Propane in Industry, on the Farm, and for Business
Most consumers are no doubt familiar with propane as a fuel for outdoor grilling. Some of these same propane users might also cook indoors using propane ovens and stovetops, or even heat their homes with propane.
Camping and RV enthusiasts know that propane is a great fuel for cooking and heating when you’re trying to “get back to nature” but still want a portable stove to tag along with you. Less well-known is the fact that propane can also be used in hot water heaters, clothes dryers, and even refrigerators.
But if you think that residential heating and home appliances are propane’s only energy contributions, get ready to learn about all that propane does to power industry, agriculture, and commercial enterprises.
Propane and Industry
Well over half of the propane consumed in the United States (the world’s largest consumer of liquified petroleum gas or LPG) is put to use by the industrial sector.
Propane has many industrial applications. It’s used in the production of plastics, especially plastic bags and nylon. Since propane is a cleaner-burning fuel, it makes sense to use it to power machinery in closed spaces such as warehouses and factories. It’s much safer to use propane to power forklifts compared to gasoline or diesel, especially when this equipment will be used indoors.
Road crews also benefit greatly from propane. Heating asphalt with propane facilitates highway repair work. In addition, propane is useful at construction sites for drying plaster and concrete. Due to its portability, propane is also a great fuel for cutting torches and soldering irons.
Since propane is such a clean-burning fuel, it can even be burned safely in underground mines and other enclosed workspaces.
Propane in the Agriculture Sector
Propane is a great fuel source for remote rural areas, since it can be transported in tanks or cylinders by truck or railway, without the need to be piped in directly from a storage facility.
Farmers use propane in a host of ways. Propane can be used to power farming equipment such as tractors, commercial mowers, irrigation pumps, and generators. Farmers employ propane-powered dryers to dry crops and ripen fruit. For organic agricultural sites looking to reduce herbicide and pesticide use, propane flamethrowers are effective at controlling weeds and killing pests.
Finally, farmers use propane in much the same way on their farms as people do in their homes—for heating and to power refrigerators. Propane is a great fuel source for warming barns, greenhouses, nurseries, incubators, and chicken coops.
Propane and Commercial Applications
Restaurants use propane for cooking just as you might use it in your home, but on a larger scale. Propane is better for cooking than electric heat, since propane burners heat more evenly, heat up right away, and cool down more quickly than their electric counterparts.
Fleet vehicles, such as buses and taxis are also commonly fueled by propane, especially in densely-populated areas where having low-emission transportation options is critical.
And for those looking for the bird’s-eye view, propane is even used to fuel hot air balloons!
Propane is a useful fuel at home or when camping, but it’s so much more than that. Restaurants, farms, factories, warehouses, and recreational facilities all benefit from portable, clean-burning propane.
If you want to hear more about how propane will help your business get ahead, call the experts at Southeast Quality Propane!