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Propane Facts

Some interesting information about propane.

Defining Propane:
Propane is a hydrocarbon (C3H8) and is sometimes referred to as liquefied petroleum gas, LP-gas or LPG. Propane is produced from both natural gas processing and crude oil refining, in roughly equal amounts. It is nontoxic, colorless and virtually odorless. As with natural gas, a strong identifying odor is added so the gas can be readily detected.

Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) consists mainly of propane, propylene, butane, and butylene in various mixtures. However, for all fuels in the United States, the mixture is mainly propane. The components of LPG are gases at normal temperatures and pressures.

Chemical Properties: LPG, like natural gas and unlike gasoline, is a simple mixture of hydrocarbons, mainly propane/propylene (C3S) and butane/butylene (C4S).


Propane Properties:
Propane expands to 270 times it's volume (270 to 1)

Propane boils at -44°F

Propane is a nontoxic gas. In comparison methanol, gasoline, diesel, and ethanol are listed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) as toxic liquids. Methanol mixes readily with groundwater and is virtually unremovable once it enters the soil or water supply. Propane is released as a gas and will not contaminate soil or groundwater supplies. Therefore, propane is exempt from the USEPA's tough underground storage regulations.

Propane is clean burning and non-toxic.

Propane and Safety
Propane has quite a remarkable safety record, due in large part to the stringent codes and regulations developed by the propane industry and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Statistics compiled by the NFPA indicate that the safest way to heat is with gas.

Propane has Built-in Safety Properties.

Propane won't ignite when combined with air unless the source of ignition reaches 940° F.

Propane gas is nontoxic and produces minimal emissions.

Propane is not harmful to soil or water.

PERC teaches the safe use of propane with an effective preventive maintenance program, GAS CheckŪ (Gas Appliance System Check).


Propane Sources:
Over 88 percent of the current propane use in this country comes from our own sources. Of this, 70 percent comes from the processing of natural gas. The U.S., Canada, and Mexico have extensive natural gas reserves. The majority (75 percent) of imported propane comes from Canada.

Approximately 97 percent of the U.S. propane supply is produced in North America, and 88 percent of that is produced in the U.S.

Source: Propane Education & Research Council.


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