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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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.