Elgas LPG Gas Blog

What is Bottled Gas?

“Bottled gas” is typically a synonym for “LPG” or “propane”.

Whilst there are actually many types of gas that come in bottles or cylinders, including industrial and welding gases, the term is generally understood to refer to LPG – propane.

In some countries, bottled gas can also refer to butane or propane/butane mixtures of gas.

"What is Bottled Gas?" In Summary:

Bottled gas is stored under pressure in gas bottles or cylinders

Bottled gas is a flammable hydrocarbon gas liquefied through pressurisation.

It is also called bottled gas, along with LPG, propane, butane and mixtures of these gases.

Bottled gas comes from natural gas processing and oil refining.

It is stored in gas bottles, cylinders or larger vessels.

It is used as heating, cooking and auto fuel.

This short video (8:29) explains all of the basics of bottled gas...

Bottled Gas Physical Properties

Bottled Gas Properties Chart
Bottled Gas Properties
Properties Bottled Gas
Chemical Formula C3H8
Energy Content: MJ/m3 95.8
Energy Content: MJ/kg 49.58
Energy Content: MJ/L 25.3
Boiling Temp: Cº -42
Pressure @ 21ºC: kPa 858.7
Flame Temp: Cº 1967
Expansion: m3/L 0.270
Gas Volume: m3/kg 0.540
Relative Density: H2O 0.51
Relative Density: air 1.53
kg per L 14.96
L per kg 0.51
Specific Gravity @ 25ºC 1.55
Density @ 15ºC: kg/m3 1.899
  Note: Some numbers have been rounded

Where Does Bottled Gas Come From?

Bottled gas is a fossil fuel that does not occur in isolation.

Bottled gas is found naturally in combination with other hydrocarbons.

It is produced during natural gas processing and oil refining.

It is isolated, liquefied through pressurisation and stored in pressure vessels.

How is Bottled Gas Made?

Bottled gas is made during natural gas processing and oil refining. It is separated from the unprocessed natural gas using refrigeration.

Bottled gas is extracted from heated crude oil using a distillation tower.

It is then pressurisation and stored as a liquid in cylinders and tanks.

How Bottled Gas is Transported to You

Bottled gas can be delivered by a tanker truckBottled gas exists as either a gas (vapour) or as a liquid, when it is under a modest amount of pressure in gas bottles, cylinders, tanks and larger LPG storage vessels.

Given that gaseous LPG has a volume 270x that of liquid bottled gas, it is almost always transported in its more compact liquid state.

Bottled gas can be transported in a number of ways, including by ship, rail, tanker trucks, intermodal tanks, cylinder trucks, pipelines and local gas reticulation systems. 

Most homeowners receive their bottled gas either by 45kg exchange cylinders or tanker delivery into a large in situ tank.

For BBQs, homeowners typically take their empty gas bottle to a retailer to be refilled or for a swap refill.

What is Bottled Gas Used For?

Bottled gas is used for cookingBottled gas is utilised in numerous applications.

Bottled gas is used as a fuel for many residential, commercial and agricultural heat applications, including cooking.

It is also employed as a propellant, refrigerant, vehicle fuel and petrochemical feedstock.

Bottled gas has hundreds, if not thousands, of uses.

The bottled gas uses most people can name are around the home, in their cars or for their business.

It is used in leisure time activities including caravans, boats, recreational vehicles, hot air balloons and camping.

Business and industry use bottled gas for a multitude of processes including steam boilers, kilns, ovens and forklifts.

Crop and produce drying, heating greenhouses, hot water for dairies, irrigation pumps and heating animal enclosures are just some of the agricultural applications for bottled gas.

Transport is also a big user of bottled gas, with either propane alone or mixed with butane, to power various vehicle types.

There are also many, many more bottled gas applications, including power generation and the hospitality industry.

How Does Bottled Gas Work?

Liquid and vapour in a gas bottleBottled gas is stored under pressure, as a liquid, in a gas bottle.  

It turns back into gas vapour when you release some of the pressure in the gas bottle by turning on your appliance.

The gas vapour is at the top of the bottle whilst the liquid LPG is at the bottom (see image).

Almost all of the uses for bottled gas involve the use of the gas vapour, not the liquefied gas.

7 Important Bottled Gas Facts

1. Bottled gas is LPG. LPG is the acronym for Liquefied Petroleum Gas.

2. Bottled gas is a flammable hydrocarbon gas that is liquefied through pressurisation and commonly used as fuel.

3. Bottled gas comes from natural gas processing and petroleum refining.

4. Bottled gas is LPG but not all bottled gas is propane.  Propane, along with a number of gases, falls under the “LPG” label.  The other gases include butane (n-butane) and isobutane (i-butane), as well as mixtures of the three LPG gases.

5. Bottled gas can be compressed into liquid at relatively low pressure.

6. Bottled gas is frequently used for fuel in heating, cooking, hot water and vehicles.

7. Bottled gas is generally stored, as a liquid, in steel vessels ranging from small BBQ gas bottles to larger gas cylinders and storage tanks.

Bottled Gas Goes by Many Names

In Australia, bottled gas has many names.

It is also called LPG, LPG Gas, LP Gas, BBQ Gas or Autogas.

In the USA it is just called Propane.

In the UK, it is referred to as either propane or LPG.

Final Thoughts

Regardless of whether you call it bottled gas, LPG or propane, it is a great source of energy.

Bottled gas is a versatile, transportable, low carbon fuel.

Bottled gas is easy to transport, in cylinders or tankers, making it available virtually everywhere and to everyone.


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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.