FUEL FACTS

 

What is Propane?
When sold as fuel, propane is also known as liquified petroleum gas (LPG or LP-gas) and can be a mixture of propane with smaller amounts of propylene, butane and butylene, plus an odorant (ethanethiol) to allow the normally odorless propane to be smelled. In the United States, propane is primarily a pure fuel with only the odorant added.

In many areas of the United States, propane is used in furnaces, stoves, water heaters, laundry dryers and other heat-producing appliances. Over 6.5 million American households use propane as their primary heating fuel. Propane also powers some locomotives, buses, forklifts and taxis, and is used for heat and cooking in recreational vehicles and campers.

Other industries in the United States using propane include glass makers, brick kilns, poultry farms and other industries that need portable heat.

Propane is heavier than air. In its raw state, propane sinks and pools at ground level. Liquid propane will flash to a vapor at atmospheric pressure and appears white due to moisture condensing from the air.

If you have questions about how you can benefit by using propane in your home or on your farm give us a call at 701-474-5440. Our knowledgeable and experienced propane staff will be happy to answer your questions.

What is Ethanol?
The use of ethanol as a fuel for internal combustion engines, either alone or in combination with other fuels, has become widespread due to its environmental and long-term economical advantages over fossil fuel.

Both ethanol and methanol have been considered for this purpose. While both can be obtained from petroleum or natural gas, ethanol may be the most interesting because it is a renewable resource, easily obtained from sugar or starch in crops and other agricultural produce such as grain, sugarcane or even lactose. Since ethanol occurs in nature whenever yeast happens to find a sugar solution such as overripe fruit, most organisms have evolved some tolerance to ethanol, whereas methanol is toxic. When 10% alcohol fuel is mixed into gasoline, the result is known as gasohol or E10. When 85% alcohol fuel is mixed into gasoline, the result is known as E85. Other experiments involve butanol, which can also be produced by fermentation of plants. Also sometimes ethanol might be named bioethanol.

Farmers Union Oil of Southern Valley is proud to support the Biofuels movement. We offer E85 at our Wahpeton location and E10 at all four of our sites in Fairmount, Breckenridge, Wahpeton and Mooreton.

What is Biodiesel?
Biodiesel is a cleaner burning, renewable fuel that offers human health, environmental benefits, energy security and economic benefits. It reduces emissions associated with cancer, asthma and other health concerns, as well as pollution associated with global warming. Biodiesel cuts emissions of cancer-causing compounds by 75-90% compared to those in petroleum diesel exhaust. Furthermore, biodiesel is the only alternative fuel to complete the health effects testing requirements of the Clean Air Act. Biodiesel can be made from any vegetable oil or fat. In America, biodiesel is usually made from soybean oil. Because it is domestically produced from farm crops and other renewable resources, biodiesel contributes to the U.S. economy as well as national energy security. Biodiesel can be used in any diesel engine with few or no modifications and offers similar horsepower, fuel economy and torque to petroleum diesel. More than 250 fleets currently use biodiesel blends, and biodiesel pumps are opening to the public across the nation.

If you want to know more about the BioDiesel movement visit the National BioDiesel Board website. Look for more articles about biofuels in the near future.

What is Blended Ethanol?
Most folks who pull up to the pump for a fill up give little consideration to the labels and stickers they find there other than price and octane, but more “Blended with 10% Ethanol” labels are popping up at gas pumps all over the country. Over the years it’s become obvious that using blended ethanol fuel in your vehicle is a good thing. All vehicle manufacturers support its use, and new vehicles are for the most part approved for the new E85 fuel. They’re called “FlexFuel” vehicles.

There are even some folks who run their older vehicles on varying blends of E85 and regular gas. Apparently with success. Your mileage may vary so exercise some caution in that area.

So what are the main reasons for using blended-ethanol fuels?
It’s good for the environment. Less pollution means cleaner air and that’s good for everyone.
Ten tank fills of 10% blended ethanol fuel means one less barrel of oil that has to be imported.
One tank fill of E85 85% blended ethanol fuel means one less barrel of oil that has to be imported.

It’s not only good for your health, it’s good for your pocketbook, good for the country and good for the environment.