Farm Fuel of the Future

Propane-powered engines, dual fuel systems offer savings and efficiency

Published online: Nov 03, 2018 Articles, Irrigation
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This article appears in the November 2018 issue of Potato Grower

With increasing pressure on farmers to meet environmental standards, including EPA regulations and Tier 4 compliancy, many are making the switch to propane-powered irrigation engines. These engines provide optimal power and efficiency while easily meeting and exceeding environmental standards, as propane naturally produces fewer emissions while being safer for the environment.


Old Engines, New Technology

The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) continues to work alongside several engine manufacturers to develop a wide variety of high-power engines built from the ground up to run on propane, helping growers conveniently meet these standards while maintaining power. New propane-powered engines are environmentally friendly, cost-efficient, and lower-maintenance than similar diesel models, all while sustaining optimal power and effectiveness.

With such a large variety of propane-powered engines now available from multiple manufacturers and in several sizes, there is a propane engine to meet the specific needs of nearly any farmer. However, PERC recognizes that not all producers can afford to purchase new propane engines to replace their diesel engines. To address this issue and allow more growers to experience the many benefits of propane use on the farm, new innovative dual fuel systems were developed.


Diesel and Propane, Working Together

Dual fuel systems combine both diesel and propane to power a single unit, allowing growers to continue using their current diesel engines while also incorporating propane for better fuel savings, lower emissions and energy independence.

Producers who are interested in using propane and experiencing its many benefits, but who currently operate a diesel engine that is still effective, can reap the benefits of both fuels by adding new dual fuel systems to existing engines.

For example, 2Fuel Technologies, headquartered in San Antonio, manufactures 2Fuel Systems, which are designed to convert conventional diesel engines to operate on a blend of both diesel and propane fuels. The company specializes in the development of these dual fuel systems and is the first to offer a system that is CARB- and EPA-certified.

Dual Fuel systems can be installed on any diesel engine and have the potential to displace up to 50 percent of diesel fuel consumption with clean, American-made propane fuel while extending the engine life and making it better for environment.


The Savings Continue

In addition to the up-front savings of operating dual fuel systems with current diesel engines, producers who purchase these systems can also qualify for the Propane Farm Incentive Program for additional savings. Sponsored by PERC, the Propane Farm Incentive Program is a research program that provides financial incentives of up to $5,000 toward the purchase of new propane-powered farm equipment. In exchange, participants share real-world performance data with PERC.

For more information about the program, a list of qualified equipment, and to apply for incentives, visit


Farm Fuel of the Future

Using propane on the farm offers environmental benefits and cuts down on costs as well as time, with reduced maintenance and repairs for overall improvements to growers’ bottom lines.

“There’s never been a better time to consider propane; the benefits of new propane-powered engines are limitless,” says Mike Newland, director of agriculture business development at PERC. “We’re excited about these new dual fuel systems in addition to the increasing line of propane-powered engines to allow even more producers to experience the many benefits firsthand.”

Propane has been referred to as the “farm fuel of the future,” as advances in technology and new developments like the dual fuel systems are allowing even more producers to upgrade their own farm equipment to utilize propane on the farm.