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Propane as a Vehicle Fuel

Drivers Need to Know: 

Drivers Need to Know Introduction to propane Properties and characteristics of propane Safe vehicle fueling procedures Vehicle fueling emergency procedures Fueling station safety systems Emergency notification procedures Emergency evacuation procedures

Module 1: 

Module 1 Introduction to Propane

Module 1 Learning Objectives: 

Module 1 Learning Objectives Why use propane as a vehicle fuel Understand where propane comes from How propane is delivered to a fueling station Environmental benefits

Why Propane?: 

Why Propane? Domestically produced from natural gas processing and petroleum refining Very large base of deployed vehicles in U.S.

Why Propane? - 2 : 

Why Propane? - 2 Most readily available alternative fuel Delivered to fueling stations by over-the-road trucks like gasoline and diesel Propane is non-toxic Has environmental benefits

Propane is Highly Available Nationwide: 

Propane is Highly Available Nationwide source: PVC

Propane Emissions Compared to Gasoline: 

Propane Emissions Compared to Gasoline source: PVC

Why Propane? - 5: 

Why Propane? - 5 Does not contaminate ground water or soil Is an EPAct alternative fuel

Propane Performance: 

Propane Performance Fuel economy Up to 85% of gasoline’s MPGs Range Approximately 80%-90% of gasoline vehicle, gallon per gallon Equal to gasoline on GGE basis Fueling time Similar to gasoline

Module 2: 

Module 2 Properties and Characteristics of Propane

Module 2 Learning Objectives: 

Module 2 Learning Objectives Understand propane and how it compares to other fuels Become familiar with the characteristics of propane Understand potential health and safety hazards

Physical Properties: 

Physical Properties Propane not a naturally occurring petrochemical Propane is a byproduct of both natural gas processing and petroleum refining. Chemical composition Mixtures of propane, propylene, N- and I-butane, and ethane

Compared to Other Fuels: 

Compared to Other Fuels

HD5 Motor Fuel: 

HD5 Motor Fuel Minimum 90% propane Ensures adequate fuel to engine Maximum 5% propylene Propylene reduces octane number In the U.S., almost all LPG meets HD-5 motor fuel standards, even the LPG used for home heating and recreational uses. source: Ford Motor Company

Specific Gravity: 

Specific Gravity Liquid at 60° F = 0.504 (Water = 1) Propane liquid is lighter than water Gas at 60° F = 1.50 (Air = 1) Propane vapor is heavier than air

Appearance & Smell: 

Appearance & Smell Colorless Odorless – odorized for safety Although propane has no natural odor, an odorant is added to aid in the detection of leaks. The most commonly used odorant is ethyl mercaptan

Physical State: 

Physical State Fuel value, compared to gasoline Octane 104-112 1.35 gallons of propane = 1 GGE (gasoline gallon equivalent) Propane = 91,500 Btu gross energy per gallon Gasoline = 117,500 Btu next energy per gallon


Flammability Burns with a pale, faintly luminous blue flame at 865o F Natural gas 1100o F Gasoline 630o F Fuel-to-air ratio is 2.1% (LFL) to 9.6% (UFL) Natural gas 4% to 16% Gasoline 1.3% to 7.6%

Fire Extinguishing: 

Fire Extinguishing Fire extinguisher(s) located at or near the dispenser If the flame is extinguished without stopping fuel flow, it may re-ignite Use a fire extinguisher only if trained to do so by qualified person

Health & Safety Hazards: 

Health & Safety Hazards Non toxic: Simple asphyxiant Inhalation is primary route of exposure Overexposure symptoms: shortness of breath, unconsciousness CPR is recommended to overcome overexposure

Module 3: 

Module 3 Propane Fueling Stations and Safety Practices

Module 3 Learning Objectives: 

Module 3 Learning Objectives Become familiar with various components of a propane fueling station Become familiar with safety practices Understand purpose and function of emergency shutdown equipment

Fueling Station Components: 

Fueling Station Components On-site propane storage tanks Pump Dispenser Card reader Emergency shutdown system Fire Extinguisher source: CleanFUEL USA

Fueling Station: 

Fueling Station source: Gogas Pty Ltd Compressor/Pump ESD Button Tank Air Line ESD Button Vapor Return Liquid Dispenser

Example Fueling Station Configurations: 

Example Fueling Station Configurations Vertical tank Horizontal tank source: CleanFUEL USA

Module 4: 

Module 4 Emergency Action Plan

Module 4 Learning Objectives: 

Module 4 Learning Objectives Know purpose and content of Emergency Action Plan Become familiar with emergency equipment Understand emergency actions

Purpose of Emergency Action Plan: 

Purpose of Emergency Action Plan Identification of emergencies Action items Notification procedures Evacuation procedures Safety systems Emergency event action items

Facility Layout: 

Facility Layout Propane storage tanks Pump Dispenser(s) Emergency shutdown devices (ESDs) Fire extinguishers source: CleanFUEL USA

Facility Layout - 2: 

Facility Layout - 2 Pre-planned evacuation route Designated assembly area(s) Street address of facility

Safety Practices: 

Safety Practices Emergency telephone numbers Fire department Emergency medical help Police Maintenance Adjoining facilities Safety Signs

Safety Practices - 2: 

Safety Practices - 2 Equipment inspection: Defective equipment Dispenser hoses Fueling nozzle and receptacle Report unsafe conditions to maintenance technician or station attendant

Safety Practices – 5: 

Safety Practices – 5 Cell phones and static discharge danger Propane/air mixture is flammable like gasoline vapors Propane fueling system is sealed – so there is no air in the fuel system at the station or on the vehicle Nevertheless, it is advisable to turn off/do not use cell phone during vehicle fueling Do not re-enter vehicle during fueling

Fire Safety Rules: 

Fire Safety Rules Keep ignition sources away from propane Do not light matches or smoke Do not use cell phones while fueling vehicle

Gas Release at Dispenser: 

Gas Release at Dispenser Close nozzle valve Disconnect fueling nozzle from vehicle and re-attach to mounting bracket Report situation to facility maintenance and/or station attendant

Fire Involving Propane: 

Fire Involving Propane Evacuate immediate area of fire Press emergency shutdown device (ESD) button Prevent others people from entering the danger zone Do not attempt to extinguish propane fire without proper training

Fire During Vehicle Fueling: 

Fire During Vehicle Fueling Do not attempt to disconnect nozzle from vehicle Direct others to evacuate immediate areas Press ESD button Call the fire department

Combustible Debris Fire: 

Combustible Debris Fire Press ESD button Extinguish only if properly trained and it is safe to do so If the fire is near fueling or storage equipment, extinguishing should be attempted only by qualified fire fighters

Module 5: 

Module 5 Correct Use of Safety Equipment

Module 5 Learning Objectives: 

Module 5 Learning Objectives Understand how to correctly operate safety equipment Emergency shutdown device Fire extinguisher

Correct Use of Safety Equipment: 

Correct Use of Safety Equipment Emergency Shutdown Device Located on or adjacent to fueling island Activation will stop propane flow from storage tank to dispenser

Correct Use of Safety Equipment - 3: 

Correct Use of Safety Equipment - 3 Fire Extinguisher(s) Located on or adjacent to fueling island Used to eliminate air (oxygen) from fire Driver must be properly trained to fight (extinguish) a propane fire

Module 6: 

Module 6 Propane Vehicle Technology and Safety Features

Module 6 Learning Objectives: 

Module 6 Learning Objectives Understand how propane vehicles (PVs) work Understand how PVs differ from gasoline and NGVs Become knowledgeable about the two types of on-board fuel storage cylinders

Propane Fuel System: 

Propane Fuel System Vaporizer: Converts liquid propane to gas using engine coolant as heat source Regulator: Provides fuel pressure regulation to the mixer Fuel injection System: Most modern vehicle applications are using fuel injection

Propane Vehicles vs. Gasoline and NGVs: 

Propane Vehicles vs. Gasoline and NGVs Propane vehicles have sealed fuel systems No air or oxygen in fuel system Vehicle fuel is stored on-board as a liquid and is vaporized to burn in the engine Vapor heaver than air (like gasoline) Vehicle fuel requires over 860o F to ignite Temperature relatively high, between gasoline and natural gas

On-Board Fuel Storage Cylinder – 1: 

On-Board Fuel Storage Cylinder – 1 DOT Cylinder types One, two or three pieces ASME pressure vessel (rated at 312.5 psi, tested to 4X)

On-Board Fuel Storage Cylinder - 2: 

On-Board Fuel Storage Cylinder - 2 80% of tank capacity is filled to allow for heat expansion (safety device) Propane stored at 130-170 psi Propane tanks are 20 times more puncture resistant than gasoline tank

Module 7: 

Module 7 How to Fuel a Propane Vehicle

Module 7 Learning Objectives: 

Module 7 Learning Objectives Become familiar with fueling instructions Understand fueling nozzle/receptacle operation source: Tatsuno

Fueling Instructions Using Gas Guard : 

Fueling Instructions Using Gas Guard Remove cap from vehicle receptacle Remove the nozzle from the dispenser holder Position the nozzle over lugs on vehicle fill receptacle Turn front of nozzle 1/3 turn clockwise

Fueling Instructions - 2: 

Fueling Instructions - 2 Squeeze the nozzle trigger and push down the catch to retain the trigger (this will secure the nozzle to the fill receptacle and open the fill valve) Press and hold in the delivery button on the dispenser, this will start the filling process Release the button to stop the flow To fill the vehicle fuel tank, hold the button in until the dispenser meter stops increasing

Fueling Instructions - 3: 

Fueling Instructions - 3 The vehicle tank cannot be over filled Squeeze the nozzle trigger, then release. A small amount of propane gas will come from the coupling Support the nozzle, turn the front of the nozzle counter-clockwise, withdraw the nozzle and replace it in the holder on the dispenser Replace the cap on the vehicle fill receptacle


Fueling Nozzle operation Receptacle characteristics source: LGE

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