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LPG vs Propane - Is Propane the Same as LPG | LPG Propane

LPG is propane and propane is LPG. Essentially, LPG and propane are the same thing. Liquefied Petroleum Gas (liquid petroleum gas) - LPG or LP gas - is also described as just propane or butane. LPG are flammable hydrocarbon gases used in BBQ gas bottles and as fuel for gas heating, gas hot water, cooking gas cylinder and LPG cars.

Propane (C3H8) and Butane (C4H10) have very similar chemical formulae. Both flammable hydrocarbon gases are considered LPG - Liquefied Petroleum Gas. Whilst propane and butane are both independently LPG, they are unique chemically, being different chemical compounds. Both liquefy under pressure.

The chemical formulae for Propane – C3H8 – and Butane – C4H10 – are both comprised of just carbon and hydrogen atoms, as they are similar flammable hydrocarbons. Propane and Butane, while separate chemicals, are both classified as LPG - Liquefied Petroleum Gas – individually or as a mixture.

Propane (C3H8) and Butane (C4H10) are both flammable hydrocarbon gases with similar or identical formulae categorised as Liquid Petroleum Gas - LPG. Whilst they are different forms of LPG, they are still both LPG. Propane has superior performance in cold weather.

Whilst LPG is either propane, butane or a mixture of the two, they are different chemicals. Autogas is either propane or a propane and butane mix.

Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG or LP gas) is also referred to by its constituent names - propane or butane. In addition to propane, LPG can be butane, isobutane or any of a number of different gases.

In Australia, LPG goes by a number of names including LPG, LPG gas, bottled gas, Propane, BBQ gas, camping gas and LP gas, so it can be quite confusing. In the UK, LPG is the same as Calor gas.

However, it’s all the same gas.

LPG are hydrocarbon fuel gases used for heating, cooking, hot water and vehicles.

Many of the gas appliances sold in Australia are manufactured overseas and call for propane vs LPG. So, you get it home, open the box, and it says that the appliance is made for use with propane vs LPG. Is propane the same as LPG?

But where do you buy Propane in Australia? 

Is LP Gas and Propane the Same Thing - LPG vs Propane - Is Propane a LPG

Propane (C3H8) and Butane (C4H10) chemical formulae are very similar. Both are hydrocarbon gases, are unique elements and both are individually considered LPG - Liquefied Petroleum Gas – as well as in mixtures. Autogas can be propane or a propane and butane mix.

LP gas and propane are the same thing. LPG – Liquefied Petroleum Gas – is flammable hydrocarbon gas liquefied through pressurisation. Propane is the same as LPG but LPG can include other gases, as well. In addition to propane, LPG can be butane, isobutane or any of a number of different gases and is also referred to as natural gas liquids – NGL.

LP gas, propane, liquid propane and propane gas all refer to the same thing when we're talking about BBQ grill fuel. To be a bit more precise, propane is liquid when stored under pressure in a tank and turns to gas (vapour) when it is released for use.

Propane is classified as LPG (LP), along with butane, isobutane and mixtures of these gases and are also referred to as natural gas liquids – NGL.

LPG comes from natural gas processing and oil refining.

LPG is frequently used for fuel in heating, cooking, hot water and vehicles.

Whilst propane is the same as LPG but not all LPG (LP) is propane.

LP vs Propane - Liquid Petroleum vs Propane

Essentially, LP (liquid petroleum) vs propane are the same thing. LP (liquid petroleum) is propane and propane is LP. Liquid petroleum - LP gas - is also described as just propane or butane. Most gas BBQ grills use metal propane tanks filled with liquid propane (LP), as it is portable and can be installed anywhere. Natural gas grill must be connected to a house.

Is LPG Bottled Gas

LPG is bottled gas. “Bottled gas” is typically a synonym for “LPG” or “propane” stored in gas bottles or gas cylinders. Whilst there are actually many types of gas that come in bottles or cylinders, including industrial and welding gases, it is generally understood to that LPG is bottled gas – LPG (propane) in gas bottles.

Is LPG Propane or Butane

LPG is propane and LPG is butane. Both propane and butane are classified as LPG gases, along with isobutane and some other natural gas liquids. Whilst LPG is either propane or butane, neither propane or butane is LPG alone, as there are a group of gases that constitute LPG in its entirety, including isobutane. LPG can be either propane or butane or a mixture of the two gases.

Is Propane and LPG the Same - What is the Difference Between LP vs Propane - Liquid Petroleum Gas vs Propane

Propane vs LPG - Is Propane a LPGEssentially, LP gas and propane are the same thing. In addition to propane, LPG can be butane, isobutane or any of a number of different gases, all of which are flammable hydrocarbon gases with similar or identical formulae categorised as Liquid Petroleum Gas - LPG. The difference between LP vs propane is that LP includes propane but propane is only one of the LP gases.

LPG-propane is a liquid when under pressure in a gas bottle. Propane does work better than butane in cold conditions.

So, propane is the same as LPG but LPG can include other gases, as well.

The bad news is that this causes a lot of confusion and concern. 
The good news is that Propane is readily available in Australia, we just call it LPG.  
Propane is LPG, so no worries!
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. 
When used for a BBQ, it can be refilled or exchanged for a full one in a swap scheme. 
These are typically 9kg bottles.  SWAP'n'GO BBQ gas bottles are a good example of a swap system. 

Is LP the Same as Propane - Is LP Gas and Propane the Same Thing - Is LP Gas Propane

Yes, LP is the same as propane. LP gas and propane are the same thing.  "LP gas" or just "LP" is just another way of saying "LPG" or "LPG gas", all of which are the same as propane, propane gas or liquid propane.

Liquid Propane vs Gas Propane

Liquid propane is at the botton of the bottle. Propane gas is at the top.There is a difference between liquid propane vs gas propane. Comparing liquid propane vs gas propane, the applications are also different and not interchangeable. Propane liquid is LPG - Liquefied Petroleum Gas - fuel in its liquid state when under pressure or below its 42°C (-44°F) boiling point. It turns to gas above -42°C or when not under pressure. The LPG gas vapour is held in the top of the bottle and the liquid LPG at the bottom, as shown in the image above.

Most gas BBQ grills use BBQ gas bottles full of liquid propane. It turns back into gas when it is released for use. Portable liquid propane is available almost everywhere whilst natural gas requires a connection to a house with a gas main.

Liquid Propane vs Propane: Chart

When is LPG Liquid or Gas?
Propane - Butane
LPG (1atm)
Liquid
Vapour (Gas)
Propane
< -42°C
≥ -42°C
Butane
< -0.4°C
≥ -0.4°C

 

Is LPG Propane or Butane

LPG is both propane and butane. Stated more accurately, LPG can be either propane, butane or a mixture of the two LPG gases.

LPG Fuel

LPG is a fuel gas. Liquefied petroleum gas or liquid petroleum gas – LPG - also identified as propane or butane, are flammable hydrocarbon gas mixtures used as fuel in vehicles, as Autogas, and as home heating and cooking fuel.

7 Important LPG Facts for LPG vs Propane

LPG gas fireplace1. LPG is the acronym for Liquefied Petroleum Gas or Liquid Petroleum Gas.

2. LPG (LP) is a group of flammable hydrocarbon gases, including propane, that are liquefied through pressurisation and commonly used as fuel.

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

4. There are a number of gases that fall under the “LPG” label, including propane, butane and isobutane (i-butane), as well as mixtures of these gases.

5. LPG gases can all be compressed into liquid at relatively low pressures.

6. LPG is frequently used for fuel in heating, cooking, hot water and vehicles, as well as for refrigerants, aerosol propellants and petrochemical feedstock.

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

Propane (LPG) is Not Natural Gas

Natural Gas - Methane moleculePropane is not to be confused with Natural Gas, which is primarily Methane. 
When Natural Gas is initially extracted from the ground it may also contain Ethane, Propane, Butane, Pentane and Pentanes Plus.
Most of these are usually stripped out for other specific applications before it is passed along through the pipelines.  
Impurities are also removed, including water and sulphur.  
The chemical formula for Methane is CH4 (Methane molecule model shown).

How Does LPG Work? LPG is Bottled Gas

Propane for leisure LPG is stored under pressure, as a liquid, in a gas bottle, as LPG is bottled gas. It turns back into gas vapour when you release some of the pressure in the gas bottle by turning on your gas appliance.

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

What is LPG Used For?

LPG is used for cookingLPG has hundreds, if not thousands, of uses.

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

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

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

There are also many, many more LPG applications, including autogas, power generation and the hospitality industry.

Propane Uses - What Do You Use Propane For

 

Propane is used in homes, business, industrial and agricultural, primarily for space heating, water heating and cooking. Propane is typically used in rural areas that do not have reticulated natural gas. Propane appliances include space heaters, furnaces, water heaters, cooktops, ovens, clothes dryers and pool heaters. Propane is also used as fuel for internal combustion engine applications.

Is BBQ Gas the Same as LPG

BBQ Gas1. Gas for a BBQ is the same as LPG

2. LPG gas for a BBQ gas bottle is flammable hydrocarbon gas that is liquefied through pressurisation.

3.  Gas for a BBQ gas bottle (patio gas bottle) comes from natural gas processing and petroleum refining.

4. The gases that fall under the “BBQ gas” label include either propane or butane, as well as mixtures of these two types for gas for BBQ gas bottles.

5. Gas for a BBQ (gas for barbecues) is compressed into liquid at relatively low pressures.

6. Gas for a BBQ gas bottle (patio gas bottle) is frequently used for outdoor gas appliances, like gas BBQ and patio heaters, hence the name patio gas bottle.

7. Gas for a BBQ (gas for barbecues) is stored, as a liquid, in small BBQ gas bottles.

8. LPG gas for a BBQ (gas for barbecues) is also called BBQ gas or patio gas. LPG is the acronym for Liquefied Petroleum Gas.

What is LPG made of: LPG Composition - Is LPG Propane or Butane

Propane is LPG but not all LPG is propane. LPG is also butane and other gases. The gases that fall under the “LPG” label, including ethane, ethylene, propane, propylene, normal butane, butylene, isobutane and isobutylene, as well as mixtures of these gases. The two most common are Propane and Butane.

Propane Only in LPG vs Propane

Propane moleculePropane is also known as LPG - liquefied petroleum gas – or LP gas. Propane gas is naturally odourless so odourant is added for leak detection. Propane is also known as Autogas, fueling converted LPG cars and vehicles, producing reduced CO2 and particulate emissions, as compared to petrol (gasoline) fueled cars.

In Australia, we are lucky that our LPG (LP) is Propane because it has some advantages over Butane, which is also considered LPG. 
(Propane molecule model shown)

The most important advantage is that Propane works better in cold weather. 

LPG is a liquid under pressure in the gas bottle. 

It turns to vapour when you turn on the appliance and relieve some of the pressure, but only if it is above its boiling point. 

Propane boils at around -42°C, so it would need to be really cold for it to not vapourise. 

Butane, on the other hand, boils at about  -1°C, so you could wake up on a cold winter morning with no working gas. 

No fun at all!

Liquid Propane Gas - LPG vs Propane Liquid

Liquid propane gas is the form propane takes when it is under pressure or under -42°C. The liquid propane sits in the bottom part of the propane gas bottle with propane gas vapour in the top part of the liquid propane gas bottle.

The liquid propane turns to gas vapour when some of the pressure is released, causing the liqud propane to boil and vaporise into gas.

Most propane applications use the gaseous propane and not the liquid propane.

Liquid Propane Gas Cylinders

LPG liquid withdrawal cylinders with blue tops

All propane gas cylinders are liquid propane gas cylinders. It is a liquid under pressure and a gas at standard temperature and pressure (STP).

Propane is a flammable hydrocarbon with three carbon atoms and a chemical formula of C3H8. It is a gas at 0°C and 1 atm (STP) and liquefies under pressure for storage and transport. LPG-propane comes from natural gas processing and crude oil refining and is used as fuel for heating, cooking, vehicles, agriculture and industry.

Cylinders come in two configurations, Liquid Withdrawal Propane Gas Cylinders and Vapour Withdrawal Propane Gas Cylinders.

The difference depends on from where the LPG is extracted.

If drawn from the bottom of the cylinder, it comes out as liquid from the propane gas cylinders.

If drawn from the top of the cylinder, it exits as vapour.

The cylinders are clearly marked as either “Vapour Withdrawal” or “Liquid Withdrawal” propane gas cylinders.

In Australia, liquid withdrawal propane gas cylinders are also painted with a blue top, to make them instantly recognisable.

(See blue top image below)

Using the wrong type of cylinder for an application could pose a serious safety hazard.

And Then There is Butane

Butane Molecule

Now, if you are reading this blog from another country, LPG may not be just Propane for you.

It could be butane.  (Butane molecule model shown)

Some countries get a mixture of Propane and Butane. 
Other countries, like the UK, sell butane and propane separately.
Both are hydrocarbon gases and both are a Liquefied Petroleum Gas, so the mixture of the two still meets the definition of LPG. 
For the tech heads out there, their chemical formulas are C3H8, for Propane, and C4H10, for Butane.

Autogas is Different

The exception to the rule is “autogas”, which is what you buy at the servo for your LPG powered car. 
Autogas can be pure Propane or it can be a mixture or Propane and Butane. 
Either should work equally well, as the Propane component is typically 60% or more.

LPG Trivia

Now a bit of trivia...
In the USA they also use Propane but they also call it “Propane” and seldom use the term LPG. In the UK, LPG is the same as Calor gas.
 
 
 

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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.