Propane has become an indispensable part of our modern life. But what exactly is it and where does it come from?
Propane is a fossil fuel and is extracted from the ground with natural gas and oil. It can be produced as a result of two different processes. First it is a by-product of natural gas processing as it needs to be removed along with ethane and butane in order to prevent its condensation in the pipelines. It also is a result of the cracking of petroleum into gasoline or heating oil. Rather than throwing away this valuable material a purpose has been found for it.
Since propane is a result of the refining process, the U.S. is a major supplier of propane to the world and around 90% of the propane that you use is produced here (and if it is not produced here its produced in Canada). The propane is stored in old salt caverns and when needed it is transported via a pipeline to trucks or ships. Propane is generally stored in steel cylinders as a liquid and because of its low boiling point (-44 F) it is released into the air as a vapor.
Besides being popular with cooking but is also used in glass making, brick making, and any industry that needs portable heating. It is also becoming the go-to heating source in the developing world. It can also be used as a fuel for vehicles, most popularly forklifts and other vehicles used indoors, as its exhaust fumes are less toxic than diesel or gasoline and it is also popular with lawn equipment as it reduces air pollution. Other uses include blowtorches, hot air balloons, aerosols, and by Hollywood to produce inexpensive, high volume explosions for its motion pictures.
If you need propane for you home or business in South Central PA, get in touch with us below for a free quote!