Propane is the third most popular automotive fuel in Canada. For 1988, the annual demand for automotive grade propane was nearly 1 billion litres. There are currently approximately 140,000 vehicles operating on propane with about 20,000 new conversions each year. This initial market penetration is largely due to the cost savings achievable with propane. However, the advanced electronic engine controls now standard with OEM gasoline engines have eroded the advantages in efficiency and emissions formerly enjoyed by propane-fueled engines. Thus, further growth in propane use depends on development of improved propane fuel systems.
This paper makes use of various sources of published experimental results to illustrate the characteristics of “first generation” propane carburetion systems and to assess the prospects for improvements in performance, efficiency and emissions through the use of more modern fuel metering and engine control technology.