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. It is nontoxic, colorless and virtually odorless. As with natural gas, an identifying odor is added so the gas can be readily detected.
The propane industry has developed numerous methods to make the transport and use of propane safe, with propane equipment and appliances are manufactured to rigorous safety standards.
Propane has a narrow range of flammability when compared with other petroleum products. In order to ignite, the propane/air mix must contain from 2.2 to 9.6 percent propane vapor. If the mixture contains less than 2.2 percent gas, it is too lean to burn. If it contains more than 9.6 percent, it is too rich to burn.
Propane won’t ignite when combined with air unless the source of ignition reaches at least 940 degrees Fahrenheit. In contrast, gasoline will ignite when the source of ignition reaches only 430 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
And if propane leaks, it simply vaporizes, dissipates into the air, and won’t be ingested.
Propane is used by millions of people in many different environments-homes, industry, farming and more.
More than 14 million families use propane to fuel their furnaces, water heaters, air conditioners, outdoor grills, fire places, dryers and range tops. Because propane produces minimal emissions, it is safe to use indoors.
As a result, nearly 500,000 forklift trucks are powered by propane. Millions more choose this clean-burning alternative for bus, taxi, delivery and other fleets to minimize air pollution in metropolitan areas.
Propane is used on 660,000 farms for irrigation pumps, grain dryers, standby generators and other farm equipment. It is an essential fuel for crop drying, flame cultivation, fruit ripening, space and water heating and food refrigeration.
Propane is easy to transport and can be used in areas beyond the natural gas mains. Because it is 270 times more compact as a liquid than as a gas, it is economical to store and transport as a liquid.