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Five Questions about Propane

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Propane is one of the most efficient, effective, and versatile energy sources around…but how much do you know about this clean, green fuel?

Here are some quick propane facts – to learn more, visit the Canada Propane Association website.

1. What is propane?
Propane (also called liquid propane or LP) is clean-burning fuel comprised of carbon and hydrogen atoms. A by-product of natural gas processing and petroleum refining, propane is a gas at normal temperature and pressure, but compressible to a liquid for easy transport. Its chemical symbol is C3H8.

2. How is propane stored and transported?
At normal temperature and pressure, propane is a gas. It changes to a liquid when cooled and pressurized to about twice the pressure in a normal truck tire. It is stored and transported in liquid form, but vapourized into a gas for use. Propane can withstand very low temperatures, making it an ideal fuel for cold climates: even at -40°C (-40°F), it can still be vapourized for burning.

3. What are the physical characteristics of propane?
In its natural form, propane is an odorless gas; an odourant – ethyl mercaptan – is added by producers to make leaks easier to detect. In a liquid form, propane is half the weight of water; it vapourizes at -42.2°C (-44°F). About 23.5 cubic feet (0.66 m3) of air is needed to burn one cubic foot (0.028 m3) of propane; when fully burned, propane produces clean water vapour and carbon dioxide.

4. How can propane be used?
Propane is one of the most versatile fuels around, able to be used in many applications at home, at work, and even on the road. Here are some of propane’s many uses:

At Home:

  • Furnaces, boilers, and space heaters
  • Water heaters
  • Clothes dryers
  • Fireplaces, pot-bellied stoves, and fireplace inserts
  • Cooking ranges
  • Patio heaters
  • Spa or pool heaters
  • Outdoor fire pits, gas lights, and gas grills

On the road:

  • School and municipal buses
  • Light- to medium-duty truck fleets
  • Touring vans
  • Police cars

In agriculture:

  • Grain drying
  • Space heating for barns and greenhouses
  • Powering irrigation and other systems

In Industry:

  • Temporary construction heating
  • Powering fork lifts
  • Mining operations
  • Metal processing

5. What are the eco benefits of propane?
Recognized by Canada’s Alternative Fuels Act, propane is one of most eco-friendly fuels around. A clean-burning energy source, propane is low carbon, emits virtually no air pollutants, and can be transported safely and easily. In the event of a leak, propane does not pool like heating oil or other liquid fuels; it simply vapourizes and dissipates.

Propane can:

  • Fuel vehicles that produce far fewer harmful emissions than traditional fuels.
  • Provide heat and power to rural and remote communities.
  • Offer farms a chemical-free way to control pests and weeds.
  • Provide a “greener” way to dry crops and heat barns.
  • Provide a reliable source of backup power.

Get to know propane – and get to know the most reliable propane supplier in our service area. Contact Core Fuels today to learn more about what propane can do for your home or business.

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