What is Liquid Petroleum Gas?
Commonly referred to as Propane, LP Gas is one of the nation’s most versatile sources of energy, and supplies about 4 percent of our total energy needs.
Propane exists as a liquid and a gas. At atmospheric pressure and temperatures above –44 F, it is a non-toxic, colorless and odorless gas. Just as with natural gas, an identifying odor is added so it can be readily detected. When contained in an approved cylinder or tank, propane exists as a liquid and vapor. The vapor is released from the container as a clean-burning fuel gas. Propane is 270 times more compact as a liquid than as a gas, making it economical to store and transport as a liquid.
Approximately 90 percent of the United States’ propane supply is produced domestically, while 70 percent of the remaining supply is imported from Canada and Mexico. Approximately equal amounts of propane come from the refining of crude oil and from natural gas processing. Thus, propane is a readily available, secure energy source whose environmental benefits are widely recognized. Propane is an approved, alternative clean fuel listed in the 1990 Clean Air Act, as well as the National Energy Policy Act of 1992.
IN THE HOME
Consumers use propane for heating and cooling homes, heating water, cooking, refrigeration, drying clothes, barbecuing, lighting, and relaxing in front of the gas fireplace.
AS AN ALTERNATIVE FUEL FOR VEHICLES
Propane gas is the most widely used alternative fuel, with nearly 4 million vehicles worldwide running on propane. More than 350,000 vehicles run on propane in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center.
FOR RECREATIONAL USE
Because propane is portable and clean-burning, it is used by millions of recreational vehicle owners and camping enthusiasts.
ON THE FARM
Propane is a staple on 660,000 farms, where it is used in a wide range of agricultural applications, such as crop drying, flame cultivation, fruit ripening, space heating, water heating, refrigeration and the running of farm engines.
COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL USES
More than 1 million commercial establishments, such as hotels, restaurants and laundromats use propane in the same way a homeowner does: for heating and cooling air, heating water, cooking, refrigeration, drying clothes, barbecuing, and lighting. More than 350,000 industrial sites rely on it for space heating, brazing, soldering, cutting, heat treating, annealing, vulcanizing, and many other uses. Petrochemical industries use propane in the manufacture of plastics.