LPG or LP Gas is the abbreviation of Liquified Petroleum Gas. This group of products includes saturated Hydrocarbons - Propane (C3H8) and Butane (C4H10), which can be stored/transported separately or as a mixture. They exist as gases at normal room temperature and atmospheric pressure.
LPG comes from two sources. It can be obtained from the refining of crude oil. When produced this way, it is generally in pressurized form. LPG is also extracted from natural gas or crude oil streams coming from underground reservoirs. Sixty percent (60%) of LPG in the world today is produced this way whereas 40% of LPG is extracted from refining of crude oil.
Ideally, products referred to as propane and butane consist very largely of these saturated hydrocarbons. However, during the process of extraction/production certain allowable unsaturated hydrocarbons like ethylene, propylene, butylenes etc may be included in the mixture along with pure propane and butane. The presence of these in moderate amounts would not affect LPG in terms of combustion but may affect other properties slightly (such as corrosiveness or gum formation).
LPG expands upon release and 1 litre of liquid will form approximately 250 litres of vapour.
LPG is used as a fuel for domestic (cooking), industrial, horticultural, agricultural, heating and drying processes. LPG can be used as an automotive fuel or as a propellant for aerosols, in addition to other specialist applications. LPG can also be used to provide lighting through the use of pressure lanterns.
The advantages of LPG are as follows:
The clean burning properties and portability of LPG provide a substitute for traditional fuels such as wood, coal, and other organic matter. This provides a solution to de-forestation and the reduction of particulate matter in the atmosphere (haze), caused by burning the traditional fuels.