Liquefied petroleum gas is being used to replace substances which have been proven to be harmful to the earth’s ozone layer. And that is just one benefit!
Liquefied petroleum gas is a mixture of light gaseous hydrocarbons (ethane, propane, butane, etc.) made liquid by pressure and is commonly used as fuel in heating appliances, cooking equipment and vehicles. It is also used an aerosol propellant and a refrigerant. When liquefied petroleum gas is used as fuel for vehicles it is referred to as auto-gas – although there are a limited number of commercial vehicles that can use this fuel.
Liquefied petroleum gas is created by refining petroleum or natural gas and is almost entirely derived from fossil fuel sources. It was first created by in 1910 and currently provides approximately 3% of all energy consumed world-wide. Because it is a gas, it does not pose a pollution threat to ground or water sources. It also burns relatively cleanly with no soot and very few sulphur emissions. The gas evaporates very quickly at standard room temperatures and is usually supplied in pressurised steel gas bottles.
There are a wide variety of uses for liquefied petroleum gas across a number of industries – including agricultural, recreation, hospitality, construction etc. The gas is provided to these industries in cylinders of various sizes. The gas can serve as fuel for cooking, central heating and for water heating and is a particularly cost-effective and efficient way to heat off-grid homes. Liquefied petroleum gas is used for cooking in many countries for economic and convenience reasons. Predominantly in Europe, the gas can provide an alternative to electricity and heating oil – it is most often used in areas that do not have direct access to piped natural gas.
There is legislation in place for the supply, installation and use of liquefied petroleum gas to all sites for safety purposes. The danger does not only lie in the possible explosion of the mixture of gas and air but also in the quality and condition of the gas bottles. Gas bottles have a limited life span which is often reduced by the rough handling and storage of the bottles.