Propane is a widely-used fuel alternative to gasoline and natural gas. It is clean burning and portable, which makes it suitable for use in homes and at locations where there are no commercial or residential gas lines. Propane, also known as liquefied natural gas, is stored under pressure in propane tanks as a liquid. In this form, it is easy to transport and use. For many people, propane is the stuff in the tiny cylinders with the stoves you use when you go camping.
Propane is easily available and domestically produced
Propane is a by-product of oil and natural gas production processes. It is a colorless and odorless non-toxic gas. The “smell” of propane is an odor added on to make detection possible. Propane has many advantages over other fuels:
- As the lightest fossil fuel, it burns cleanly with less emissions than gasoline or natural gas.
- It is readily available, and about 90% percent of the propane fuel used in the U.S. is domestically produced.
- It is easily transported and stored. Because it is stored as a liquid under pressure, it is a more cost efficient fuel to store and transport than natural gas.
- It is cheaper than gasoline and natural gas.
- it is highly versatile and can be used for home heating and cooking, for farms and businesses, and as transportation fuel.
Propane for home heating
Propane is inexpensive and safe. That makes it the fuel of choice for 8.1 million households across the U.S. Of these, 4.6% have propane as their main heating source. Propane is also used in tankless water heaters. Propane tanks provide the main heating fuel for as many as 16% of the 6.3 million mobile/manufactured homes in the country.
Farms rely on propane fuel
Farms use propane for tasks where commercial gas and residential lines can’t reach. Propane tanks can be used to fuel farm machinery like irrigation pumps, grain dryers, generators and other farm equipment. For farms that raise chickens, portable propane heaters allow them to keep eggs and chicks at the warm temperatures needed. Propane is also used on farms for crop drying, flame cultivation, ripening fruit, and food refrigeration.
Propane is the campers’ fuel
With all its uses in homes and businesses, many people may be most familiar with propane as the fuel used by their portable camping stoves. The small propane tanks fueling camp stoves highlight all the advantages of propane – it is portable, light weight and safe. Some camping stoves can weigh as little as one pound. And they are worth their weight on a camping trip – even the hardiest of outdoor enthusiasts welcomes a hot meal and a mug of hot chocolate to end the day.
Propane services can deliver the fuel nearly anywhere. The tanks can be refilled or replaced. As a clean burning, inexpensive and easily available fuel, propane is the alternative fuel of choice.