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EghtesadOnline: Despite the fact that liquefied petroleum gas is good for auto engines, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh says so long as cars can run on compressed natural gas, LPG should be used for other purposes.

“The ministry has no plans to boost LPG production. This fuel should not be used to propel cars,” Zanganeh was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.

Elaborating the point, he said the capacity to produce LPG is limited. Moreover, there are two million households that are not linked to the national gas grid and need LPG to meet their cooking needs, Financial Tribune reported.

Around 20,000 tons of LPG is produced in Iran every day, half of which is sold in regions that still do not have access to piped gas, namely in the southern provinces like Sistan-Baluchestan and Kerman.

On the other hand, there are at least one million cars that  are equipped with LPG kits, but there are few stations where drivers can fill up.

What Zanganeh says means those who own LPG-run cars have no choice but to fill up outside the fueling stations and with cooking gas cylinders that is very hazardous.

Referring to LPG cylinder shortages in Sistan-Baluchestan Province, the minister said, “They are supplied with enough cylinders, but many of them are used in cars rather than in homes. It should be stressed that such vehicles are more vulnerable to mishaps like  fires and explosion.”

LPG should be replaced by CNG, he said, adding that in the future export of this fuel will be a priority. He did not provide details.

Iran loaded at least 10 (LPG) cargoes for export (to China) in October and November 2019. Each Iranian LPG cargo typically carries 44,000 million tons and is a mix of propane and butane.


Risk Factor

Despite what the minster said, inspections have always shown that accidents during LPG tank filling occurred either when the tank was not installed in factories or substandard fittings were used. It is obvious that using LPG cylinders for car engines is no less a dangerous enterprise – not only is it illegal but can also turn out to be fatal. 

Nevertheless, the foremost thing to take care while using LPG is leakage. The source of leakage could be from the filter provided over the tank, the solenoid switch or the pipes. 

According to published reports, there are an estimated 4.7 million, 3 million, 2.5 million and 2.4 million cars running on LPG in Turkey, Russia, South Korea and Italy, respectively. 

LPG prolongs engine life and reduces maintenance costs.

Another consideration in using LPG is the environment. As a fuel it is considered better for the environment because the combustion of LPG is complete and efficient than gasoline, meaning the amount of carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons is much less. 

The emission of an LPG engine would typically be just carbon monoxide, which is relatively harmless.

On the global scale, 270 million tons of this fuel is produced, of which vehicles consume 26 million tons (10%). This is while in Iran it barely accounts for 2% of the fuel used in transportation sector. 

Many European and Asian new car manufacturers offer LPG versions of their cars. The Europeans include Volkswagen, Citroen, Fiat, Ford, Opel, Peugeot, Renault, and Volvo. Toyota, Hyundai, Daewoo and Tata Motors are among the big Asian manufacturers.


Boost LPG Output Iran Bijan Namdar Zanganeh CNG liquefied petroleum gas compressed natural gas Oil Ministry Plan auto engines