The Benefits of Propane

Propane is Available

Propane is available in abundance in Canada. This country is the 7th largest producer of propane in the world, and produces 3.5% of the world supply and uses only half of that domestically; the rest of Canada's propane is exported. The infrastructure is in place to transport, store, and dispense propane safely and efficiently to Canadians.

Propane is Clean

Propane is clean burning and effectively competes with other fossil and renewable fuels on efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions in many applications. It also offers additional air quality advantages: when properly mixed with air to form a combustible mixture, propane emits virtually no soot, and low carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and oxides of nitrogen, which are the basic precursors of ground-level ozone, or smog. Its simple chemical make-up allows it to burn cleaner than coal, light and heavy petroleum fuels, ethanol, and even natural gas in some cases. Because propane is stored and transported under pressure, the transportation and storage system prevents any evaporative emissions. In the event of a leak, propane readily vapourizes and dissipates into the atmosphere. In an era of environmental concerns, propane stands above most fuels and rivals the cleanest.

Propane is Economical

Propane's exceptional value makes it the choice of hundreds of thousands of Canadians, for their homes, businesses, farms, and fleets. While the economics of using propane vary with each application, the common theme is value. For example, the U.S. Department of Energy reports that heating a home with gas costs half as much, on average, than heating with electricity. Add to that the fact that propane-fuelled furnaces last 5–10 years longer than electric heat pumps. When it comes to water heaters, propane heaters can be less expensive to operate than electric heaters, with nearly twice the recovery rate, resulting in huge savings on electricity bills. As a transportation fuel in Canada, propane has historically enjoyed a significant price advantage: as much as 37% over regular gasoline. The low carbon and oil contamination characteristics of propane have resulted in documented engine life of up to two times that of gasoline engines. Based on equal fuel volume, propane has the longest driving range of all alternative fuels. This means propane has more energy for each gallon of fuel than other alternative fuels.

Propane is Safe

Production, storage, transportation and use are subject to strict standards and regulations. Propane is stored and used in sealed containers and fuel systems, and is only transferred from one container to another by trained personnel. Propane tanks are 20 times more puncture-proof than conventional gasoline tanks. The Propane Training Institute, a division of the CPA, issues more than 30,000 training certificates annually.

Propane is Portable

Propane can be stored, transported and used almost anywhere, and won't deteriorate over time. Storage cylinders and tanks come in a range of sizes; all built and transported according to highly regulated safety standards. In many case, it's the only fuel used in remote locations because of its portability, especially for applications where demand patterns change, such as construction sites or cottages.

Propane is a Modern Energy

There are countless opportunities to take advantage of clean-burning propane. For propane at home and in the workplace, think cooking, heating, and cooling – appliances such as pool, patio, space and water heaters, clothes dryers, and refrigerators. For agriculture, think heating greenhouses and other buildings, weed and pest control, crop drying, waste incineration, and powering equipment. For industry, think forklifts and mobile generators, drying and curing paint, bricks and ceramics, glazing pottery, and metal heating and processing. And of course, it is a transportation fuel – 24 million vehicles worldwide operate on propane, a number that grows every year. Propane is ready to fuel the tools and toys you rely on for work and play.

Propane Partners with Other Energies

Non-fossil fuels, such as solar and wind, are environmentally friendly but have reliability limitations. The flexibility of propane makes it possible to partner with other energies to supplement energy requirements when the sun isn't shining or the wind isn't blowing. Technology exists to facilitate this automatic switching. Propane provides a rich source of hydrogen for fuel cells. An up-and-coming energy source, fuel cells create power and heat through an electrochemical process rather than burning, converting hydrogen and oxygen into electrical energy.

Thanks to World LP Gas Association and the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) for their contributions to this overview.