Creating an Energy Efficient Lifestyle at Home

All About Propane

Whether you want to explore alternative fuel types or are simply interested in learning about the various types of fuel, you should delve into the world of propane. Like gasoline, propane is a popular fuel source in the United States. However, it has several key advantages over other types of fuel, which make propane the ideal choice in many situations. Here is an introduction to propane that will explain exactly what this fuel is and why you should consider using it:

What is propane?

Propane is a type of fuel that is very popular due to its relatively low cost, value in cooking applications, and environmental friendliness. From a technical perspective, propane releases heat by breaking bonds between carbon atoms and between carbon and hydrogen atoms.

Among fuels, propane has the somewhat unique property of being a gas at room temperatures under standard pressure. This essentially means that propane must be stored in special pressurized containers in order to take up the minimum amount of space.

What is it used for?

The most common use of propane is as a fuel for barbecues and various other heating units. Since propane is a gas at room temperature, it does not require a complex engine to heat the propane prior to burning it. This is why most barbecues or portable stoves use a canister of propane as their primary fuel source. 

A small valve releases a bit of propane at a time, which rapidly boils into a gas and is then burned to create flames. The heat from these flames can then be used to directly heat food, to warm up a conductive surface, or even to heat charcoal.

How much does it cost?

In general, you can expect to pay around $2-2.50 for a gallon of propane in the United States. This will obviously vary depending on location due to transportation costs, potential taxes, and other factors. Regardless, you will probably pay much less for propane than you would for the equivalent amount of gasoline.

In terms of efficiency, propane provides a bit less energy per gallon than gasoline. However, the lower price of propane means that you will spend less on propane than you would on gasoline.

Propane and automobiles

Propane is not as popular as gasoline or diesel as far as vehicle fuels go, but it is the third-most popular option and is rapidly increasing in popularity. Propane is much more environmentally friendly, since it produces less harmful byproducts.

Safety concerns

One of the biggest drawbacks of propane is how dangerous it can be. If stored improperly, propane can pose a fire-starting risk. For instance, if there is a leak in your propane container, then flammable gas will rapidly fill the room. If this is followed by any sparks, you risk an explosion or fire.

For more information, contact a company like Mills Fuel Service Inc.