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What is Propane?

Propane — also known as liquefied petroleum gas, or LPG, and Propane AutoGas — is a compressed gas that is stored as a liquid. Propane is nontoxic; it is not harmful to water or soil if a spill were to occur. Propane is also colorless and virtually odorless; an odorant is added so it can be detected. Propane is frequently used for space and water heating, for cooking, and as fuel for engines such as forklifts; however, its uses are quickly growing due to technological advances. When used as vehicle fuel, propane is known as Propane AutoGas.

Where Does Propane Come From?

Propane is byproduct of domestic natural gas processing and crude oil refining. U.S. propane supplies are becoming increasingly abundant due in large part to increased supplies of natural gas.

  • 97% of Propane is produced domestically, while the remaining is imported from Canada.
  • Strong growth in propane supply is projected to come from the Marcellus shale play in the northeastern U.S. Industry insiders estimate the Marcellus shale single-handedly can supply more than 2 billion gallons of propane per year.
  • Because of the extreme growth in U.S. sources of propane, the U.S. produces more than enough propane to meet current demand.

Who Uses Propane AutoGas?

Propane AutoGas is widely used as a “green” fuel, as its use reduces CO2 exhaust emissions by around 15% compared to gasoline. Propane AutoGas is the third most popular automotive fuel in the world, with approximately 16 million vehicles powered using Propane AutoGas.

Is Propane Flammable?

Yes, like gasoline, propane is flammable, but has a much narrower range of flammability than gasoline and much higher ignition temperature 920- 1020 degrees vs. 80- 300 degrees for gasoline. Propane will only burn with a fuel-to-air ratio of between 2.2% and 9.6% and will rapidly dissipate beyond its flammability range in the open atmosphere-making ignition unlikely.
Propane is non-toxic, unlike gasoline, diesel, methanol and ethanol. If a propane storage tank should ever leak, there would be no contamination danger to the surrounding soil or water.

Is My Propane Tank Safe?

Yes, your propane tank is very safe. In fact, your propane tank is safer than your gasoline tank. Instead of being made with plastic, propane tanks are made with quarter-inch steel. Propane tanks are 20x more puncture resistant than your typical gas tank.