Partnership produces propane direct injection technology

September 26, 2023 By    

The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) has partnered with Stanadyne and Katech to develop new technology that will provide fleet owners with a low-emission, high-efficiency and affordable engine solution.

The innovation combines Stanadyne’s direct injection fuel pump and injector system with Katech’s vapor lock technology to create a medium-duty engine system that can deliver propane autogas at a constant 350-bar pressure directly into the engine.

“The direct liquid injection system for high-vapor pressure gases such as propane autogas has been technically elusive until this joint partnership between PERC, Katech and Stanadyne materialized,” says Gokul Vishwanathan, PERC’s director of research and sustainability, in a news release. “This technology will be a significant enabler for high-efficiency and low-emission propane and renewable propane-powered engines and hybrids for the on-road and off-road markets.”

The engine technology overcomes vapor lock, a common technical issue when liquefied gases vaporize, which can interrupt fuel pump operation. By finding a solution, the new technology improves engine performance and efficiency, according to PERC.

The combined system fueled a standard 6.6-liter GDI engine during a 250-hour performance and durability test. The tests successfully demonstrated that the technology works with existing engines and that propane autogas can be a low-carbon, high-performance replacement for gasoline and diesel engines, the council adds.

“Internal combustion engines are the workhorses of our economy, and this advancement in technology will help them run much more sustainably using renewable fuels,” says Stanadyne President David Zimmerman. “The opportunity to partner with PERC and Katech on this initiative aligns with our commitment to developing solutions bridging the significant adoption gap between fossil-fueled propulsion and low-carbon and zero-carbon fueled vehicles.”

The partnership, says Katech lead engineer Eric Suits, has allowed Katech to focus on the development and advancement of vapor lock systems, propane direct injection engine controls and future propane direct injection engine applications.

“Collectively, we have produced a truly complimenting control strategy and delivery system necessary to ensure reliable propane direct injection operation under all operating conditions,” he says.

The new technology will help fleet owners exceed the ultra-low emissions mandates going into place in 2027, PERC says. Compared to diesel, propane autogas reduces harmful nitrogen oxide emissions by 96 percent and provides a 5 percent to 10 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, it adds. The engine technology can also utilize renewable propane, which it says has a carbon intensity four times lower than conventional diesel.

“In the short term, this engine technology provides medium-duty fleet owners with a decarbonization solution to meet their immediate goals,” says Gavin Hale, director of business development at PERC. “But the real breakthrough is the long-term impact this will have to provide fleets with exactly what they need – a powerful engine that exceeds sustainability goals and reduces fuel and operation costs to provide the lowest total cost of ownership of any energy source.”

About the Author:

Brian Richesson is the editor in chief of LP Gas Magazine. Contact him at or 216-706-3748.

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