Propane is non-toxic, non-caustic and will not create an environmental hazard if released as a liquid or vapor into water or soil. If spilled in large quantity, the only environmental damage that may occur is freezing any organism or plant life in the immediate area. There are no long term effects following a propane spill even if the quantities are excessively large. The only damage and potential danger exists if the vapor is ignited following a spill. And even then, there are no long term effects of ignited propane that can be damaging to the environment. Propane liquid and vapor are environmentally sound and friendly in their unused states (prior to combustion) if released.
Properties of Propane
Propane is not considered a greenhouse gas.
Propane is not damaging to freshwater or saltwater ecosystems, underwater plant or marine life.
Propane is not harmful to soil if spilled on the ground. Propane will not cause harm to drinking water supplies.
Propane vapor will not cause air pollution. Propane vapor is not considered air pollution.
Propane vapor is not harmful if accidentally inhaled by birds, animals or people.
Propane will only cause bodily harm if liquid propane comes in contact with skin (boiling point -44°F).
Although the physical characteristics of propane may cause harm to living things, the chemical makeup of propane will not harm anything. Then again, drinking water is harmless but who would attempt to chew on an ice cube that is 45 degrees below zero or take a 450 degree steam bath. The point is propane will not harm people or the environment and while its harmless attributes are eco-friendly, its temperature characteristics can and will cause harm when handled with carelessness.
Propane Gas Emissions
Combustion is the process of a fuel being burned in a chemical reaction that produces energy. The energy produced during combustion is in the form of heat, light or both. Examples of fuel are wood, paper, coal, gas, oil and of course, propane. Following combustion (after the fuel has burned), byproducts are produced that move into the atmosphere. These byproducts are called greenhouse gases and although emissions from propane combustion are greenhouse gases, the level of damaging emissions following LP Gas combustion is far below that of any readily available carbon based fuel used in vehicles and engines today. Propane is clean burning and environmentally friendly.
In fact, propane is listed as an approved clean fuel by U.S. Government energy policy makers and energy administrative bodies. The Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, TX has conducted numerous studies on propane emissions and determined that using propane cuts smog producing exhaust by as much as 70 percent. Propane engine exhaust is so clean and friendly to the environment that propane powered forklifts operate inside warehouses throughout the world. Think about the last time you saw a diesel powered forklift inside a warehouse. Additionally, many propane fueled vehicles are certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as meeting the Ultra Low Emission Vehicle standard. Propane is a very clean burning fuel, without a doubt.