Simple image with the figure of a man with propane and recycle icons

Is Propane A Fossil Fuel?

Simple image that shows the intensity of Carbon in Propane and some of its alternatives
Infographic courtesy of PERC

Is propane a fossil fuel?

Yes and no.

In the past, we would have said yes. However, thanks to new advancements in technology and innovation, propane is now considered a renewable resource. Propane has been used for over 100 years as an alternative fuel source that burns cleaner than other fossil fuels like coal or oil.

It's time to rethink what you know about this "fossil fuel."

Where does propane come from?

Right now, most propane is a byproduct of refining natural gas, along with ethane, methane, and butane.

Natural gas is a type of fossil fuel that is made from long-dead plants and animals being compressed for millions of years.

The wonderful thing about propane and natural gas is they come from our own country, the United States of America. This help us on the mission for fuel independence.

How propane is different from other fossil fuels

Basic image with a truck that indicates that propane autogas engines are clean and have almost zero emissions

Most fossil fuels produce greenhouse gasses when they are burned. The dirtiest fossil fuel is coal, followed by crude oil.

What makes propane different from other fossil fuels is that it burns clean. This means propane produces very few greenhouse gasses when it is burned! It also does not produce any ash or smoke.

This makes it ideal to run cars, which are responsible for about 51% of a typical household's greenhouse gas emissions.

Already, fleets like school busses, trucks, forklifts, and even police vehicles are powered by propane.


Propane Fills In The Gaps In Renewable Energy

How propane can be renewable

As with fossil fuel propane, renewable propane is a byproduct of another process: making renewable diesel.

Renewable propane is made from a mix of waste residues and sustainably sourced materials — including agricultural waste products, cooking oil, and meat fats.

Renewable propane is chemically identical to fossil fuel propane.

This renewable energy does not harm the environment like fossil fuels such as coal or oil; instead it benefits us by preserving resources that would otherwise be wasted.

During this process feedstocks go through a series of complex treatments before then merging with hydrogen to produce purified sources of fuel for our homes or businesses - thus helping preserve precious resources.

Renewable propane is not actually made directly from these feedstocks, but is actually produced by bacteria that are fed bio-oils.

Companies who are moving away from propane as a fossil fuel

A few companies are paving the way to creating renewable propane. They are choosing to say "NO!" to the question if propane is a fossil fuel.

United States companies include:

Foreign companies include:

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