“I spent a couple of years working on developing a propane engine for a handheld string trimmer,” Herzer said. “Propane is a great alternative to gasoline for a number of reasons. On average it’s about 30 percent cheaper than gasoline. Plus propane burns a lot cleaner, with about 65 percent less carbon emissions than gasoline.
“Propane has taken over many segments of the automotive industry, including powering taxi fleets in some of the busiest metropolitan areas in the country. The conversion to propane has also increased air quality. People don’t like being around cancercausing chemicals if they can help it.”
If Herzer’s credentials as a sea captain are impressive, his credentials as a captain of industry are equally impressive. He holds over 50 patents and has won numerous awards and prizes over the years for his inventions. He is also the founder and CEO of Lehr, which he started after he noticed gasoline spillage polluting the water on a voyage in the North Sea. Those spills and how to prevent them were the genesis of Herzer’s propanepowered inventions.
“The great thing about propane is it’s a closed system,” he said. “That means when you have propane powering your marine engine you don’t have to worry about your fuel leaking into the water and leaving a sheen on the water. There is no overflow or venting needed. We’ve all been there, and it’s somewhat embarrassing when it happens. Even if you did leak propane, it evaporates at 30 degrees celsius so it would be gone before it even touched the water.” While Herzer’s vision is still in it’s infancy, particularly in the marine segment, he’s seen growth in other areas of his business. That growth leads him to believe his marine dreams will succeed as well.
Propane has taken over many segments of the automotive industry, including powering taxi fleets in some of the busiest metropolitan areas in the country. The conversion to propane has also increased air quality.
In the near future, the performance of propanefueled marine engines will continue to develop, driving continued growth in the segment. That is a positive for innovators like Capt. Herzer, for costconscious boaters and for the environment.