Elgas LPG Gas Blog

LPG Gas Manufacturing Process: Where Do We Get LPG Gas From - How is LPG Gas Made

LPG is produced by refining crude oil or processing raw natural gas, all of which are sourced from fossil fuel. LPG is produced by stripping it from the “wet” natural gas stream as it comes out of the well or separating it from the crude oil during LPG refinery process.

Whilst liquid under pressure when released from pressure at ambient temperature, it is gaseous. It is stored and transported in LPG cylinders as a liquid under moderate pressure.

The gases produced in the LPG production process are mainly propane and butane, with small fractions of other NGL gases.

LPG

Liquefied petroleum gas - LPG - is either propane, butane or a mixture of the two. LPG is flammable hydrocarbon gas used as fuel for gas heaters, hot water, gas cooking and to fuel vehicles.

What is LPG Made Up Of?

LPG gas bottles - What is LPG made up of?

LPG is made up of carbon and hydrogen atoms forming propane and butane whilst natural gas is made up of lighter methane, the simplest carbon and hydrogen molecule.

LPG is comprised primarily of propane and butane, whilst the natural gas primary constituent is methane. LPG is made up of a group of flammable hydrocarbon gases that are liquefied through pressurisation and commonly used as fuel. Natural gas is liquefied cryogenically.

LPG is made up of a number of gases under the LPG products label, including propane, butane, isobutane and mixtures of these gases and are also referred to as natural gas liquids – NGL.

LPG is stored in steel vessels ranging from small BBQ gas bottles to larger gas cylinders and tanks.

Where Do We Get LPG Gas From - Where Does Propane Come From

LPG gas (propane) comes from oil and gas wells, as it is a fossil fuel. Then LPG process continues with LPG coming from two LPG gas manufacturing process sources: natural gas processing and crude oil refining, where it is a co-product of both. 60% of LPG-propane comes from natural gas processing "stripper plants" and 40% of LPG-propane comes from the crude oil refinery process.

LPG manufacturing process (LPG production process) starts with where LPG (propane) comes from – drilling oil and gas wells. Then the LPG (propane) comes from the LPG gas manufacturing process continuing from when the LPG gas is made or obtained during natural gas processing and crude oil refining.

LPG comes from a natural combination with other hydrocarbons. LPG is a fossil fuel that comes from drilling oil and gas wells and does not occur in isolation.

LPG Process

The LPG process begins with natural gas processing and crude oil refining. This is a precursor to the LPG process and LPG products, as it separates the LPG from the raw natural gas and oil, which is the beginning of the LPG refinery process.

The LPG process continues with LPG fractionation, to separate the LPG into its constituent gases: propane, butane and isobutane. It is then placed in large LPG tanks and LPG cylinders for storage and distribution.

LPG Manufacturing Process - Summary

Liquefied petroleum gas – LPG – is produced by stripping it from the raw natural gas stream during natural gas processing and during crude refinery process. The primary LPG constituents produced are propane and butane, with small amounts of other natural gas liquids. Liquefied through pressurization, LPG is easier to store and transport.

LPG is produced during fractional distillation of crude oil or is separated during natural gas processing. To transport or store it, LPG gas needs to be liquefied under pressure. LPG can be stored or transported in LPG gas cylinders or vessels. If released from pressure, LPG gas is emitted.

How is LPG Gas Made - LPG Production Process - LPG Gas Manufacturing - Natural Gas Processing

Where does LPG come from - production processLPG comes from two sources, with roughly 60% stripped from raw natural gas during natural gas processing and the approximately 40% of the LPG coming from crude oil refinery process. LPG is a co-product that occurs naturally. It is stored and distributed in LPG gas cylinders and larger vessels.

LPG gas is made from an LPG gas manufacturing process (LPG production process) that occurs during the natural gas processing and fractional distillation of crude oil. LPG comes from separation during natural gas processing using an LPG gas refrigeration manufacturing process (NGL fractionation process). LPG is made from crude oil refining and comes from fractional distillation of crude oil using an LPG fractionation type of LPG manufacturing process (LPG production process).

This LPG can be used as is or separated into its three primary parts: propane, butane and isobutane.

LPG - Liquefied Petroleum Gas - comes from the LPG gas manufacturing process (LPG production process) and is stored pressurised as a liquid in cylinders or tanks.

LPG Plant Process Description - LPG Process Description - Summary

An LPG - Liquefied Petroleum Gas - plant process description summary starts with raw natural gas going through natural gas processing whilst the crude oil goes through fractional distillation of crude oil. The NGL (natural gas liquids) condensate that results from both processes is then put through LPG fractionation to separate it into its constituent gases: propane, butane and isobutane. It is then ready for use, after the addition of ethyl mercaptan, as the safety odourant.

LPG products include propane, butane, isobutane and mixtures of these gases and are also referred to as natural gas liquids – NGL. The LPG process (LPG production process) consists of the natural gas refinery process, fractional distillation of crude oil and LPG manufacturing involving these hydrocarbons.

What is LPG Made Up Of?

LPG gas bottles - What is LPG made up of?

LPG is made up of a group of flammable hydrocarbon gases that are liquefied through pressurisation and commonly used as fuel.

LPG is made up of a number of gases under the “LPG” label. LPG products include propane, butane, isobutane and mixtures of these gases and are also referred to as natural gas liquids – NGL.

LPG is stored in steel vessels ranging from small BBQ gas bottles to larger gas cylinders and tanks.

What is Natural Gas Made of

Natural gas is made of methane, propane, butane, isobutane, ethane, ethene, propene, isobutene, butadiene, pentane, pentene and pentanes plus, as raw unrefined natural gas. Refined natural gas is made of almost entirely methane.

The LPG Name Game

What you get when you buy “LPG” can depend on the country you buy it in and/or the application.

In Australia, LPG is propane.  The exception is autogas, which can be a propane/butane blend.

In New Zealand, "LPG" is generally a propane/butane blend.

In the USA they call it "Propane", which is what they sell, and generally don't even use the term "LPG".

LPG may also be referred to as a Natural Gas Liquids - NGLs - along with propane, butane, isobutane, ethane, pentane and pentanes plus (natural gasoline).

It needs a little help to “find itself”…

How is Cooking Gas Produced - How to Make LPG Gas

Cooking gas can be either LPG or natural gas. LPG cooking gas is produced using the LPG manufacturing process (how to make LPG) that occurs during natural gas processing and oil refinery processing. We make LPG and natural gas cooking gas during natural gas processing. 

How to Make LPG Gas at Home

How to make LPG gas at home is more correctly stated as how to make use of LPG gas at home. We can't do LPG gas manufacturing process at home. LPG gas at home is used for heating, cooking, hot water, auto LPG for LPG cars, BBQ gas and to fuel home generators.

Summary of the LPG Process - Where Does LPG Gas (Propane) Come From

Natural gas processing plantLPG gas (propane) comes from being found naturally in combination with other hydrocarbons. The LPG process (LPG production process) consists of the natural gas processing, fractional distillation of crude oil and LPG manufacturing involving these hydrocarbons. 

Propane (LPG) is a naturally occurring gas but propane does not occur purely by itself.

Propane-LPG is produced (obtained) from the LPG gas manufacturing process (LPG production process) and comes from fractional distillation of crude oil, the separation and collection of the propane from its petroleum base.

About 60% of LPG gas (propane) comes from natural gas processing followed by LPG gas manufacturing of the raw natural gas that comes out of the wellhead.

The other 40% of LPG (propane) is produced (obtained) during the fractional distillation of crude oil.

LPG gas manufacturing process isolates from the hydrocarbon mixtures by its separation during natural gas processing or by the fractional distillation of crude oil.

Natural gas liquids (NGL) range obtained is from 1% to 10% of the natural gas flow.

Similarly, LPG produced (obtained) from fractional distillation of crude oil constitutes between 1% and 4% of the crude oil refining process.

Both LPG gas manufacturing processes (LPG production process) begin by drilling oil wells.

Following the LPG gas manufacturing process (how to make LPG), LPG is stored and distributed as a liquid under pressure until used, at which point it is utilised as either a liquid or a gas (vapour).

But there was a time when it went unappreciated...

Early Days of Wasted LPG

Flaring gas at a wellLPG is not a by-product.  LPG is a valuable co-product of the natural gas processingand crude oil refinery process that comes from a deliberate LPG gas manufacturing process (how to make LPG).

In the early days of the oil refinery business, there wasn’t an established infrastructure or market for LPG. 

The same was true of natural gas (methane).

As a result, the LPG and methane were wasted through flaring — the burning off of the unwanted gas. 

This early practice from long, long ago led some people to refer to LPG as a by-product.

Sadly, flaring still goes on in some countries.

Now for the "how"...

LPG Process - LPG Stripped from Natural Gas

Separating the Gas from the Oil

The gas/oil mixture is piped out of the well and into a gas trap, natural gas processing separates the stream into crude oil and "wet" gas, which contains LPG and natural gas. This is a precursor to LPG gas manufacturing process (LPG production process).

The heavier crude oil sinks to the bottom of the trap and is then pumped into an oil storage tank to the oil refinery.

The "wet" gas, off the top of the gas trap, goes through a production process to separate the gasoline (petrol) from the natural gas and LPG.

Methane Production Process - Natural Gas Processing - Pipeline Quality Dry Natural Gas

Raw natural gas processing which starts at the well head with methane, ethane, ethene, propene, isobutene, butadiene, pentane, pentene and impurities. The non-methane hydrocarbons must be separated from the methane. Impurities such as water, carbon dioxide, nitrogen and hydrogen sulfide must be removed by further natural gas processing before either the refined pipeline quality dry natural gas (methane) can be used or the LPG process begun. 

After the completion of natural gas processing, the refined and purified natural gas, which is mostly methane, pipeline quality dry natural gas is fed into the pipelines that supply our cities and towns. 

Distribution of refined pipeline quality dry natural gas (methane) is typically handled by gas utility companies.

LPG Gas Manufacturing from Raw Natural Gas made of 8 Hydrocarbons

Refined natural gas is made of methane. The LPG manufacturing process (LPG production process) involves separating the raw natural gas made of an intricate mixture of hydrocarbons, which includes the methane, ethane, ethene, propene, isobutene, butadiene, pentane, and pentene. The LPG gas manufacturing process plants are frequently called “stripper plants”, as the LPG is obtained or stripped from the natural gas processing flow using the LPG manufacturing process.

Impurities must also be removed from the LPG products propane and butane or they will prevent the LPG from liquefying properly.

A refrigeration based LPG gas manufacturing process is common for recovery of LPG from a natural gas stream.

With this technique, the LPG gas manufacturing process (LPG production process) refrigerates the gas stream to obtain the LPG products.

Refrigeration is employed in three different LPG gas manufacturing process: expander plants, low temperature separation and combined processes.

Other LPG gas manufacturing process separation techniques may also be employed, including lean oil absorption.

This LPG can be used as a mixture or further separated into the LPG products propane, butane and isobutane, as needed.

The LPG products enter their own distribution network, where they eventually find the way to end users, including 45kg home LPG and commercial LPG users all around Australia and the world.

LPG Gas Manufacturing Process from Fractional Distillation of Crude Oil - NGL Fractionation Process

LPG processes from oil refining - DiagramCrude oil refining process includes a variety of refining processes including fluid catalytic cracking, delayed cokers, and fractional distillation of crude oil. LPG is one of the refined products obtained from this LPG gas manufacturing process (NGL fractionation process).

After desalting, the heated crude oil is pumped into the distillation tower for fractional distillation of crude oil. 

In the LPG gas manufacturing process, fractions of the flow are obtained from the side of the distillation tower at various heights between the bottom and the top. 

Each extraction point in the LPG gas manufacturing process (NGL fractionation process) is temperature controlled to obtain a specific fraction including gasoline, naphtha, kerosene, diesel, light gas oil and heavy gas oil. 

These are then sent to unique streams for storage or possible further processing. 

LPG Gas Manufacturing for Refining

LPG, with the lowest boiling point, is obtained from the top of the distillation tower, using the LPG gas manufacturing process (fractional distillation of crude oil).

This LPG product component can be used as a mixture or further separated into its three primary parts: propane, butane and isobutane. 

This further LPG gas manufacturing process fractionation can be achieved with Depropaniser, Debutaniser and Deisobutaniser fractionators.

How is LPG Transported

To transport or store it, LPG gas needs to be liquefied under pressure. LPG can be stored or transported in LPG gas cylinders or vessels. LPG (propane) can be transported in a number of ways, including by ship, rail, tanker trucks, intermodal tanks, cylinder trucks, pipelines and local gas reticulation systems.

LPG Ready to Use

Propane

Propane molcule diagramIn Australia, LPG is propane.  

Propane is the gas that is supplied to virtually all homes and most businesses that purchase LPG in Australia.  

LPG is supplied in gas bottles that are either exchanged or refilled on site by LPG tankers. 

Large users may utilise bigger LPG storage tanks.  The chemical formula for propane is C3H8

LPG products go by a number of names in Australia including LPG, LPG gas, bottled gas, propane, BBQ gas, camping gas and LP gas. 

However, no worries, as it’s all the same gas. 

Butane

Butane molecule diagramButane is also considered to be one of the LPG products.  Butane is supplied to businesses that require butane, as opposed to propane. 

Butane has some specific applications where it has advantages over Propane.  

Aerosols and greenhouses both typically use butane.

The chemical formula for butane is C4H10.

Final Thoughts

For something that exists naturally, the LPG gas manufacturing process (LPG production process) is complex and takes a lot of work to get LPG products to the point of use.

However, its clean burning, portability and versatility truly makes LPG worth the effort.

 

 

 

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The information in this article is derived from various sources and is believed to be correct at the time of publication. However, the information may not be error free and may not be applicable in all circumstances.