Propane has been a widely-used source of clean burning fuel for several decades. Recently there has been an increased interest in propane gas supplies as a result of a societal commitment to utilizing “green” energy sources with a lower environmental impact.
Propane was approved as an alternative clean-burning fuel in the National Energy Policy Act of 1992 and the 1990 Clean Air Act. Propane was listed because it is a simple three-carbon alkane gas with a relatively low amount of waste products when combusted. It is also non-toxic so it is not harmful to groundwater or soil if it leaks.
Over 60 million Americans, businesses, and farmers rely on their propane gas supply for various needs including fireplace fuel, cooking, water and space heating, and clothes drying. Propane is also heavily used in agricultural and industrial applications such as flame cultivation, for backup generators, barn heating, grain drying, machinery and more. It is the third most popular transportation fuel in the world.
Propane does not burn 100% clean, but it burns significantly more cleanly than other fossil fuels. As a vehicle fuel, it produces far fewer greenhouse gas emissions than diesel fuel or gasoline. There’s no question that it is far less impactful to the environment than coal-powered electricity plants.
Propane burns significantly more cleanly than coal
Coal is still used as a primary fuel source at several power plants throughout the United States. Burning coal releases extensive amounts of mercury, carbon dioxide, and toxins into the atmosphere, and it is an inefficient process that only captures approximately 38-percent of the energy found in the coal. Sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere which leads to acid rain is largely the result of burning coal, according to the EPA.
Switching from electricity to propane can therefore dramatically lower a household’s impact on the environment, especially if the house is powered by coal electricity. Choosing to power an appliance by propane instead of electricity is estimated to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by up to 70% or more, as estimated by the Propane Education & Research Council.
Why is propane used as fuel? The National Propane Gas Association estimates that it can cost up to twice as much money per year to operate a range, furnace, water heater, fireplace or dryer with electricity compared to propane gas.
Propane-powered appliances are reliable and many of them can operate when there is no electricity. They also have much longer lifespans than their electric counterparts.
With 98% of the propane used in the United States being produced domestically, it is a genuine American industry that is fully economically sustainable.
Anyone who is looking to lower the greenhouse gas emissions of their household, business or vehicle should consider switching a propane gas supply for their fuel needs.
Propane is an immediately available, clean, reliable, low emission and highly efficient fuel which will help you protect the environment and also save you money on your energy costs.
Widely considered one of the top “green” energy sources for the future, its use is expected to continue to rise in several parts of the United States. Diversified Energy is proud to be at the forefront of the revitalized interest in propane as a clean burning fuel.