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 Energys 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.