warm thoughts


Written on: March 14, 2023

Propane Council Participating in 11 Clean Energy Research Projects, Unveils Investment Roadmap

From the Propane Education & Research Council

The propane industry, through its nonprofit the Propane Education and Research Council (PERC), has announced its engagement with nearly a dozen universities, national and private laboratories, and businesses to drive clean energy innovation.

Since 2020, PERC has served as a technical advisor and assisted with more than 40 concept papers and proposal submissions that support energy conversion technologies, mostly in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE). These activities set an aggressive agenda for innovation and demonstrate propane’s commitment to being an important player in the clean energy transition.

“The industry’s research and roadmap make it clear that propane is paving a wider path toward a net zero future today,” said PERC’s President and CEO, Tucker Perkins. “These investments address both efficiency and emissions challenges, a combination we don’t always see in other energy solutions being discussed. The journey to net zero is going to take an all of the above approach, and our industry, along with an amazing network of partners, is going to make a clean energy future possible.”

PERC Research Partners
Since 2020, PERC has committed over $3.4 million to its partners and continues to provide technical expertise to a number of universities, research institutions, and businesses, either individually or in collaboration with the DoE.

Some of the universities include the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Central Florida, Colorado State University, and the University of Michigan. PERC also partners with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Southwest Research Institute, GTI Energy, and the Clean Cities Coalition. Business partnerships include, but are not limited to, Wisconsin Engine Research Consultants, WMI Engineering International, and Low Carbon Fuel Systems.

These institutions and businesses are engaged in projects including power generation, Combined Cooling, Heat and Power (CCHP) systems, high efficiency and ultra-low emission vehicle and engine technologies, and renewable fuels production and testing.

PERC Research Roadmap
In fall 2022, DoE Secretary Granholm made a request for “big, bold, clean energy projects” that deliver environmental justice and make an impact in the fight against climate change. In addition to the projects underway through these research institutions, PERC’s research roadmap includes other opportunities that respond to this call for action, including:

* DoE Bioenergy Technologies Office projects to transform agricultural waste, municipal waste, forest residue, and kelp into renewable propane. PERC also encourages investment in technologies for propane production using green hydrogen and carbon dioxide from carbon capture.
* Energy efficiency projects with DoE’s Vehicle Technologies Office for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles off-road and on-road, marine engines, and direct liquid injection engines.
* Propane CCHP technologies and their integration with renewables for residential and commercial buildings in cooperation with the DoE’s Building Technologies Office.
* Large-scale commercial CHP systems and off-grid microgrid systems with the DoE’s Advanced Manufacturing and Industrial Decarbonization Offices.
* Renewable propane research with the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) regarding the product’s end-use applications when combined with renewable dimethyl ether.
* Light commercial carbon capture systems with the Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management.

“We’re constantly scouting for new opportunities to take advantage of propane’s environmental benefits –– its low carbon intensity, its low criteria emissions profile, its portability, and more –– and apply them to critical areas of the clean energy transition,” said Dr. Gokul Vishwanathan, PERC’s director of Research and Sustainability.

About PERC
The Propane Education & Research Council is a nonprofit that provides leading propane safety and training programs and invests in research and development of new propane-powered technologies. PERC is operated and funded by the propane industry. For more information, visit propane.com.