Propane Mowing

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by lawntennis, Jan 5, 2010.

  1. GreenT

    GreenT LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 42,962



    I agree with Kiril, he's absolutely correct, but let me add to his point.

    The "Alternative" moniker in and of itself is meaningless, here's the real question... is it a "green" fuel -as in non polluting and renewable- or not? Plutonium could be considered 'alternative' but we all know it would be a joke to include it on such a list, and clearly propane is not either. Regardless of what our fine, corporate sponsored gov't says.

    All that out of the way, I am very interested in propane as an alternative (there's that semantic trap again :)) to fossil fuels. If only because the options in our industry are so slim, which I think it's a disgrace btw.

    We are the 'green' industry and I think we should leading in this area, so.... anything that is somewhat less polluting, it's ok in my book. I consider it a small step in the right direction.

    Off of my soap box now. :)

  2. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,335

    That is the key .... perhaps a cleaner fuel (in end use), but not really an alternative (to fossil fuels). Doesn't anyone have any biodiesel options on their equipment?
  3. Harley-D

    Harley-D LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 508

    I'm all for the environment and "cleaner" fuel but does anyone think about everything that goes into the production of...let's say biodiesel? It comes from mostly soy and corn which require a certain amount of fertilizer which needs to be produced by the use of natural gas right? So doesn't it take more pollutants to create biodiesel than it saves? I really think that we are on to something with the process of algea and deriving energy from that. Less total input for the end product.
  4. AlternativeFuelLawnCare

    AlternativeFuelLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    You said it perfectly. When we set up shop notice we didn't choose "propane fuel lawn care". Propane mowers reduce their harmful emissions between 60-80% not 100%. For my daughters sake I truly hope there is something better than propane for our industry in the future. Technically you could use solar or wind power to recharge push mowers but for most contractors that just isn't practical. As of today propane is the best option for saving costs while reducing the harmful emissions.

    Our company did research on bio-diesel quite a bit and keep an eye on it for further developments. Unfortunately most units use only 5% bio and the rest diesel. The best units are 20% bio and there have been reports of troubles in cold weather when using the b20 fuel. That said check with your mower manufacturer, they may have already approved your owned equipment for b5 in which case every little bit helps.
  5. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,335

    It does? You should check your information before posting.

    You mean like using algae to produce biodiesel?
  6. Harley-D

    Harley-D LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 508

    Sorry, i just changed subjects too quick. I have read very little on the use of algea but that it a very prolific reproducer and can be used in some green energy way. Basically hear say but figured this may be a good thread to bring it up on.

    "It comes from mostly soy and corn which require a certain amount of fertilizer which needs to be produced by the use of natural gas right?" Maybe you misread Kiril but this is a question, not a fact stated. You should read the posts before gunslinging.
  7. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Messages: 2,636

    Algea still needs nutrients. You can't build a cell without the right molecules after all. Hence it still needs fertilizer. Now you aren't using as much energy to plant/harvest it, but you are using energy to cycle it through the system (most systems are not still bound), and fertilize it.
  8. ehansen@competitivelawn.c

    ehansen@competitivelawn.c LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21


    All this future stuff is interesting.

    All I know is that my commercial crew drove to their jobs today on propane. They blew leaves into a pile with a propane backpack blower. They ran them over with a propane wright stander to grind them up, put them in the back of the truck to complete the job.

    If you can give me a single fuel source that can do that other than propane for next week, I will consider that. A bio diesel trimmer???

    Best Regards,

    Eric Hansen,
  9. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,335

    Ever heard of an sewage pond? How about instead of treating water bodies with pesticides to get rid of unwanted algae, you harvest it instead? Neither one of these require fertilizer.
  10. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Messages: 2,636

    Good points, but most commercial systems I have read about don't consider such things.

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