file:ARBrpt9811 April 21, 1999

SCAQMD Contract No: 98108

 ARB LPG Fuel Blends Evaluation Project

November 1998 Progress Report

submitted to:

LPG Fuel Blends Evaluation Project Task Group and Co-Sponsors

American Automobile Manufacturers Association, ARCO Products Co., California Air Resources Board, Cummins Engine Co., Engine Manufacturers Association, Equilon, Ford Motor Co., GFI, IMPCO, National Propane Gas Association, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Natural Resources Canada, Propane Education and Research Council, Railroad Commission of Texas Alternative Fuels Research & Education Division, South Coast Air Quality Management District, Tosco Refining Co., and Western States Petroleum Association


  1. Executive Summary

ORTECH's Final Report of the Medium-duty emissions tests on a Cummins B5.9LPG engine was sent to the Task Group. Final analysis of the Light-duty emissions tests on a Ford F150 Bi-Fuel Truck at ARB Haagen Smit Laboratory (ARB-El Monte) (completed in September) continued. The LPG fuel blends' main components are listed in Tables 1 and 2. Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) began Performance/Combustion tests. Test fuels were ordered. Durability test proposals continued to be reviewed. Project fundraising and management continued.

 II.	Test Program Work Performed

  1. Fuel Properties and Octane Testing

Dixie composition test results (on Aeriform cylinders used at ARB-El Monte) were received and compared with May's results (see comparison table in appendices). ADEPT completed its analysis of potential LPG liquid composition changes as container level decreases during liquid withdrawal.

  1. Medium-Duty Engine (Cummins B5.9LPG) Emissions Tests at ORTECH.

Emissions tests ended in August. ORTECH's Final Report was completed and sent to Task Group. See prior monthly reports for further detail (April 1998 ­ October 1998).

Table 1 lists all the fuels used by ORTECH. The italicized percentages represent Dixie's actual test results whereas the percentages in normal text represent the supplier's figures.

Table 1: Compositions by Percent Volume of Fuels at ORTECH*


Propane Propylene N-Butane
Certification Fuel

From Aeriform





Certification Fuel

From Phillips




Test Fuel #1

From Aeriform







Test Fuel #2

From Aeriform







Test Fuel #2

From Phillips




Test Fuel #3

From Aeriform




Test Fuel #4

From Aeriform




*As indicated by supplier. Italics indicate composition analysis from Dixie.

 ADEPT's research combined with that of a UCLA School of Engineering statistics expert found that there was not enough data to produce a predictive model that would define a family of blends of propane, n-butane, and propylene. Only Certification Fuel and Fuel #1 satisfied the equivalent criteria for all emissions. Nevertheless, an equivalency model can be developed if further emission tests are conducted (estimated at $120K) to define a broader population of fuel blends passing the equivalency criteria.

The question arose if and how coefficients of variability (delta) for the emissions results of the five test fuels can be combined with that of the Certification Fuel when using delta as a GO/NO GO criteria to select fuels for further tests.

With help from a UCLA School of Engineering statistical expert, ADEPT concluded that:

  1. It is inappropriate to average the delta's for the five fuels tested with the delta from the Certification Fuel runs. Such an approach has a high probability of error and does not provide enough confidence.
  2. It is appropriate to only use the delta derived from the nine (9) emission tests on Certification Fuel. The probability of error is relatively low and the confidence level is acceptable.

  1. Light-Duty Truck (F150 Bi-Fuel) Emissions Tests at ARB Haagen Smit Laboratory

Light-duty tests ended in September.

Table 2 lists all fuels used by ARB-El Monte.

 Table 2: Compositions by Percent Volume of Fuels at ARB-El Monte*


Propane Propylene N-Butane
Certification Fuel A

From Aeriform







Certification Fuel B

From Aeriform







Test Fuel #1

From Aeriform







Test Fuel #1

From Phillips




Test Fuel #2

From Aeriform







Test Fuel #3

From Aeriform







Test Fuel #4

From Aeriform







Test Fuel #5

From Phillips




*As indicated by supplier. Italics indicate composition analysis from Dixie.

Table 3 summarizes emission results as of September 14, 1998.

 Table 3: Preliminary Emission Test Results for Light-Duty Truck



Base Fuel 0.033 0.040 0.050 1.74 0.042
Fuel #1 0.029 0.037 0.055 2.03 0.044
Fuel #2 0.038 0.043 0.057 2.08 0.068
Fuel #3 0.040 0.051 0.052 1.58 0.059
Fuel #4 0.048 0.040 0.070 2.74 0.068
Fuel #5 --- 0.053 0.039 2.08 ---

Note: Table provided by ARB.


  1. Performance/Combustion Tests

The SwRI contract was received and signed. Work began (Progress Report no. 1 is an appendice).

ADEPT authorized SwRI to buy needed engine parts that were not delivered with the engine sold by El Dorado National. The fuel received from Air Liquide was out of spec. A new batch was ordered. It is due to arrive in mid-December (at no cost to the project).


  1. Durability Tests

Final proposal modifications were received from ORTECH and SwRI. ADEPT continued to evaluate the proposals. A recommendation will be made in December.


  1. Project Management Support and Administrative Work Performed

A.	Project Fundraising

ADEPT continued contract preparation for the $25,000 in Propane Education and Research Council (PERC) funding. Contract preparation will continue in December. South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) approved funding for a new B5.9LPG engine for the Performance/Combustion tests.

ADEPT awaits responses from: California Energy Commission (CEC) Dynegy/Chevron, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA) approved and submitted $1,000 in funding. Funding from the Sacramento Air Quality Management District (SMAQMD) for the durability test engine remains in limbo until warranty issues on the Cummins B5.9LPG engine are resolved. AFRED funding contract execution continues to be delayed.

  1. Project Expenditures

Table 4 shows November expenditures and total expenditures to date.

 Table 4: November Expenditures and Total Expenditures to Date


Funds Expended

In November
Funds Expended

to Date
Fuel (Air Liquide, Phillips) $0.00 $12,690.85
Emissions Tests (ORTECH) $27,306.35 $176,350.82
Perf./Comb. Tests (SwRI) $15,000.00 $15,000.00
Fuel Properties (Dixie) $604.00 $10,283.50
Engine $1,258.97 $17,063.47
Project Management $203.70 $28,111.66
Attorney Fees $0.00 $2,250.00
Subcontractor $0.00 $473.29
Miscellaneous $64.94 $714.02
Total $42,437.96 $262,937.61

Project Account Balance at month's end: $3,283.47

Table 5 shows total funds received to date, by respective funder.	

Table 5: Total Funds Received to Date

Funder Amount
ARCO $45,000.00
EMA $1,000.00
NPGA $8,920.00
NRCan $143,441.03
SCAQMD $45,000.00
Shell $36,000.00
WPGA $10,800.00
Total $290,161.03
C.	Project Contracts and Other Documents

All signatures for filing the MOU were received except for Cummins and Tosco. The Tosco contract was finalized. The Alternative Fuels Research and Education Division (AFRED) contract is in suspension pending resolution of issues at AFRED. The Disclosure of Joint Research Venture Filing is undergoing legal review at ARCO.

On November 10, ARB held a workshop on a proposed LPG fuel standard based on data from this project as well as other sources. For further detail on this workshop and corresponding materials, contact Mr. Tony Brasil, ARB [(916) 323-8967].

Travel associated with effort described:

ADEPT participated in the ARB November 10, 1998 workshop.


  1. Work planned for the next reporting period (December 1 - 31, 1998)

Project Management-ADEPT

  1. Continue general project management.
  2. Prepare and complete funding contracts for co-sponsors.
  3. Continue fundraising.
  4. Monitor Performance/Combustion tests.
  5. Review proposals for Durability tests. Recommend a lab.

Test Program

  1. ARB-El Monte will finalize results and submit a draft Final Report.
  2. SwRI will continue Performance/Combustion tests.

 V. 	Attachments:

 Project Timeline (GANTT Chart)

Dixie composition matrix

ARB excerpt from board meeting (11/20)

ARB-El Monte cylinder list (11/12)

Dixie test results (11/9)

Phillips 66 test results (11/10)

SwRI progress report (11/30)

VI.	Disclaimer

This report was prepared by ADEPT as result of work co-sponsored by the SCAQMD and Task Group members. Opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations within are those of the author and do not necessarily represent SCAQMD's views. SCAQMD, their officers, employees, contractors, and subcontractors make no warranty, expressed or implied, and assumes no legal liability for the information in this report. SCAQMD has not approved or disapproved this report, nor have they passed upon the accuracy or adequacy of the information contained herein.


  1. Glossary of Acronyms

AFRED Alternative Fuels Research and Education Division

AA Amendment Authorization

ARB California Air Resources Board

ARB-El Monte ARB Haagen Smit Laboratory in El Monte, CA

CO carbon monoxide

EMA Engine Manufacturers Association

g/mi grams per mile

LPG liquefied petroleum gases

MOU memorandum of understanding

NMOG non-methane organic gases

NOx oxides of nitrogen

PGAC Propane Gas Association of Canada

SCAQMD South Coast Air Quality Management District

SMAQMD Sacramento Air Quality Management District

SwRI Southwest Research Institute

TAC Technical Assessment Committee

THC total hydrocarbons

WPGA Western Propane Gas Association