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24/05/2024 Local Business  | Sustainability

Paving the Way for a Cleaner Future: The Transition from Oil to LPG in the Asphalt Industry.

Recent research by Calor on rural and off grid manufacturing and production businesses found that one third of those still use high carbon fuels such as oil, HFO and diesel for production, with 46% of those surveyed not knowing that a lower carbon alternative is available.

Peter Loughran, Commercial Engineering Manager for Calor looks at how LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) is a cleaner solution for the asphalt industry.

The asphalt industry plays a crucial role in infrastructure development, but its environmental impact has long been a concern. Traditional oils (11LS, HFO, MFO, Diesel & Kerosene) used in asphalt production contribute to air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. In recent years, there has been a paradigm shift towards more sustainable practices, with many companies opting to transition from oil to LPG, with approximately 15% of the industry having switched to Calor. This shift not only addresses environmental concerns but also brings about several operational and economic advantages.

Environmental Benefits:

Reduced Emissions: LPG is a cleaner-burning fuel compared to oil. By making the switch, the asphalt industry can reduce air pollutants such as sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter, contributing to improved air quality. Calor has worked with several companies within the asphalt industry to tailor an energy solution for their needs. Calor customer, Kilsaran, reported a reduction of 45% in emissions by switching from diesel to LPG for drying sand at their Kildare site.

Lower Carbon Footprint: LPG has a lower carbon content than oil, leading to lower carbon dioxide emissions. LPG produces at least 16% less carbon emissions than heavy fuel oil*. Calor’s research identified that 73% of decision makers believe renewable energy is the way forward. Calor’s renewable gas, BioLPG, can reduce carbon emissions by up to 80%, the ideal drop in solution for existing LPG customers.

Operational Advantages:

Easier Handling and Storage: LPG is stored and transported as a liquid, making it more convenient and safer to handle than heavy fuels. LPG allows businesses located off the natural gas grid enjoy all the benefits gas has to offer. This ease of storage and transportation can streamline logistics and reduce the risk of accidents, contributing to overall operational efficiency.

Economic Considerations:

Cost Savings: While there may be initial investments in transitioning equipment and infrastructure, the long-term cost savings associated with LPG can be substantial. Lower maintenance costs, improved efficiency, for adopting cleaner technologies can contribute to a positive economic impact.

Market Competitiveness: As sustainability becomes a more significant factor in business decisions, companies that adopt eco-friendly practices often gain a competitive edge. It was found that 46% of businesses face a lot of supply chain pressure to be more environmentally friendly. The transition to LPG in the asphalt industry positions companies as environmentally responsible and supports them in meeting obligations.

Challenges and Solutions:

Initial Investment: The upfront cost of transitioning from heavy fuel to LPG may be a hurdle for some companies, with 52% of those surveyed identifying cost as a barrier to switching to a lower carbon or renewable fuel. Through reduced maintenance and efficiencies, payback on investment can be short term as opposed to a long term investment.

Infrastructure Adaptation: Adapting existing infrastructure to accommodate LPG may require modifications. Calor’s team of engineers will work closely with equipment manufacturers and suppliers to ensure a smooth transition, minimising downtime, and disruptions. Calor’s renewable gas, BioLPG, is chemically like conventional LPG, meaning there is no need to change equipment should a business look to incorporate BioLPG at a later stage.

The transition from oil to LPG in the asphalt industry signifies a positive step towards sustainability, bringing about environmental, operational, and economic benefits. As the industry continues to evolve, embracing cleaner energy sources not only mitigates environmental impact but also positions companies as leaders in the movement towards a greener and more sustainable future.

If you are interested in finding out more about Calor’s lower carbon solutions contact

*Source; SEAI Conversion & Emission Factors


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