Data Provided by the Ontario Propane Association (OPA) – More Facts & Guidelines
Facts: Propane (C3H8)is a colorless, odorless, easily liquefied, gaseous hydrocarbon (compound of carbon and hydrogen), and the third member of the paraffin series following methane and ethane. It is separated from light crude oil, natural gas, and is a by-product of petroleum refining. Propane is commercially available as liquefied propane or as a major constituent of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).
Although a gas at atmospheric pressure, propane has a boiling point of -42.1 C (-43.8 F) and thus is liquefied under elevated pressures. It therefore is transported and handled as a liquid in cylinders and tanks. In this form, alone or mixed with liquid butane, it has great importance as a fuel for domestic and industrial/commercial uses and for internal-combustion engines.
The following properties and combustion data have been taken from various sources and the values shown are for an average commercial grade of propane. It should be kept in mind that the commercial grades can vary and, therefore, the values in the tables will also vary.
Extracted from CAN/CGA-B149.2-M95 Propane Installation Code.
|Freezing Point (F)||-310|
|Freezing Point (C)||-190|
|Boiling Point (F)||-44|
|Boiling Point (C)||-42|
|State at atmospheric pressure (60 f, 15 c)||Vapour|
|Relative Density (gas)||1.52|
|Relative Density (water)||0.51|
|Mass per gallon of liquid at 60 F||5.1 lbs|
|Mass per liter of liquid at 15.5 C||0.51|
|kJ/cubic meter Vaporized||93,800|
|Cubic ft. of vapor from 1 lb. of liquid at 60 F.||8.5|
|Cubic meters of vapor from 1 kg of liquid at 15 C||0.53|
|Cubic ft. of vapor from 1 gal. of liquid at 60 F.||44|
|Cubic meters of vapor from 1 liter of liquid at 15 C||0.265|
|Latent heat of vaporization at boiling point, BTU/gal.||944|
|Specific enthalpy, kJ/L||219|
|Cubic feet (meters) of air required to burn 1 cubic ft. (meter) of gas||23.5|
|Cubic feet (meters) of oxygen required to burn 1 cubic ft. (meter) of gas||5|
|Cubic feet of air required to burn 1 lb. of gas.||200|
|Cubic meters of air required to burn 1 kg. of gas.||12.3|
|Ignition temperature F. (C)||920-1020 (493-549)|
|Maximum flame temperature F (C)||3600 (1982)|
|Percentage of gas in air for maximum flame temperature||4.4|
|Lower and upper limits of flammability (percentage of gas in air)||2.4 to 9.5|
|Octane number (iso-octane 100)||97 to 125|
Heating propane cylinders to increase pressure can be done safely and economically by utilizing a heated propane jacket or wrap often referred to as a GCW – Gas Cylinder Warmer. See Powerblanket for more details: LINK: www.HeatAuthority.com
Recent Headlines – Propane Industry
Autogas Advocates Push For Inclusion in Energy Bill
BPN Staff—Jul 30, 2010
With Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on track to release the details of his new, pared-down energy plan, minus any cap and trade provisions, the legislation was expected to provide tax breaks for natural gas vehicles and infrastructure. And advocates of propane autogas were pushing the Senate to include their fuel, along with natural gas, in the vehicle and infrastructure incentive provisions.The National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) July 23 launched a grass-roots letter-writing campaign to ensure propane is included in any energy bill introduced in the U.S. Senate. “The majority of propane autogas is derived from the refining of natural gas,” noted Stuart Weidie, director of the industry coalition Autogas for America. “Autogas has similar environmental benefits to natural gas and about 90% of it is produced here in America. There’s no logical reason this bill should exclude propane autogas but include natural gas.”
NPGA and Autogas for America requested that their industry flood Senate offices with letters petitioning that autogas be included in Sen. Reid’s plan. “Propane autogas is comparable to natural gas when it comes to reducing harmful emissions and, at the same time, it’s vastly less expensive to implement,” said Rick Roldan, president and CEO of NPGA. “Sen. Reid is moving this along so quickly that we’re afraid they may not include autogas. It would be a tremendous oversight by the Senate, because they’d be failing to support an alternative fuel that they’re already investing in.”
Roldan was referencing a number of Department of Energy-administered Recovery Act programs that will be implementing thousands of propane autogas vehicles and hundreds of autogas fueling stations over the next several years. Together, these programs represent about $50 million of investment on behalf of the federal government.
NPGA notes that the New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions (NATGAS) Act (S. 1408) is included in Reid’s Senate package, and that the bill is the result of T. Boone Pickens’ lobbying activities. While the NATGAS Act includes a variety of natural gas-only tax credits to promote natural gas, it does not include propane. Rather, the association is supporting the Fueling America Act, S. 1350, sponsored by Sens. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) and Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), which provides incentives for both propane and natural gas.
To facilitate letter writing, the association has prepared written examples of the issue that companies can incorporate in the letter they draft on their company letterhead, as well as a sample letter. The examples, and U.S. Senate fax numbers, are posted at www.npga.org/EnergyBillGrassroots. To receive assistance in creating a letter, contact Brian Caudill at email@example.com or 202/355-1326. NPGA is strongly encouraging all member companies, and all employees, to get involved in the grass-roots effort. Also requested is that participants fax a copy of letters to Tara Falls at 202/466-7205. State propane associations are also involved in the campaign, and questions may be directed to association representatives.
Powerblanket® Now Marks Propane Cylinder Warmers, Drum Heaters, Ground Thawers, and Concrete Curing Blankets as UL/CSA Certified.
BPN Staff—July 29, 2010
Powerblanket®, the producer of a revolutionary new heat spreading technology referred to as GreenHeat® Technology, announced today that they are now UL/CSA certified on a host of additional products including heated pipe wraps & propane tank warmers. This means that they can make and mark their products such as drum heaters, cylinder warmers, ground thawers, concrete curing blankets, and other heat spreading devices as being UL/CSA certified. Original 2009 release follows…
With this new certification in hand, Powerblanket® plans to move quickly into the Canadian and European Marketplace. Several pending military and government contracts requiring UL/CSA products will be finalized in the coming days & weeks. Companies worldwide will now have access to Powerblanket’s® GreenHeat® Technology allowing them affordable solutions for thawing, heating, melting, and curing.
Powerblanket®, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, is the producer of a revolutionary new heat spreading technology referred to as GreenHeat® Technology. Their 120, 240 and 12 volt electric heating blankets are designed to thaw ground quickly, cure concrete, melt snow & ice, heat drums & barrels, and provide warmth to a vast array of products and applications. Buy Powerblanket online @ www.heatauthority.com or call 866-805-HEAT for more details on this revolutionary new heating technology.
Marketer Training Program To Extend Through October
BPN Staff—Jul 29, 2010
Marketer training covering the business potential of three products that can help stimulate propane demand—commercial lawn mowers, tankless water heaters, and irrigation engines—will extend through October across the country. Each full-day training session features two of the three products. The training is designed to enhance marketers’ understanding of applications that can offset seasonal propane demand.
Upcoming sessions are scheduled in Raleigh, N.C. July 29; Boxborough, Mass. Aug. 10; Richmond, Va. Aug. 12; Prattville, Ala. Aug. 19; Pasadena, Calif. Aug. 26; Monterey, Calif. Sept. 23; Frankfort, Ky. Sept. 29; St. Augustine, Fla. Oct. 4; and Flintstone, Md. Oct. 26.
The program debuted in Wisconsin in May, and evaluations of the program have been positive. The training covers basic installation, energy efficiency and environmental impact, consumer benefits, and implementation obstacles. “To grow, the industry must learn all we can about propane-fueled products that can create new demand and share information about their benefits with potential users,” said Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) president Roy Willis. “That’s where the PERC Marketer Technology Training program comes in. It gives marketers the information to confidently talk with consumers about propane products that can stimulate propane demand.”
“This program targets markets that are counter-seasonal, which will level annual loads, allowing us to better utilize our equipment and fuel infrastructure,” notes Joe Cordill of Cordill Propane Service (Winnsboro, La.), 2009 chairman of the National Propane Gas Association. “It emphasizes advantages propane has in addition to economic benefits. The mower market is an emerging market for us, and we’ll definitely be able to use this program in our company.”
For additional information, contact Maryann Malesardi at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202/452-8975.
RRC Commissioner Responds To EPA Study Hearing
BPN Staff—Jul 29, 2010
Texas Railroad Commissioner Elizabeth Ames Jones is confident that the geology in Texas, combined with safeguards required by the Railroad Commission in the drilling of gas wells, do not support the notion that water used in hydraulic fracturing will migrate to the water table. “With many thousands of fracs taking place in Texas, commission records do not indicate a single documented water contamination case associated with hydraulic fracturing in our state,” she comments.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was in Fort Worth early this month to conduct a public meeting on a study it is proposing to determine if there are links between hydraulic fracturing and its potential impact on drinking water contamination (Newsletter, June 28, p. 3). EPA is soliciting public comments on the draft study plan.
The Railroad Commission of Texas has provided the regulatory framework for virtually all of the oil and gas production activity in the state, including more than 50 years of hydraulic fracturing. “This agency does not allow the permitting of a well where hydraulic fracturing will be used without certification from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) that identifies the depth that groundwater must be protected by cement and steel,” notes Ms. Jones. “Water tables, that yield water for human consumption, can extend to a depth of 1000 feet in some areas of the Barnett Shale gas and oil production. The horizontal lateral pipes are placed an average depth of 7500 feet—more than a mile and a half below the earth’s surface.”
She adds that area well logs around any proposed well are evaluated by geologists and hydrologists at TCEQ and the depth of the surface casing to protect fresh water formations in every new well is determined by TCEQ. Those determinations are then submitted to the Railroad Commission for consideration before drilling permits are issued.
“The study the EPA is conducting, like other studies in the past, will show the positive benefits of this homegrown technology that has increased our supply of clean-burning natural gas that makes America more energy secure,” Ms. Jones maintains. “With the oversight of the Railroad Commission, Texas’s natural gas, produced using innovative technology, will contribute mightily and responsibly to the nation’s energy mix at a time when we sorely need it.”
Agreement Paves Way For Hydrocarbon Refrigerant
BPN Staff—Jul 29, 2010
ComStar International (College Point, N.Y.) and A.S. Trust & Holding (Kaneohe, Hawaii) have signed an agreement to manufacture, market, and distribute the hydrocarbon refrigerant HCR188C1, a patented blend of ethane, propane, butane, and other pure hydrocarbons.
The partners note the refrigerant displays a zero ozone-depleting rating and is the first hydrocarbon refrigerant approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for sale in the U.S., with the public comment process having been completed July 9. The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has rated HCR188C1 to be non-toxic. In addition, the coolant is now a listed refrigerant with independent testing, inspection, and certification partner Intertek Testing Services.
HCR188C1, designed to replace chlorofluorocarbons, hydrochlorofluorocarbons, and hydrofluorocarbons, will soon be in the public comment stage as solicited by ASHRAE. Results are expected by October for a final EPA SNAP ruling to list the coolant as an approved alternative refrigerant for use in household refrigerators and stand-along freezers. SNAP refers to the EPA’s Significant New Alternatives Policy initiative, a part of the Clean Air Act.
The new refrigerant is said to operate effectively as a direct replacement in appliances and air-conditioning systems designed for traditional coolants. Though flammable, the product partners note, HCR188C1 is used in small amounts, presenting a negligible risk. To mitigate risk, A.S. Trust & Holding holds a patent on a refrigerant safety service port valve that can be used on larger systems. The valve operates by shutting down the system when there is a drop in operating pressure.
Ford to Begin Offering Alt-Fuel Prep Package
BPN Staff—Jul 29, 2010
Ford Motor Co. has informed its North American fleet customers it will begin offering an alternative fuels prep package for its 6.8-liter F-450 and F-550 Super Duty chassis. The F-450 and F-550 are Ford’s latest vehicles to get the alternative fuel conversion option.
Since introducing the option to E-Series and other commercial fleet vehicles last fall, Ford notes it has shipped about 3000 E-Series vans with 5.4-liter and 6.8-liter engines prepped for LPG/CNG to fleet operators such as Verizon and Schwan’s. Ford provides calibration guidance to LPG and CNG upfitters for E-Series, F-Series, and Transit Connect. By following Ford recommendations, the converted vehicle maintains its factory warranty.
Ford offers the alternative fuel package on its Transit Connect, including its new taxi offering with a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine. This fall, Ford says it will also add LPG/CNG capability to the F-53 motor home chassis and its new F-59 commercial chassis. Ford’s 6.8-liter, V-10 engine with the prep package includes hardened exhaust valves and valve seats for improved wear resistance and durability for gaseous fuel systems.
“Compressed natural gas and propane offer more than sufficient power for vehicles because they are high-energy fuels,” said Rob Stevens, Ford’s commercial vehicle chief engineer. “Other natural benefits for these fuels are overall lower emissions of greenhouse gases compared to gasoline and lower fuel and operating costs for their fleet.”
Kansas Scholarship Top Off 7 26
BPN Staff—Jul 29, 2010
…The Propane Marketers of Kansas’ (PMAK) Beth Johnson Scholarship Foundation has donated $75,000 to the National Propane Gas Foundation Scholarship Fund, becoming the fund’s newest Platinum Plus Donor. Through the donation, PMAK’s Beth Johnson Memorial scholarships will now be administered by the National Propane Gas Foundation, which will award two $2000 scholarships annually to dependents of National Propane Gas Association members who reside in Kansas…
NPGA Award Top Off 7 26
BPN Staff—Jul 29, 2010
…The National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) has been notified it will be receiving the 2010 Corporate Award of Merit at the upcoming meeting of the CSA Standards committees in Orlando, Fla. in September. NPGA is being recognized by CSA Standards for “outstanding achievement and for a high level of involvement in the development and advancement of standards, both nationally and internationally.” NPGA has participated on the CSA-administered Z21/83 Standards Committee for Fuel Gas Appliances for decades, and also sponsors several of its members for their participation on various technical advisory groups that write gas appliance standards…
Study Reveals Large Market For CHP Systems
BPN Staff—Jul 29, 2010
A new industry-sponsored study prepared by Resource Dynamics Corp. (McLean, Va.) identifies advanced distribution generation applications with the potential to increase U.S. propane sales. According to the study, “Propane Distributed Generation Market Assessment,” the largest potential market for propane-fueled distributed generation is commercial and industrial combined heat and power, or CHP.
According to Resource Dynamics, CHP systems could consume 430 MMgal. of propane a year. To help capture that emerging market, the Propane Education & Research Council is field-testing CHP systems to verify their performance in real-world settings.
An 810-kw CHP system has been installed at a resort in Kauai, Hawaii, and a 4.7-kw Ecopower micro-CHP system is being evaluated at a greenhouse in Pennsylvania. Another 1.2-kw Freewatt Plus system has been installed at three small commercial sites in the Northeast, and a 10-kw Yanmar micro-CHP system is being evaluated for commercial use. To download the report, visit
Sunoco Butane Top Off 7 26
BPN Staff—Jul 29, 2010
…Sunoco Logistics Partners (Philadelphia) has acquired the butane blending business of Texon (Houston) for a reported $140 million plus inventory. Sunoco Logistics expects to fund the acquisition with a $100-million loan from parent company Sunoco and borrowings under its revolving credit facility. The transaction is expected to close this month. The business consists of patented technology for blending of butane into gasoline, contracts with several terminal operators, butane inventories, and other assets…
CSB to Appeal Vote Rejecting Training Comment
BPN Staff—Jul 29, 2010
The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) intends to appeal an NFPA Technical Committee on Liquefied Petroleum Gases vote rejecting a comment it submitted regarding revising NFPA 58 to add requirements for the training of industry personnel, reports the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA).
NPGA notes that CSB developed a proposal and Comment 58-49 to change NFPA 58 following its investigation of the propane incident that occurred at the Little General Store in Ghent, W. Va. The CSB proposal would require all industry training programs to include the following components: recognition of the safety and health hazards of working with propane; a description of safe work practices; actions to take during emergency response; supervised, on-the-job training; and testing and performance evaluation.
The NFPA Technical Committee on LPG objected to some of the language in the CSB proposal, comments NPGA, that may be interpreted to require the training mandates apply to others outside the industry, such as personnel who work at convenience stores and assist customers in loading cylinders into vehicles. The Technical Committee voted to request its chairman to formally oppose the CSB appeal at the Standards Council meeting in August, and to ask the council to reject the appeal.
In addition, the committee voted to have its chairman propose that a tentative interim amendment be developed to address the concerns of the CSB.
API Survey Top Off 7 26
BPN Staff—Jul 29, 2010
…Completed 2009 American Petroleum Institute (API) survey of sales of natural gas liquids and liquefied refinery gases are due Aug. 9. Completing and returning the annual API survey is critical to the allocation of state rebates by the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC), which account for one out of every five dollars PERC oversees. The survey is also the propane industry’s benchmark for overall propane sales and assessment collections, and it is the primary source on propane sales by market—residential, commercial, engine fuel, agriculture, etc. To request a survey or for information, contact Crystal Harrod of API at email@example.com, or call 202/682-8492…
EIA Requests Updated Contact Information
BPN Staff—Jul 29, 2010
The Gas Processors Association (GPA) notes that as the traditionally most active months of the hurricane season are approaching, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is planning its emergency response.
In this effort, EIA is asking GPA members and natural gas processing plant operators to submit any updates to emergency contact names, telephone numbers, and e-mail address. Of particular interest to EIA are any emergency contact staff changes that may have occurred, namely the staff that can provide status updates to EIA on operations during a supply emergency.
In addition, EIA is asking that all processing plant operators report any ownership or operator changes, plant decommissions, and/or acquisitions. Contact information and additional plant information was initially requested on Form EIA-757, http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/oil_gas/natural_gas/survey_forms/eia
757af.pdf. For additional information, contact Lejla Alic of EIA at 202/586-0858 or Lance Stewart at 202/586-8926. E-mail updated information to OOGEIAfirstname.lastname@example.org.
OSHA Proposes Updates, Removing Redundancies
BPN Staff—Jul 8, 2010
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) is focusing on removing or revising safety and health standards that have requirements that are confusing, outdated, duplicative, unnecessary, or inconsistent, notes the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA).
The effort is under the agency’s continuing efforts to build upon its Standards Improvement Project. To that end, OSHA has published a proposed rule to update its regulations with references to more current industry consensus standards.
Regulations and standards under current consideration that could potentially impact NPGA members are 29 CFR Part 1910, Subpart E-Means of Egress, Subpart I-Training Certification Records for Personal Protective Equipment, and Subpart J-Slings. Also under consideration are an update of NFPA’s Life Safety Code to the 2006 edition and independent compliance options via NFPA’s Life Safety Code 101 and the International Code Council’s International Fire Code.
NPGA notes that OSHA believes that the proposed revisions will reduce compliance costs, eliminate paperwork burdens, and clarify requirements without diminishing worker protections. Comments are due Sept. 30. For more information, contact Robert Elliot, NPGA director of regulatory affairs, at email@example.com.
Northwest Propane Association Adds Hawaii, Changes Name
BPN Staff—Jul 8, 2010
The Northwest Propane Gas Association has changed its name to the Pacific Propane Gas Association (PPGA) and has added Hawaii as a member state. The name change and addition of Hawaii were approved by association members in June at the annual meeting in Welches, Ore. The new Pacific Propane Gas Association represents Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington.
“With the addition of Hawaii to our association, we felt a name change was in order,” said Lloyd Pope, vice president and regional manager of Heritage Propane and president of PPGA. “Our new name, Pacific Propane Gas Association, better represents our membership.”
“It’s a pleasure to welcome Hawaii marketers into the PPGA,” added Baron Glassgow, PPGA executive director. “The association has been collaborating with Hawaii on special projects since 2003, and started discussions with Hawaii marketers in 2008 regarding joining the association. Dan Binning, regional manager, western division of AmeriGas, noted, “The inclusion of Hawaii into the now Pacific Propane Gas Association is the hallmark of a stronger regional affiliation that will benefit all four states and the industry as a whole.”
PPGA’s roots go back to the formation of the Washington and Oregon Propane Gas Associations in the early 1960s. Those groups merged in 1985 to form the Northwest Propane Gas Association. Alaska joined as a member state in 2000.
Ergonomics Rulemaking Back As OSHA Considers “I2P2”
BPN Staff—Jul 8, 2010
The National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) reports that the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) is seeking to reprise its Ergonomics Rulemaking after more than a decade. NPGA reminds its members that OSHA more than 10 years ago sought to impose a controversial rulemaking that would have required employers in general industry workplaces to establish safety and health programs.
Some of the proposed elements of the program included management leadership and employee participation; hazard identification and assessment; hazard prevention and control; and information, training, and evaluation of programs effectiveness. Numerous industries and organizations, including NPGA, opposed the proposed ergonomics-related requirements. Ultimately, notes the association, the rulemaking effort was withdrawn from OSHA’s regulatory agenda in 2002 with the arrival of a new presidential administration.
However, with a different administration now in Washington, OSHA has scheduled a series of stakeholder meetings this summer that will focus on Injury Illness Prevention Programs, which the agency refers to as “I2P2,” observes NPGA. The association reports that OSHA plans to use information gathered at the stakeholder meetings to develop an Injury Illness Prevention Program proposed rule that will “help employers reduce workplace injuries and illnesses through a systematic process that proactively addresses workplace safety and health hazards.”
OSHA has stated it believes that an Injury and Illness Prevention Program would include many of the same elements discussed during the ergonomics rulemaking in the late 1990s. In addition, other topics to be discussed include possible regulatory approaches, scope and application of the rule, industries covered, employers covered and injury rates, the role of consensus standards, economic impact, and even what is the most appropriate name for OSHA to use in describing the topic.
NPGA plans to participate in the stakeholders meeting scheduled for July 20 in Washington, D.C. For more information, contact Robert Elliott, NPGA director of regulatory affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interest Groups Seek Cut In HOS Work Times
BPN Staff—Jul 8, 2010
Transport Topics notes that a coalition of interest groups that has repeatedly succeeded in challenging the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) hours-of-service (HOS) rule are pushing to dramatically cut the current daily and weekly work time limits.
In June the groups advocated FMCSA should slash the number of hours a driver could be behind the wheel to eight from the current limit of 11, and increase the daily mandated off-duty period to 12 hours from 10. FMCSA has a July 26 deadline for publishing a revised rule.
The coalition is led by Public Citizen and includes the Teamsters. The Public Citizen proposal would cap the workday at a maximum of 12 hours, a two-hour cut from the 14-hour workday in the current rule. It would also require drivers using a sleeper berth to spend more than eight consecutive hours in the berth.
Public Citizen, along with Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways, Parents Against Tired Truckers, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, and the Teamsters, has sued FMCSA several times since 2003 to overturn the HOS rule. In 2004 and 2007, the coalition succeeded in getting a federal court to strike down all or some of the rule. Last year, in the face of a third lawsuit over the regulation, FMCSA agreed to review the rule as part of a court settlement.
RRC Launches Blog for Clean Propane Vehicles
BPN Staff—Jul 8, 2010
The Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) has launched a Clean Propane Vehicles blog to help Texans stay informed about the commission’s $12.6-million stimulus grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. The commission has a goal to put another 800 propane-fueled vehicles on the road for its grant partners, including school districts and public agencies, during the next two years.
The blog may be accessed at blogs.rrc.state.tx.us/TPF/. It is designed as a resource for those considering adding propane vehicles to their fleet, or who wish to learn more about the latest propane technology. RRC commissioner Michael Williams is inviting everyone to share their thoughts and questions on the blog.
The commission will post case studies of successful propane fleets, an online cost calculator, lists of available OEM (original equipment manufacturer) propane vehicles and certified retrofit fuel systems, information about free Railroad Commission technical and safety training, and other topics of interest to current and potential grant partners.
Dixie Pipeline Rupture Halts Mainline Operations
BPN Staff—Jul 8, 2010
Enterprise Products Operating LLC (Houston) said July 6 that a Dixie Pipeline rupture and subsequent propane release the previous day near the Georgia-South Carolina border had halted mainline operations eastward. As a result of the release, the pipeline’s ability to maintain schedules and comply with shippers’ withdrawal requirements are being affected.
As of July 5, the Dixie was unable to deliver propane to Lexington, Cheraw, or Bethune S.C. or to Apex, N.C. Mainline operations continue from points westward of the release, including at Demopolis and Opelika, Ala. and Milner, Albany, and Alma, Ga.
Enterprise Products said it was working closely with all appropriate government agencies on an investigation of the rupture. Once the investigation is complete, it will take a number of days to return the pipeline to service.
NHTSA Seeking Comments On Fuel Efficiency Standard
BPN Staff—Jul 8, 2010
The Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is seeking input and public comments on the possible environmental effects of President Obama’s proposed fuel-efficiency standard for heavy trucks, reports Lane Line magazine.
In May, the president announced that NHTSA and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would be developing the first standard to reduce tailpipe emissions from heavy trucks. He maintained that trucks could make significant gains in fuel economy using technology that exists today, and called upon NHTSA and EPA to develop a rulemaking.
The Federal Register June 14 outlined NHTSA’s intention to draft an environmental impact statement on the proposal and to seek comments from government agencies and the public through July 14. Once the environmental statement is drafted, NHTSA will initiate another round of public comments. NHTSA’s proposal to draft an environmental impact statement appears in the Federal Register as Docket No. 2010-0079.
Comments are accepted online, by mail, delivery, or fax as follows: online at http://www.regulations.gov; by mail or delivery to Docket Management Facility, M-30, U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE, Washington, D.C. 20590; or by fax to 202/493-2251.
Trucking Execs Concerned Over Liability Issues With CSA 2010
BPN Staff—Jul 8, 2010
Some trucking executives are expressing concern that providing additional training to their contract drivers to meet standards under the federal government’s new safety monitoring program—CSA 2010—may put their independent contractor status at risk.
Transport Topics reports that although the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is assuring carriers they won’t run afoul of labor laws by providing CSA 2010 training, industry representatives remain concerned. One executive told the magazine that “as soon as you start training an independent contractor driver…on the system that’s going to be used to measure them, I think you have the potential to cross the line to training them on core skills that as independent professionals they should bring to the job.”
Executives are calling for a “safe harbor” provision that allows fleets to provide safety training to their owner-operators without jeopardizing the independent contractor status of those drivers. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), meanwhile, explains that it looks at the entire relationship to determine if a worker is an employee or an independent contractor, and increased safety training would not, by itself, be enough to change a driver’s status.
However, trucking executives note that the Labor Department is merely one of many agencies, both at the state and federal level, that has policies and legal tests.
TS&S Committee to Meet Sept. 12-15 in Cincinnati
BPN Staff—Jul 8, 2010
The National Propane Gas Association’s (NPGA) 2010 fall Technology, Standards & Safety (TS&S) Committee meeting is scheduled for Sept. 12-15 at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza in Cincinnati. Those interested in attending may visit the NPGA website, www.npga.org, and click on the Meetings & Conventions tab for a link to the meeting.
Although the new cycle for NFPA 58 is a year away, the committee has begun to develop new proposals that will be submitted for the 2014 edition. Some of the dockets that are open are Tdc-1732, Tbpt-1728, Tef -1730, and Tdc-1744.
Under Tdc-1732, the need to require fire extinguishers in conjunction with all installations of cylinder exchange cabinets has been opened for review. Tbpt-1728 involves the study of whether primary valves should be closed at all unattended bulk plants. Tef-1730 is taking under consideration proposing new requirements to address the structural integrity of the mounting system for propane tanks in engine fuel service installed on vehicles. Finally, Tdc-1744 is being undertaken at the request of the Propane Education & Research Council’s Safety & Training Advisory Committee to develop a procedure for leak testing piping systems that have either multiple second stage regulators or are 2-psi systems.
The NPGA website includes the preliminary agenda, registration details, hotel information, and sponsorship opportunities for the TS&S Committee meeting. For reservations, call 513/521-9100 and request the NPGA group rate. The deadline for this rate is Aug. 21.
APP Propane Extends Services in Washington
BPN Staff—Jul 8, 2010
APP Propane (Tacoma, Wash.) has extended its propane products and services offerings to include the Grays Harbor County markets in Washington state. The company will now serve both residential and commercial customers throughout the area.
“APP Propane is fortunate to have the technology, a state-of-the-art fleet, and outstanding staff to rapidly deploy products and services to other areas of Washington state,” said Don Kollmansberger, APP marketing manager. “Residential and commercial customers will enjoy more choices for propane services.”
He added that moving into the Grays Harbor market was a natural extension of the previous service border in the Elma-McCleary area. APP Propane offers propane, above- and below-ground tanks, tank installations, and swap-out services.
APP Propane is a division of Associated Petroleum Products, which operates multiple locations in western Washington that feature bulk fuels, lubricants, and propane, in addition to CFN and Pacific Pride cardlock and retail fuel station services.
Paraco Gas Acquires Virginia Marketer
BPN Staff—Jul 8, 2010
Paraco Gas Corp. (Rye Brook, N.Y.) has acquired Ewell’s Bottled Gas of Cape Charles, Va. With the purchase, Paraco immediately assumes distribution and service to more than 200 residential customers throughout Accomack and Northampton counties in Virginia.
Paraco will operate out of Ewell’s current facilities on Lankford Highway in Belle Haven and will retain Bryan and Frank Lewis of Ewell’s Bottled Gas as consultants.
Mike Gioffree, Paraco vice president, noted that his company would continue its long-standing tradition of giving back to the community by supporting local organizations and events. “We will continue this tradition with the organizations that are important to our customers on the Eastern Shore of Virginia served by our Belle Haven location.”
Paraco Gas provides about 40 million gallons of propane to more than 75,000 residential, commercial, and industrial customers in eight states. It operates 22 propane distribution facilities, and has more than 250 employees.
Offshore Oil, Gas Operators Evacuate Gulf Platforms
BPN Staff—Jul 8, 2010
The newly minted Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE), formerly the Department of Interior’s Minerals Management Service, reports that offshore oil and gas operators in the Gulf of Mexico are evacuating platforms and rigs in the path of Hurricane Alex. BOEMRE is the federal agency that now regulates offshore oil and gas operations.
The agency notes that based on data from offshore operator reports submitted as of June 29, personnel had been evacuated from 28 production platforms, or 4.4% of the 634 manned platforms in the Gulf. Personnel have been evacuated from three rigs, equivalent to 5.9% of the 51 rigs currently operating in the area.
BOEMRE adds that neither the drilling rigs nor the containment vessels involved in the BP oil spill response have been required to evacuate or halt operations.
From operators’ reports, it is estimated that about 24.74% of oil production in the Gulf has been shut-in. It is also estimated that about 9.38% of natural gas production is shut-in. Estimated energy production from the Gulf of Mexico as of March 2010 is 1.6 MMbbld of oil and 6.4 Bcfd of gas, according to the agency.
The Ontario Propane Association offers the following propane facts on propane pressure and usage:
Understanding Propane – Get the facts
Is Propane Dangerous?
Fact: Used with care, propane is a safe and convenient fuel. Propane gas is not toxic. However, should a leak occur, the build-up of propane gas can become dangerous.
Because propane is heavier than air, it tends to settle in the lowest available space. Very small amounts of propane are required to create a flammable mixture of gas and air. In the limited space of a recreation vehicle, for example, a propane leak can create a hazardous situation.
How Important is Ventilation?
Propane requires a large volume of air to burn properly. In fact, 23.5 cubic feet of air is needed to burn just one cubic foot of propane. With adequate ventilation, an operating burner gives off a number of harmless products such as carbon dioxide and water vapour. But a propane appliance starved of oxygen can quickly produce dangerous amounts of carbon monoxide.
For safety’s sake, use your propane appliance only for the purpose for which it was designed. Don’t for example; use a cooking appliance as a space heater. Never use a heater that is not vented, even for temporary heating, in a residence, in any enclosed space, or any place where sleeping accommodation is provided. Carbon monoxide poisoning could result. Never store propane cylinder indoors.
What are the Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
Carbon monoxide is colourless, odourless and extremely toxic. Unconsciousness and death can result from prolonged exposure to the carbon monoxide produced by a malfunction or misuse of a combustion device. Poor ventilation will increase the risk. Carbon monoxide detectors are available that sound an alarm when dangerous levels of carbon monoxide are present.
If any of the following symptoms should develop, get into the fresh air immediately. More propane facts –
|1.||Headaches and tightness across the forehead and temples;|
|2.||Weariness, weakness, dizziness, and nausea;|
|3.||Loss of muscular control;|
|4.||Watering and smarting of the eyes.|
How is Propane Stored?
For recreational use, propane is generally sold and stored in a cylinder. Assuming it’s kept in good condition, and within the 10 year inspection date, the cylinder can be refilled indefinitely. When properly filled, 80 per cent of the cylinder contains liquid propane. The space above the liquid, to the top of the cylinder, holds propane vapour.
Enough space must be left in the cylinder to let the liquid propane expand, if the cylinder is exposed to warmer temperatures. Without this space, the “relief valve” may open and release propane, creating a potential safety hazard.
The collars of the propane cylinders have markings “TC”, “CTC”, or “DOT” showing that cylinders have been made to an acceptable specification.
In cold climates and during winter months, heating propane tanks and cylinders using a heated blanket or Gas Cylinder Warmer will boost PSI and save on refills. Powerblanket has developed a heated cylinder jacket that wraps around the outside of propane tanks and cylinders to protect against frost and freezing temperatures. Powerblanket’s unique heat spreading technology, evenly warms tanks and cylinders to optimal temperatures, increasing output and saving only unneccessary refills. Visit Powerblanket.com for more details.
Watch Those Connections!
Prior to 1994 cylinder valves had a left hand thread for connection to appliances. The left hand threaded fitting that connects to the cylinder valve has to be turned to the left (counter-clockwise) to tighten. Some older connectors have a hand wheel requiring only hand tightening, some require a wrench to tighten and some have an “O” ring. Always ensure that the rubber “O” ring on these traditional fittings is in good condition and in place before connecting to the cylinder valve. The “O” ring is a small rubber-like washer that fits into a groove in front of the threads. Double check this connection when you are doing your “soap and water” leak test (see below). Repair a worn, damaged or crooked “O” ring with a new one, which may be obtained from your propane supplier. For this type of connection, use a proper sized wrench (not pliers) to tighten the threaded connection between the regulator and the cylinder valve. Whenever a cylinder is not connected for use, a special plug or cap should always be installed on the outlet of the cylinder valve. This left hand thread plug is designed to prevent a leak of propane should the valve be accidentally turned on.
Since 1994 barbecue cylinder connections have been redesigned and will either be a right hand thread plastic nut connector or a quick disconnect device. The new type connections are not interchangeable with each other. These new connection types are equipped with an internal device designed to prevent the flow of propane unless the valve is connected to the appliance. The cap or plug provided by the manufacturer should be installed on the valve outlet whenever the cylinder is not connected for use to protect the valve from dust and other foreign matter. Do not use the old style left hand thread plug with these new connections as a propane leak could result. Ensure all connections are leak tight before operating your propane appliance.
The following safety rules apply to the handling of propane cylinders:
|Never put a cylinder in place for use without making sure it is secure.|
|Always keep a cylinder upright.|
|Never put a propane cylinder in a closed vehicle. When transporting it, secure the cylinder in an upright position to prevent tipping. If transporting in a truck, block the trunk lid open. If transporting within the passenger compartment, leave the windows open.|
|Cylinders are painted in light-reflecting colours. If you must repaint them, do not use dark or flat colours, which absorb heat. This could cause the propane liquid to expand and be released through the safety valve.|
|Never take a propane cylinder indoors if it contains, or has contained propane. This is dangerous and unlawful.|
|When purchasing a new cylinder, be sure that it is the size that fits your appliance bracket and the cylinder valve connection is compatible with the connection type on your barbecue.|
|Check that the cylinder valve is closed whenever the cylinder is not in use and before connecting or disconnecting the cylinder.|
|Check that all valves on appliances are closed before connecting a cylinder.|
A regulator is located between the cylinder and the hose connection to the appliance. The regulator reduces the gas pressure from the cylinder and maintains a constant pressure for delivery to an appliance.
A regulator should always be installed with its vent opening pointing downward. If this isn’t possible, cover the regulator with a proper cover to prevent the entry of rain, freezing snow or other liquids. The cover will also prevent the ice build up over the vent opening during the winter. A plugged regulator vent can cause excessive pressure resulting in high flames and explosions when the appliance is ignited or operating.
Can Leaks be Detected?
Propane is both odourless and colourless when produced. However, to make the presence of the propane detectable, an odour-producing substance is added to it by the propane producer. This odourant has a distinctive “rotten cabbage” smell that is consumed and not noticeable when a burner is operating.
If you detect such an odour, don’t light a match or turn an electrical switch on or off. Turn off the cylinder valve, ventilate the area, and search out the source of the leak.
Your propane system should be checked periodically for leaks even if the characteristic “rotten cabbage odour” is not detected.
Check for Leaks
Before using a propane appliance, particularly if you have just connected a cylinder to it, check for leaks using the following method:
|1.||Make up a dish soap and water solution.|
|2.||Turn the cylinder valve on with the appliance shut off.|
|3.||Spread the soap and water solution over the hose and the connections with a paintbrush.|
|4.||Any leaks will result in bubbles forming in the solution.|
|5.||If a leak is indicated, shut off the cylinder valve.|
|6.||Repair any leak (follow manufacturer’s instructions).|
|7.||Repeat 1), 2) and 3) until no leaks are indicated before operating the appliance.|
|8.||If you cannot stop the leaks, consult a certified propane fitter.|
|9.||Never go over connections looking for leaks with a lighted match, cigarette lighter, or any other flame.|
Disposal or Recertification of Outdated Propane Cylinders
Refillable propane cylinders are used in many applications today. The most popular size is the 20-lb. propane cylinder used with many backyard barbecues. A propane cylinder must have a safety examination and be recertified at 10-year intervals, beginning from the date of the original manufacture stamped on the collar of the cylinder. It is illegal to fill a propane cylinder older than 10 years that has not been recertified. Corroded or damaged propane cylinders could leak propane. Outdated relief valves may not operate as intended. Either of these conditions could lead to a fire or explosion.
Should your propane cylinder be 10 years old, you, as an owner, have one of two choices—either disposal or recertification. If you wish to have your propane cylinder recertified, your propane supplier will have the cylinder recertified and date stamped if it complies with the requirements. A fee will be charged. Your propane cylinder, when recertified, is good for another 10 years of service. Do not attempt to dispose of your old cylinder by putting it in the garbage. Take the cylinder to your propane supplier for disposal.
Cold Weather Solutions
Everyone knows when working with gases, each gas has its sweet spot. In a liquid propane (LP) tank for example, part of the volume is occupied by liquid and part is occupied by gas. The pressure of the gas is governed by the temperature of the liquid. Powerblanket GCW Gas Cylinder Warmers help heat and insulate propane to achieve maximum safe output. Even better is their UL/CSA rating and safety record. Powerblanket offer tank wraps for small 20 lb. BBQ grills & RVs… all the way up to very large 1000 lb. and larger commercial tanks & silos blankets.
See their entire cylinder heating line at http://www.powerblanket.com
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