Posted: February 19, 2024

Propane is dependably U.S.-made and getting cleaner every year!

propane Mountain Top, PA Do you know where your home’s propane comes from?

There are a lot of energy sources in the U.S. that rely on international fuel suppliers, but happily, propane is not one of them. Over 90% of the propane used in the U.S. comes from right within our borders. Since 2011, we have exported more propane than we’ve used!

That means that you can feel confident that our country has a dependable domestic supply of the fuel that heats your home, warms up your showers, cooks your food, dries your laundry, provides backup electricity and powers a range of fantastic home amenities.

But the question remains: is propane renewable?

How is propane made?

To begin answering the question of whether propane is renewable energy, we should consider how it’s produced. Right now, the overwhelming majority of U.S. propane is a co-product of natural gas extraction. A fair amount also comes from the oil refining process. All that fuel can be considered conventional propane — as opposed to renewable propane, which we’ll discuss in a moment.

Producing conventional propane doesn’t require any additional drilling. The same wells that bring natural gas and crude oil to consumers also produce propane.

Is propane a greenhouse gas?

Propane is not a greenhouse gas. In fact, it’s listed as an alternative fuel in both the 1990 Clean Air Act and the Energy Policy Act of 1992. Why is that?
It starts with propane’s carbon intensity or CI. This metric tells us how much carbon dioxide (CO2) is generated to produce a given amount of energy. Propane’s CI score is lower than heating oil, diesel and even Pennsylvania’s grid electricity. Propane is an efficient way to provide energy to your home systems and appliances. It takes 3.03 units of electricity to deliver one unit of energy to a U.S. home. But you get one unit of energy for every 1.01 units of propane!
Propane is also methane-free. Methane is even more potent than CO2 at trapping heat in the atmosphere over a 20-year period. (It’s also the primary component of natural gas.)

Propane emits virtually no particulate matter, a known carcinogen. It’s non-toxic, too. Even if an underground propane tank leaks, it won’t negatively impact soil, groundwater, aquatic life, marine life or plant life.

The bottom line is that conventional propane is already green. It’s getting greener with the emergence of renewable propane.

What is renewable propane?

Renewable propane is a fuel that is chemically identical to conventional propane (so it can be used in existing equipment without modification) but produced from recycled and organic feedstocks. These feedstocks include used cooking grease, animal fats, municipal waste, forest waste and plant oils.

Today’s renewable propane generally has a CI score that’s one-quarter that of conventional propane and less than one-fifth the CI of Pennsylvania grid electricity. Research happening right now promises to take that carbon impact even lower.

Renewable propane represents a relatively small percentage of American propane use today, but its production capacity continues to grow. You can expect it to be an integral part of decarbonization efforts in the coming years.

Do you need a reliable propane delivery company in Mountain Top or elsewhere in Central and Southeastern Pennsylvania? Join the Koppy’s Propane family of customers!