Technology is Taking Off with Propane

Propane space rocket. Photo courtesy of Orbex. Photo source is LP Gas

In an industry largely recognized as down-to-earth and traditional, where companies favor face-to-face interactions, there has been no shortage of innovation and cutting-edge technology developments. The propane industry is gaining traction on the technology front.

In growing numbers, consumers and businesses are seeking ways to lower greenhouse gas emissions by adopting efficient appliances and alternative fuels. Many are finding that propane offers a much-needed solution to a myriad of applications worldwide.

From space rockets and propane-powered ships to hydronic heating and cybersecurity, all the way to powering commercial vehicle fleets, the world of propane is bustling with innovation.

According to LPGas magazine, international aerospace company Orbex, which has headquarters in Scotland and locations in Denmark and Germany, is turning to renewable propane to power its space rockets. Orbex builds small rockets that take satellites to low-atmosphere locations. According to Orbex CEO Chris Larmour, large rockets are significantly more efficient than small ones, which presented a problem that the company was determined to solve: How does Orbex increase its efficiency? The answer: propane.

Larmour explains that the company turned to propane to power its rockets because of the fuel’s unique physical properties. Propane does not freeze when chilled to temperatures similar to liquid oxygen. An additional benefit: Propane reduces the structural mass of the vehicles by 30 percent.

Using renewable propane in place of kerosene lowers carbon dioxide emissions by 90 percent, according to Larmour. The rockets also remain clean after being used, reducing the work required to use the engines in the next vehicle. The cost of propane for rockets is also 99 percent lower than the cost of conventional kerosene-based fuel, making it a much more economical choice.

Read more about new technology and innovation with propane, and all the ways the clean energy is being used around the world today in this article from LPGas.

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