What Is Renewable Propane?

An essential pathway to lower emissions for American businesses and households.

renewable propane

Propane and Renewable Propane: What’s the connection?
Conventional propane and renewable propane are molecularly identical. This means that they can be blended and used in existing gas systems without the expense and labor of equipment conversions. The distinction is that they’re coming from different sources. The renewable sources that have been instrumental in perfecting the production of renewable propane to date include animal oils, vegetable oils, biomass and other triglycerides.

To be clear, sources that go into producing renewable propane are not only materials most consider to be waste. The feedstocks for renewable propane can include plant matter like corn, and research today is expanding the use of plants like Camelina sativa, which grows on otherwise fallow land and requires very little water to thrive.

The resulting fuel has a carbon intensity (CI) score that’s roughly one-quarter that of conventional propane’s already low CI — and only 15% that of America’s average grid electricity.

While not in widespread residential use yet, renewable propane already fuels autogas fleets and commercial machinery. And its production grows every year.

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Dimethyl Ether (DME): A helpful piece of the equation

Converting Waste Into Energy
The value of converting waste into energy can stand on its own, regardless of its impact on our consumption of fossil fuels.

A colorless gas whose molecules are known to be compatible with propane for many applications, including use as a transportation fuel, dimethyl ether (DME) is an integral part of the future of renewable propane and other innovative blends.

Renewable DME is produced from carbon captured out of the atmosphere — including gas from cows, for example. The decarbonization of conventional propane is one very productive step in the right direction.

A blend of bio-DME combined with propane offers a decarbonized option. And when the DME is combined with renewable propane, the benefits are even further increased.