Grounds Equipment: The Benefits of Propane
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This is Chris Matt, Managing Editor of Print & E-Media, with Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today's tip is understanding the benefits of propane.
Propane is a leading alternative fuel and provides managers with a cost-effective, clean, safe, and reliable fuel option. Grounds managers considering specifying propane-powered grounds equipment, such as mowers and utility vehicles, should consider these potential benefits:
Cleaner emissions. Propane exhaust creates 60-70 percent less smog-producing hydrocarbons than gasoline, according to studies by the Southwest Research Institute. And compared to gasoline, propane yields 12 percent less carbon dioxide, about 20 percent less nitrous oxide, and 60 percent less carbon monoxide, according to the World Liquid Propane Gas Association and the California Energy Commission.
Also, propane's octane rating is 104 — compared to a rating of 91-92 for premium gasoline — allowing for a higher compression ratio in the engine and greater engine efficiency, which leads to reductions in certain exhaust emissions, such as carbon monoxide.
Enhanced performance. Propane vehicles have the longest driving range of any alternative fuel — more than 250 percent farther than compressed natural gas, about 60 percent farther than methanol, and 25 percent farther than ethanol. Also, many propane vehicle fleets have reported two-three years longer service lives and extended intervals between required maintenance, compared to gasoline vehicles.
Environmental responsibility. Propane is an approved, clean fuel listed in the 1990 Clean Air Act and the National Energy Policy Act of 1992. It also is one of the lightest, simplest hydrocarbons in existence.
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