Environment

Propane and the environment

Available now and ready for tomorrow.

Propane is clean, affordable, portable and a Canadian-made low-carbon energy solution – it is energy for all.

Compared to other energy sources, using propane improves air quality, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and protects the environment.

Safe and environmentally responsible

In the unlikely event of a leak, propane becomes a vapour that does not contaminate the soil, air or aquifers, unlike liquid fuels. Propane dissipates quickly into the atmosphere – a small amount of air movement is enough to disperse the vapour.

This is especially important when operating in environmentally sensitive areas such as farms, nature reserves or by water.

An odourant added to naturally odourless propane helps easily detect a leak.

No fugitive emission impacts: Fugitive emissions’ is a term for gas that escapes into the atmosphere before it is combusted. Propane is a smart environmental choice when it comes to such emissions, particularly when compared to natural gas because it is not a greenhouse gas and has no impact on the atmosphere if accidentally released prior to combustion.

Natural gas (methane) however, is a potent greenhouse gas in its unburnt state. Up to 5% of natural gas is inadvertently released during transmission, prior to use. This unburnt methane generates 25 times more greenhouse impact on the atmosphere than CO2.

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Ready for Canada’s low-carbon future

Major technological advances are being made with renewable propane – a “drop-in energy source” that is identical to propane. Renewable propane is sourced from used cooking oil and other waste products, making it a carbon-neutral energy source, meaning that it adds no new carbon to the atmosphere when burned.

Safeguarding the environment and your pocketbook

Recognized for its low emissions and environmental impact by Canada’s Alternative Fuels Act, propane is one of the cleanest and most versatile energy sources in existence.

Propane is a lower emission energy source than heating oil, diesel, gasoline and in some provinces, electricity, whether used to heat your home, power a farm, or run a fleet of school buses.  When upstream (lifecycle) emissions are considered, the case for propane becomes even stronger.

Propane becomes even more important when considering future energy costs as carbon pricing in Canada is set to increase every year.

Reliable energy must include various energy options

We need a diverse range of energy choices to manage environmental challenges. The reliability of propane is needed as a primary or co-primary energy source to complement solar and wind systems. It can help reduce emissions while providing dependability, especially during challenging weather conditions. Propane is not subject to power outages like electricity, making it one of the most reliable energy sources available.

With its power, reliability and versatility, propane is an essential part of a diverse mix enabling cleaner fuels to be used in a wide range of applications from powering remote and Indigenous communities to powering construction sites. As technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, propane, with its ability to go anywhere, will serve the needs of future generations with even more sustainable solutions.

Cleaner air to breathe

Propane emits 60% less carbon monoxide (CO) than gasoline, 98% less particulate matter than diesel and contains virtually no sulphur – a contributor to acid rain.

 

It emits no soot, and low hydrogen and oxides of nitrogen, which are the basic precursors of ground-level ozone, or smog.

 

Burning propane produces lower levels of air toxins, such as benzene and acetaldehyde, than either gasoline or diesel.

 

Propane is always the cleaner choice when compared to gasoline:
Light Duty Trucks: 11% Fewer GHGs
School Buses: 18% Fewer GHGs
Lawn Mowers: 16% Fewer GHGs
Irrigation Engines: 20% Fewer GHGs

Climate Change Policy

Climate Change Solutions

Propane can play a vital role by:

  • Helping to lower emissions in our largest emitting sector – transportation – by utilizing low-emission vehicle technology that is available now.
  • Strengthening infrastructure resiliency planning and risk management by providing a backup energy source at vulnerable public facilities.
  • Acting as a reliable and portable primary or backup energy source that could be used in conjunction with renewables.
  • Lowering emissions and improving health outcomes in rural and remote communities that use diesel or fuel oil.