Propane: An Alternative Fuel? - Fuelly Forums

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Old 10-13-2007, 11:54 AM   #1
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Propane: An Alternative Fuel?

I had been so hung-up on Natural Gas as a clean fuel alternative lately, that I completely missed Propane (Liquified Petroleum Gas) as an inexpensive conversion (thanks to SVOboy for pointing this out)

Further research from the EPA's website quotes the following

"Compared to gasoline, LPG reduces CO by 20%, total hydrocarbons by 40%, and NOx by 30%". Total energy available per combustion is roughly 73% that of gasoline.

What I can't seem to find...

Are they taking reduction in emissions with the adjustment in FE (from the reduced available energy)? Expecting a drop in 27% of consumption, would that offset the results to a CO reduction of 16%, NOx by 24%, and hydrocarbons by 31%?

So, I found a few fueling stations in the area, so that's no big deal -- especially if a dual-fuel system is implemented, where a small amount of gasoline is reserved as a backup if you run low, or need to extend the range for any reason.

I need to find out more on cost, range, and ease of installation (if someone knows, feel free to chime-in).

RH77
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Old 10-13-2007, 11:55 AM   #2
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73%? Really? I've generally heard you only lose a few MPG to LPG...dunno though...I think you should do it.
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Old 10-13-2007, 08:18 PM   #3
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It is true Propane is a much cleaner burning fuel, that's why forklifts inside buildings use it.

My mother has a 73 GMC 1 ton turck with a 454 that was used to pull heavy horse trailers. The truck has run propane since new and has 250,000 miles on the original engine. What's amazing to me that the oil always looks brand new! And when it comes to towing this old truck still gives new diesel trucks a run for their money. One thing this truck does that I don't understand is that it always gets 8 MPG at any speed, uphill, downhill, loaded to the point where the bumper drags or empty.

Propane typically doesn't get as much power and economy as gasoline unless you custom build your engine to run on it.

Diesel guys are starting to run propane combined with diesel on their hot rod truks, it's like running Nitros on a gasser.

There are multiple websites that have propane conversions. I think you would be able to get a tank and kit for around $1000.00

PS: if given a choice I would run propane before natural gas. The trucks I have driven on natural gas have absolutly no power and don't go very far on a tank.

http://www.gotpropane.com/
http://www.propaneguy.com/
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Old 10-13-2007, 08:45 PM   #4
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Only real downside to me on propane is the safety factor. It's not as safe as natural gas, not to say that it isn't safe enough for usage.

I'm thinking of NG, although the conversion wouldn't be cheap and I don't know where the tank(s) would go.
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Old 10-14-2007, 02:25 PM   #5
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Cost and Safety

Well, it looks like a road-legal setup runs around $2500 for the ECU and all related gas delivery equipment (including the tanks). To be DOT certified, the tanks have to have be rated -- so, the larger tanks, to allow at least 250miles of range, are pretty costly.

If I get the right tanks, I'm not worried about the safety factor. They're rated to take quite the impact without leakage.

So, the overall cost is the prohibitive factor at tihs point. It would be slightly cheaper to operate, likely extend the longevity of the engine/related-components, and significantly reduce emissions. If I can keep it in the $1000 for a road-legal setup with a range of 200 miles, I'd likely do it. Of course, I'd try installation myself

RH77
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Old 10-14-2007, 02:33 PM   #6
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I think you should do it. You can also keep in mind you can keep the system when you're done, and perhaps MO offers some sort of rebate for alt fuel projects? I would check it out.
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