What is Propane: Definition, Formula, Physical Properties, Uses & Facts

Propane is a naturally occurring gas composed of three carbon atoms and eight hydrogen atoms. It is classified as LPG along with butane and mixtures of these gases. Propane is sometimes known as liquefied petroleum gas. Propane is produced as a by-product of two other processes, natural gas processing, and petroleum refining. The processing of natural gas involves removal of butane, propane, and large amounts of ethane from the raw gas, in order to prevent condensation of this volatiles in natural gas pipelines. We use propane gas to heat our homes and hot water, cooking our food, powers our BBQs and fuels our cars. It is also used by business and agricultural for all sorts of application.

Where is propane found?

Where is propane found

Propane is produced as a by-product of two other processes, natural gas processing, and petroleum refining. Because propane has natural origins, it is not made of other raw materials instead, it is found in petroleum chemical mixtures deep within the earth. These petroleum mixtures are literally rock oil, combinations of various hydrocarbon-rich fluids. Propane is a fossil fuel that does not occur in isolation. Propane is found naturally in combination with other hydrocarbons. It is produced during natural gas processing and oil refining. It is isolated, liquefied through pressurization and stored in pressure vessels.

The formula of propane:

The formula of propane


Physical Properties for Propane:

Physical Properties for Propane


Formula   C3H8

Molecular Weight (lb/mol) is 44.10

Critical Temp. (°F) is 206.6

Critical Pressure (psi) is 617.6

Boiling Point (°F) is -43.7

Melting Point (°F) is -305.8

Pat @ 70°F (paisa) is 124.9

Liquid Density @ 70°F (lb/ft3 is 31.12

Gas Density @ 70°F 1 atm (lb/ft3)  is 0.1160

Specific Volume @ 70°F 1 atm (ft3/lb) is  8.62

Specific Gravity is 1.576

Specific Heat @ 70°F (Btu/lbmol-°F) is 17.71

Uses of propone:

Uses of propone

The three LPG uses most people can name are cooking, heating and hot water.  The gas is typically supplied in LPG 45kg gas bottles.

  • It is used in homes for cooking, hot water, heating and BBQ purpose.
  • For electricity like generators, gas turbines, co-gen, and tri-gen.
  • In leisure- boats, recreational vehicles.
  • In use of camping for caravan parks, camp compounds, and camping.
  • In hospitality industry like hotels, restaurants, clubs, and pubs.
  • For transportation process like autogas, taxis, buses, commercial vehicles.
  • Business and industry purpose boilers, forklifts, ovens, and furnaces.
  • In agriculture zones like crop drying, greenhouses, flame weeding.
  • In fun activities like hot air balloons and ice rink resurfacing.

Propane Facts:

Propane Facts

  1. Propane is LPG but not all LPG is propane. LPG is the acronym for Liquefied Petroleum Gas.
  2. Propane is a flammable hydrocarbon gas that is liquefied through pressurization and commonly used as fuel.
  3. Propane comes from natural gas processing and petroleum refining.
  4. Propane is LPG but not all LPG is propane. Propane, along with a number of gases, falls under the “LPG” label. The other gases include butane n-butane and i-butane, as well as mixtures of the three LPG gases.
  5. Propane gas can be compressed into a liquid at relatively low pressure.
  6. Propane is frequently used for fuel in heating, cooking, hot water and vehicles.
  7. Propane is generally stored, as a liquid, in steel vessels ranging from small BBQ gas bottles to larger gas cylinders and storage tanks.

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