PERC researches issues in fuel quality and composition to understand and mitigate impacts on performance, emissions, durability, and cost effectiveness. Research focuses on hose conditioning and the removal of water and other potential contaminants.

Additives and Filters for Deposit Prevention

Docket:16736, 15938, 12116

Additives and filters can potentially prevent or minimize deposits in propane without modifying existing fuel production, transportation, or storage infrastructure. Researchers determined the ability of existing additives to prevent deposits in propane with high residue concentration, the effect of vaporizers on downstream component deposits, and the effectiveness of filters to prevent or reduce deposits. Researchers will evaluate the effectiveness of fine and ultra-fine filters for removing heavy ends and determine the best design for indicating when a filter needs to be changed.

Best Practices Guidelines for the Propane Industry


The best practices guidelines for the propane industry contain the practices related to the care and custody of propane gas throughout the supply chain that contribute to the maintenance of a quality product. To compile these guidelines, researchers conducted a survey of required, common, and recommended practices.

Carbonyl Sulfide Removal Study

Docket:10014, 10013

The hydrolysis or oxidation of carbonyl sulfide (COS) in propane can produce elemental sulfur and hydrogen sulfide, which corrode certain metals. Researchers obtained experimental data on the hydrolysis of COS to help determine the maximum tolerable levels of COS in commercial and HD-5 grade propane and compared these levels to commercially available sorbent materials.

Conditioning System at Bulk Terminals


Conditioning systems prepare and remediate propane for engine and other fuel-sensitive applications. Researchers designed, built, installed, and demonstrated a conditioning system at a bulk propane terminal.

Contaminant Sensors

Docket:12117, 11353, 11296

Effective contaminant sensors are essential to quickly determining propane composition and mitigating any fuel quality issues that could cause equipment performance problems. Researchers conducted a literature survey of potential sensor technologies, analyzed contaminant origins, determined effective sampling methods, and evaluated the ability of an in-line filtration system to capture liquid-phase insolubles or heavy materials.

Fuel Sampling and Analysis Program


When equipment and engine performance issues occur, fuel sampling and analysis can help determine whether fuel quality is a factor. The fuel sampling and analysis program provides marketers with fuel testing kits and detailed laboratory analysis of collected fuel samples to uncover potential contaminant issues and troubleshoot equipment performance issues. Researchers will compile the results of the program to better inform the industry about these issues.

Hose Conditioning


Hoses that transfer propane can be a source of fuel contamination. To prevent contamination at this part of the supply chain, researchers determined whether conditioning propane hoses prior to use prevents chemical leaching, measured the permeability of new propane hoses, and surveyed international hose manufacturers on their standards and practices regarding extractable material and permeability.

Market Surveys


To better anticipate the movement of current and future propane markets, researchers conducted three surveys specific to propane fuel. Data collected included verifiable data on the sulfur species currently found in the propane market, specifications on current use in the North American propane marketplace, and propane composition requirements for emerging markets.

Propylene Removal Study


Propylene is a byproduct of natural gas and oil refining. Because of propylene’s lower boiling point, it is more volatile than propane and often separates from propane as a result. Researchers conducted a literature study to review the most promising technologies for removing propylene from propane.

Synthetic and Biopropane

Docket:15866, 12335

Synthetic and biopropane can be derived from renewable sources such as biomass, vegetable oils, and waste, or from coal, offering a compelling alternative to petroleum fuels. Researchers evaluated the technical and economic feasibility of possible methods to produce synthetic propane, estimated probable synthetic propane yields from these methods, and developed process flow diagrams depicting methodologies.

Water Freezing Prevention in Propane

Docket:12470, 11992

Portable devices that detect water vapor in propane can help prevent customer problems with propane freezing. Researchers designed a portable device that uses an optical, non-dispersive, infrared method to determine water content in propane. In addition, researchers evaluated the light absorption characteristics and concentration of water, methanol, and propane to help determine if methanol should be added to prevent propane freezing.