PERC Prepares for 2008, Approves Six Technology Projects

Washington, DC (December 19, 2007) — The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) approved seven new technology projects at its December Council meeting in Houston, TX. Four of these projects were a result of recommendations from its Research and Development Advisory Committee (RDAC) meeting held November 6–7 in Houston,TX.

PERC will continue to move forward with its equipment comparison testing program in 2008 through Testing and Evaluation of Underground Propane Tank Coatings (Docket 12469). In partnership with KTA-Tator Inc., this project will conduct performance tests to the underground tank coatings of various manufacturers. The ultimate goal is to achieve a clearer understanding of how well (or how poorly) coatings protect the exterior surfaces of underground, coated steel propane storage tanks without the aid of supplemental cathodic protection.

“Evaluating the effectiveness of tank coatings on underground tanks is essential to ensuring that propane users and distributors can make educated decisions when it comes to equipment purchases,” said Greg Kerr, director of research and development at PERC.

Also for 2008, PERC approved two continuing projects. 2008 Research and Development Oversight and Advisory Committee Support (Docket 12454) will continue project development and oversight, while funding for 2008 Technical Communications (Docket 12455) will support promotion of emerging technologies and expansion of R&D website content with Energetics Inc.

The Council also approved funding for the following projects:

Research and Development
Docket 11552 CHANGE ORDER—Residential Propane Desiccant Dehumidifier, Alternative Fuels Research and Education Division. This change order request will replace four earlier desiccant dehumidifier models with updated models that will demonstrate the potential of propane using the newest technology. The new model will be smaller, lighter, cheaper, and more efficient.
Docket 12470—Design a Portable Handheld Water Detector for Propane, Battelle. This project will develop a portable hand-held detector to determine the amount of water in propane. The detector will also measure the level of methanol to help marketers and distributors manage fuel quality.

Docket 12420—Batchen Stinger Steam Weeder – Engineering Design and Preparation of Detailed Drawings, Diedrichs & Associates. The goal of this project is the continuation of an effort to redesign the Batchen Stinger Steam Weeder. The newly designed machine will be larger in capacity and more durable.
Docket 12423—Develop and Test a Propane-Fueled Means to Control Soil Nematodes: Phase 2, Gas Technology Institute. This is the second phase of a larger project to develop a propane powered soil sanitation technology to help producers control soil nematodes. A propane solution would give producers another tool to use instead of the current practice of using methyl bromide.

Engine Fuel
Docket 12466—Closed Loop Propane Fueling System with Catalyst, Husqvarna Outdoor Products, Inc. This project will develop and commercialize low-emission, propane-fueled commercial lawn mowing equipment that will at a minimum meet 2011 EPA emissions standards. The equipment will include a closed-loop exhaust system that allows the use of a catalyst to further decrease emissions.

The Council will next meet on February 7, 2008 by conference call, and RDAC is scheduled to convene in the late spring of 2008.