The Big Question for Renewable Propane: Can It Scale?
To maximize renewable propane’s possibilities, propane is being mixed with renewable dimethyl ether (DME). This creates a fuel with all the characteristics of conventional propane but with a much lower carbon intensity that would qualify it for incentives under the LCFS. DME is better known as a nontoxic aerosol propellant found in such products as hair spray and insect repellant. It has also been mixed with traditional propane for decades for use as a heating and cooking fuel, primarily in Asia. The ultimate low-carbon fuel is one that is negative, meaning that it is calculated to reduce carbon in the atmosphere, not simply lessen the amount emitted. That’s possible if the renewable DME is derived from such sources as biogas from dairy herd waste lagoons that emit copious amounts of methane and carbon dioxide. The gas would need to be captured and processed into DME.
For more information visit the U.S. Department of Energy website.