Written on: November 21, 2022
The discovery of propane, whose chemical formula is C₃H₈, is credited to Edmund Ronalds, an English academic, and industrial chemist. He made his discovery in 1864 while researching volatile chemicals in crude oil.
The next big advancement came about in 1910 when American chemist Walter O. Snelling conducted research into gasoline evaporation and storage and found that certain evaporating gases could be changed into liquids. Out of all the gases, propane proved to be the most plentiful.
Snelling then created a method to bottle the liquid gas, leading to the creation of the propane industry. Bottle gas, or bottled gas, is a term still being used today for propane.
Over the years, businesses and scientists have worked diligently to make propane the viable fuel source it represents today. The process itself of making propane has evolved over the last century or so. Today, there are two primary ways propane is produced.
Because propane is created through the processing of natural gas and crude oil, it is a fuel that is largely a domestic product. In fact, about 90% of the American propane supply is generated right here in the United States! That abundant, right-at-home supply in your propane tank makes propane a reliable fuel choice for your Georgia home or business, and all its potential appliances and equipment, throughout the year.
Some propane is created during the process of crude oil refining. There are a lot of products that can be derived from crude oil refining, including gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene, jet fuel and heating oil—and propane as well. During the stabilization phase of the refining, the heavier hydrocarbons fall to the bottom. But propane, being a lighter hydrocarbon, is at the top and it’s easily extracted.
The process of crude oil refining plays a small role in the production of propane, however. The majority of propane is derived today from natural gas production. When we take natural gas out of the earth, it is a mix of different gases. One of these gases is propane.
To stop condensation from forming in natural gas pipelines, propane is extracted from liquid compounds as the natural gas is being processed. Butane is also extracted during this process. Propane, being much denser as a liquid than as a gas, is stored and transported as a liquid in this form of production.
Propane is an ideal fuel for many purposes, even beyond your water heater and heating your home with your furnace, boiler, space heater, or fireplace. It’s also useful for stoves and grills, as well as for outdoor use, including lawnmowers, pool heating, and outside lighting. And the peace of mind is never far off when you have a propane-fueled generator. So, you really have a lot of options when you get your propane delivery.
Homes that are run on electricity are actually less energy efficient than those running on propane. Since propane naturally burns hotter, it feels warmer, and the energy produced creates a larger impact. Your energy bills will cost less with such an efficient fuel working for you, especially when paired with propane appliances.
Propane is a clean-burning fossil fuel that was recognized as an alternative fuel in both the 1990 Clean Air Act and the 1992 National Energy Policy. Unlike natural gas, propane does not contain methane, a potent greenhouse gas. In the rare event of a leak, propane has no detrimental impact on the air, soil, water, aquatic life, marine life, or plant life.
Today’s high-efficiency propane heating systems and other propane appliances such as water heaters have high-efficiency ratings. That efficiency, along with propane’s clean-burning properties, allows you to reduce your home’s carbon footprint without having to sacrifice comfort or convenience.
Please reach out to your local Georgia propane supplier if you have questions about propane delivery, your propane tank, or anything else.