According to Mark Roemer Oakland, LPG (A.K.A. liquified petroleum gas) is used worldwide for powering household appliances for cooking and heating. It’s a type of gas that is produced from gas fields as a co-product when refining crude oil. It’s known as liquified petroleum gas since it’s essentially a gas that has been liquified using low pressure and refrigeration.
Here are a few things you should know about LPG:
- LPG composition and properties – LPG is composed of a mixture of gasses including propylene, isobutane, propane, butylenes, and butane. It remains in a liquid or gas (vapor) state depending on the temperature of the gas and the pressure it is subjected to.
The boiling point of LPG is -42°C or –44°F and the expansion ratio from a liquid state to a gaseous state is 270. The ignition temperature of LPG is between 470°C – 550°C (878°F – 1020°F). Thus, LPG will ignite at this temperature without the need for a spark, flame, or other ignition sources.
At 20°C, the liquefaction of LPG-propane occurs when it is subjected to a pressure of about 836 kPa and at 50°C the pressure should be about 1713 kPa. And the energy content of LPG is about 25MJ per liter.
- LPG production – LPG is extracted from gas wells and oils where it is usually present as a mixture of hydrocarbons such as natural gas and crude oil. LPG is a co-product that is formed during the production of natural gas and petroleum extraction.
During the LPG production process, all impurities including water are removed from the source and separate gasses are also formed during the process. These include propane, butane, methane, pentanes, ethane, and isobutane. However, while propane and butane are captured and stored in their liquid form, the other gasses produced are funneled into their own supply streams.
The LPG supply chain includes drilling wells, processing, vaporization, transport, gas regulators, and gas applications.
- LPG transportation – LPG is stored in either liquid or gas (vapor) form at an adequate amount of pressure in LPG storage vessels such as cylinders, gas tubes, and reservoirs. However, since it has a gaseous volume that is 270 times that of its liquid state, it is almost always transported or shipped in its liquid form.
LPG is typically transported via cylinder trucks, cars, intermodal containers, rail, pipelines, tanker trucks, and municipal gas reticulation facilities.
- LPG has a chance to become a renewable source of energy – Most people believe that LPG is made from traditional fossil fuels which are a limited source of energy. While that is true, scientists have found a way to produce propane by genetically engineering the common E. coli bacteria. Thus, there is a high chance that LPG can become a renewable source of energy in the future.
Mark Roemer Oakland suggests you not worry about storing LPG cylinders in your house or using LPG for cooking or heating water. Unlike what is portrayed in Hollywood and media, it’s quite rare for LPG cylinders to explode, and the likelihood of an explosion occurring naturally is no more than piped natural gas.