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Lehr to introduce propane-fueled outboard engine at the Miami International Boat Show

Lehr, Inc., a company that patented the use of propane canisters to fuel small engines, is introducing the first OEM marine outboard engines that run on propane. Benefits of the propane engine include:

  • Up to 50% lower fuel cost and more cost effective to use and maintain;
  • No gasoline polluting the water;
  • No ethanol or fuel related issues;
  • Zero evaporative emissions; and
  • No choke, no priming, no carburetor gum-up & no winterizing.

The first two engines are 2.5 hp and 5 hp with higher power models to be released in the future.

Lehrimg1
Lehr
Lehr propane-fueled outboard engine. Click to enlarge.

Comments

ejj

Question: a full standard propane tank is equivalent to how many gallons of gasoline?

Engineer-Poet

What standard? You can get 10 lb, 20 lb, and 100 lb tanks at many retail outlets.

Propane is about 5 lb per gallon to gasoline's ~6.2. A pound of propane has a bit more energy than a pound of gasoline due to greater hydrogen content.

SJC

I read that they can mix propane with DME to run engines, this might be another way where we can use natural gas and biomass. Although, if you can get to DME you can go one step further and make synthetic high octane gasoline like Core does.

ejj

Engineer Poet: I was thinking of a "standard" propane tank for an outdoor grill? The kind you can swap out at a gas station for a full one? http://www.bledsoerentals.com/images/protank.jpg

What is the equivalent, in gallons of gas, for a full (standard white outdoor grill) propane tank?

Here is a 6 gallon outboard motor fuel tank:
http://www.boatmania.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/6/-/6-gallon-fuel-tank-plastic_1148867C_2.jpg

....just trying to work out the economics....

ejj

Wal-Mart is charging about $15.50 for a full propane cylinder (swapped out for empty cylinder)

http://www.walmart.com/cp/Propane-Cylinder-Exchange/538413

Gas is about $3.50 per gallon now....4.42 gallons gas= $15.50...is a full (standard white outdoor grill) propane cylinder equivalent to 4.42 gallons gas?

Henry Gibson

DME, di-methyl-ether, can be stored in a propane tank, but it has far to low an octane rating (0 or less) for use in a spark ignited engine. It is a very good and clean fuel to be injected into a diesel engine at the proper time but cannot be bled into the intake air like natural gas or propane. ..HG..

Henry Gibson

Propane is about the most convenient fuel, but it, in its small and large tanks, has resulted in more deaths than nuclear reactors even the Tsunami ones added to the Chernobyl ones. Deutschland haette zuerst propan Flaschen verboten.

Alex Kovnat

Propane is definitely NOT the kind of stuff you want in the bilge of a boat. But remember, boaters have used gasoline for decades. My father had a sailboat with a gasoline inboard auxiliary engine. I remember how he would run the bilge blower for a few minutes before starting the engine. You would use the same precautions with propane.

SJC

The purpose of the demonstrations is to establish DME as a low emissions transportation fuel in North America
that can be used by both spark ignition and compression ignition (“diesel”) vehicles.

http://www.aboutdme.org/aboutdme/files/ccLibraryFiles/Filename/000000001915/Release_GVEnergy_2011-10-12.pdf

I read that they were mixing about 30% DME and 70% propane in spark ignition engines. Never say never.

ejj

Still, all things considered, I love that there are still enterprenuers out there willing to take risks without the direct help of government (apparently) in an environment that is becoming progressively more hostile to the free market, incentives, success....capitalism in general.

SJC

We debate markets while Germany, France, Japan, Korea and China all work with governments to be more competitive in a global world.

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