. Its high octane rating makes propane an excellent choice for spark-ignited internal combustion engines. However, it has a lower British thermal unit (BTU) rating than gasoline, so it does take more fuel by volume to drive the same distance. Because of its higher octane rating compared to gasoline, it can be used with higher engine compression ratios and prevents engine knocking.
Propane is stored on-board a vehicle in a tank pressurized to about 150 psi — about twice the pressure of an inflated truck tire. Under this pressure, propane becomes a liquid with an energy density 270 times greater than its gaseous form. If there is a leak, propane will dissipate into the air. Because it is heavier than air, it will linger in low spots, while compressed natural gas (CNG) is lighter than air and rises.
Propane Makes Its Way to a Job site Near You
On the vast majority of construction sites, diesel continues to be the predominant source of power for vehicles and equipment. But there are alternatives creeping into the mix. One that shows significant potential for continued growth is propane.
At first glance, the prospect of widespread use of propane on your projects may seem far-fetched. Yet, propane has been in use for decades in a range of applications and industries. Its reliability as a small engine fuel source has led to a growing number of construction applications being powered by the fuel. And its emissions profile allows it to be used both indoors and out.
Propane is a gas normally compressed and stored as a liquid. It is sometimes known as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG or LP gas). When compared to gasoline, it emits 17% fewer greenhouse gases and 50% less carbon monoxide. Propane equipment also emits 19% less nitrogen oxide (NOx) than equipment fueled by gasoline.
Propane’s portability, low emissions and ease of refueling make it an effective choice for construction job sites. On sites that aren’t yet connected to utilities or are located beyond the electrical grid, it enables work to be completed without the need to bring in an alternative power source for electric equipment.
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