Autogas, (LPG) Liquefied petroleum gas.
When LPG is used to fuel internal combustion engines, it is often referred to as autogas or auto propane. In some countries, it has been used since the 1940s as a petrol alternative for spark ignition engines. In some countries, there are additives in the liquid that extend engine life and the ratio of butane to propane is kept quite precise in fuel LPG. Two recent studies have examined LPG-fuel-oil fuel mixes and found that smoke emissions and fuel consumption are reduced but hydrocarbon emissions are increased. The studies were split on CO emissions, with one finding significant increases, and the other finding slight increases at low engine load but a considerable decrease at high engine load. Its advantage is that it is non-toxic, non-corrosive and free of tetraethyl lead or any additives, and has a high octane rating (102–108 RON depending on local specifications). It burns more cleanly than petrol or fuel-oil and is especially free of the particulates present in the latter.
LPG has a lower energy density than either petrol or fuel-oil, so the equivalent fuel consumption is higher. Many governments impose less tax on LPG than on petrol or fuel-oil, which helps offset the greater consumption of LPG than of petrol or fuel-oil. However, in many European countries this tax break is often compensated by a much higher annual road tax on cars using LPG than on cars using petrol or fuel-oil. Propane is the third most widely used motor fuel in the world. 2013 estimates are that over 24.9 million vehicles are fueled by propane gas worldwide. Over 25 million tonnes (over 9 billion US gallons) are used annually as a vehicle fuel.
Not all automobile engines are suitable for use with LPG as a fuel. Please contact us which systems are now available that integrate with OEM engine management systems.
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