The role of propane in the agricultural market
Propane gas is currently one of the various energy sources used in Canada. It is a light hydrocarbon, composed of carbon and hydrogen, which comes from crude oil refining. It is produced from crude oil refining operations or by extracting natural gas and associated gases from oil fields. Propane is also known as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). Under normal conditions, propane is in the form of a gas, but it is stored and transported as a liquid in pressurized tanks.
It is also a low-emission and highly efficient energy source that is widely used in the agricultural sector.
An essential source of energy in the agricultural sector
Daily, the agricultural sector requires the use of large amounts of energy. Therefore, choosing an efficient and clean energy source is essential. This is why the energy efficiency of propane gas makes it an indispensable energy source for a farm. It reduces the financial, environmental, and social impact of agricultural production and has a significant impact on the farm’s profitability.
Due to its availability, lower cost, proximity to distributors, ease of transportation and storage, propane gas is chosen as an energy source to power many farms. Moreover, it is easily accessible in rural areas.
The various uses of propane in the agricultural field
In 2003, propane accounted for 10% of the total energy consumption of the agricultural sector in Quebec. It is used for many activities, the main ones being:
Propane is the fuel most often used to power crop drying systems (soybeans, corn, etc.) using hot air. 23% of Quebec’s total agricultural propane consumption is used for grain drying, which is a very important operation requiring a high energy consumption over a short period of time.
Propane drying systems limit the growth of fungi and bacteria, allowing farmers to harvest grain more flexibly without worrying about temperatures.
Propane grain dryers are also used for drying tobacco or fruit.
Water and room heating in different productions
Some farmers use propane to heat buildings containing animals such as piggeries, stables, or hen houses, as well as for hot water production. These facilities have constant and specific energy requirements to ensure proper operation, especially in winter. For example, swine production consumes nearly 30% of the total agricultural propane consumption in Quebec.
Since propane is a clean fuel and an economical heating solution, it is an ideal choice for greenhouse heating. Ventilated propane heating units (single or multiple) provide stable heat that allows different plants to grow in a controlled and flexible environment.
Do you own a farm and want to use propane gas as an energy source? Do not hesitate to contact our team at Propane Levac Inc. They will be happy to answer your questions.