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Tomorrow's cars may run on propane.

Added propane gas could be produced to fuel up to 17,000,000 vehicles by the year 2010. According to a report released by the R.F. Webb Corp., a Washington, D.C., research firm, that amount of propane (also called LP-gas) would require an investment of $10,500,000,000 for new facilities at natural gas processing plants and crude oil refineries for 13,700,000,000 gallons of auto-propane supply to meet the new demand.

Selective expansion and befter use of the currently underutilized propane pipeline, barge, and storage systems in the U.S. also would be necessary. Additional rail and truck tankers and 1,525 refueling stations located at existing gasoline and propane distribution outlets would be added. These infrastructure improvements would run another $3,500,000,000.

The report estimates that the targeted 13,700,000,000 gallons per year could be made available at about 60 cents per gallon, based on natural gas priced at $5.04 per 1,000,000 cubic feet at that time. This would be competitive with the projected price of gasoline in many regions of the country, according to forecasts by the Energy Information Administration. The study was commissioned by the LP-gas Clean Fuels Coalition to determine whether or not enough propane production could be achieved to meet the demand projected by the Department of Energy (DOE) in its "Second Interim Report of the Interagency Commission on Alternative Motor Fuels.'

The DOE paper presented a National Energy Strategy (NES) scenario in which mass-scale adoption of alternative transportation fuels is achieved by the year 2010. Most of the concepts and goals presented in the NES were part of the Energy Policy Act of 1992. in the NES scenario, the auto-propane market is expanded from its current level of about 500,000,000 gallons per year to 13,700,000,000 in 2010. A propane auto-market of this size would mean the displacement of about 460,000 barrels per day of crude oil.

Because of the current seasonal market for propane, higher pressure storage costs, and the need for an attendant at public refueling stations, propane distribution expenses currently are much higher than those for gasoline on a per gallon basis. As auto-propane becomes a larger part of the market, thereby spreading demand throughout the year, and as self-service propane refueling stations are adopted, the economics of distribution and the cost to the general public are expected to drop significantly. In fact, private propane fleets today that maintain their own fuel storage can take advantage of bulk prices that already are very favorable to those of gasoline.

The typical gardening enthusiast quickly and economically can remedy many indoor air pollution problems that may cause headaches, uncomfortable breathing, scratchy throats, and itchy or burning eyes simply by selecting the right potted plants for the home or office.

To help clean and purify the indoor air we breathe," advises horticulturist Mike Graham, "flowering plants such as chrysanthemums, peace lilies, and gerbera daisies ... also known as African daisies, have proven effective in removing from the air trichloroethylene, which comes from everyday sources such as dry cleaning, varnishes, lacquers, and adhesives."

In addition, "Spider plants and golden pothos purify the air of formaldehyde, which is released from insulation, plywood, rugs, and carpeting. English ivy filters out benzine, a carcinogen released by tobacco smoke, gasoline, inks, and plastics."

How many plants are needed? "As a general rule of thumb, one potted plant per 100 square feet of household or office space will help purify the air. And, they start working immediately, the minute you set them out.

"Many of us have tightened up our houses, apartments, and offices to save energy and expenses. Unfortunately, these important conservation measures also decrease the rate at which fresher, outdoor air replaces stale or polluted indoor air. All gardening enthusiasts, including beginners, can benefit from these indoor, potted plant recommendations, because they offer the potential to improve everyone's health, comfort, and well-being indoors."
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Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:USA Today (Magazine)
Date:Jun 1, 1993
Words:662
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