With up to 90% reduction in carbon emissions, bioLPG offers a cleaner, more environmentally friendly energy solution for homes and businesses located off-grid in rural communities.
Liquid Gas UK launched its ambition to transition to 100% renewables by 2040 back in 2019, in order to support the Government’s target for a net zero future by 2050.
BioLPG, also known as biopropane, is a renewable and sustainable product. Chemically BioLPG is identical to LPG though it is created using a variety of biological feedstocks including waste streams.
In addition to being good for environment, the transition from LPG to BioLPG is simple. It is used in exactly the same way as LPG and can be dropped into an existing supply. This means no changes to LPG infrastructure or LPG appliances are required.
Liquid Gas UK’s Industry Census demonstrated over £100m is currently being invested into bioLPG and a total investment of £600m into the LPG Industry is planned over the next five years.
With up to 90% reduction in carbon emissions, BioLPG offers a cleaner, more environmentally friendly energy solution for homes and businesses located off-grid in rural communities.
What are the benefits of BioLPG?
BioLPG is a renewable solution for off-grid, rural homes. It emits up to 90% less carbon.
Just like LPG, BioLPG offers cleaner air with low NOx, Sox and particulate matter.
BioLPG is renewable and sustainable, and made from a diverse mix of biological feedstocks and processes.
Easy to use
BioLPG is chemically identical to LPG and compatible with all LPG products. It can easily be blended with LPG to ensure a smooth transition from your existing LPG supply and enabling a straight-forward switch.
The transition to bioLPG is a cost-effective solution for rural homes which are hard to heat and difficult to treat with energy efficiency measures. Check out a recent case study.
A growing bioLPG supply chain
Already available on the market today, bioLPG is made using a different technologies and a variety of thermal or chemical processes. Liquid Gas UK members are actively exploring and investing in a range of different production methods, including both imported and localised production.
Energy Experts, NNFCC conducted analysis to determine the feasibility of establishing a full switch to BioLPG. The results were positive and demonstrated a full switch from fossil LPG to BioLPG by 2040 is a feasible solution to support the Government and its ambition to move towards a low carbon economy.
In 2020, further NNFCC analysis also found there to be significant potential for rapid scale-up of indigenous bioLPG production in the UK, as a co-product of sustainable aviation fuel production or from establishing gasification and fischer tropsch synthesis facilitates.
BioLPG is an affordable, convenient and non-intrusive ‘drop-in’ solution to decarbonisation. BioLPG offers up to 90% carbon emissions reduction and the same low NOx, SOx and Particulate Matter as LPG, which is important for local air quality.
BioLPG is renewable and can be made in several ways using different technologies and thermal or chemical processes. For example, bioLPG is often a co-product of sustainable aviation fuel production or through gasification processes.
Feedstocks for bioLPG include cooking oil, animal fat, vegetable oil, waste, plant dry matter, sugar and starch. Research by bioenergy experts NNFCC found a sustainable switch to bioLPG by 2040 is feasible.
Yes, bioLPG is available on the market in the UK today.
No, bioLPG is chemically indistinct from LPG and can be ‘dropped in’ to existing LPG equipment and appliances.
Analysis undertaken by NNFCC demonstrates that a deployment pathway for a full switch from fossil LPG to bioLPG in the UK by 2040 is a feasible solution to support the Government in its ambition to move towards a low carbon economy.
Further work by NNFCC found there is significant potential for rapid scale-up of indigenous bioLPG production in the UK, as a co-product of sustainable aviation fuel production at new HVO plants or from establishing gasification and fischer tropsch synthesis facilities.
Biofuels are created using renewable foodstocks and follow a strict sustainability criteria. They are recognised as playing a role in the Government’s ambition to create a cleaner, low carbon economy for hard-to-treat sectors.
Owners of rural properties who are located off-grid and looking for environmentally friendly heating solutions may find they make significant up front cost savings by switching to LPG/bioLPG, compared to other low-carbon solutions such as heat pumps or biomass boiler.
A recent case study of a pre-1918 home that represents 227,000 rural properties in Great Britain found a switch to LPG to be £16,000 cheaper in upfront costs than a heat pump or biomass system which would cost circa £18,000.
LPG is the lowest carbon conventional fuel source available to homes and businesses off grid. It emits 33% less CO2 than coal and up to 20% less than oil. It is clean burning and smoke free and emits very low levels of NOx, SOx and particulate matter.
By switching to LPG today, you can have a seamless transition to bioLPG. Find out who supplies to your area here.
There are a mix of low-carbon solutions available for rural off-grid homes, however each come with their own pros and cons.
Air Source Heat pumps for example are well suited to highly energy efficient properties as low temperature heating systems, but analysis shows they don’t come cheap, for a number of rural homes the upfront cost can be up to £18,000.
Less energy efficient properties with lower EPC ratings are most common in rural areas and would need to be retrofitted to run a heat pump cost effectively. Savills recently studied the average costs to move EPC bands, which would see properties currently at EPC D spend £12,746 to get to EPC C, and F rated properties £22,873.
Biomass also offers a low carbon option, but similarly can have high upfront costs and also has been shown to create high levels of air pollution. In a recent case study, switching to biomass from oil would result in a monetised air quality damage equivalent of +£831, compared to -£42 you would get through a switch to LPG.
In order to meet Net Zero, UK Government and Devolved Nations will need to decarbonise heating across all homes, including those using mains gas, oil, coal and LPG, however there is currently no ban on installing or replacing your LPG boiler.
In fact, switching from oil or coal onto LPG would support reaching Net Zero by cutting your carbon footprint by 33% and up to 20% respectively. Find out more here.
LPG and bioLPG is the perfect partner for hybrid heat pumps in rural areas, they have been identified by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) as a key technology for decarbonising heat in off-grid buildings. A recent survey of rural off-grid households found that 72% would want a back-up boiler if using an electric heating system such as a heat pump.
The official name of bioLPG is biopropane. It is molecularly identical to the fossil equivalent (LPG) as both are derived from the same carbon dioxide and water molecules. It conforms to all of the standards associated with LPG supply and usage and has identical chemical, physical and combustion related properties. This includes:
The trade association for the LPG and bioLPG industry in the UK