Propane Education


Propane users are utilizing a tried and true technology that has proven to be affordable and safe. We recommend visiting the Propane Education and Research Council for further information, but here are some facts regarding propane:

Does propane have multiple names?

Yes! Propane is a hydrocarbon (C3H8) and is sometimes referred to as liquefied petroleum gas, LP-Gas or LPG.

Where does propane come from?

Propane is produced from both natural gas processing and crude oil refining.

How many people use propane?

Propane is used in 48 million households as well as many businesses for water and space heating, indoor and outdoor cooking, clothes drying, and backup power. Nearly 900,000 farms in the United States use propane to run pumps and engines, heat buildings, and dry and process crops.

Is propane difficult to transport and store?

No! Propane is easy to transport and can be used in areas beyond the natural gas mains. Because it is 270 times more compact as a liquid than as a gas, it is economical to store and transport as a liquid.

Why does propane smell?

Propane is naturally nontoxic, colorless and has almost no smell. As with natural gas, an identifying odor is added so the gas can be readily detected.

How flammable is propane?

Propane has a narrow range of flammability when compared with other petroleum products. In order to ignite, the propane-air mix must contain from 2.2 to 9.6 percent propane vapor. If the mixture contains less than 2.2 percent gas, it is too lean to burn. If it contains more than 9.6 percent, it is too rich to burn.

Propane won’t ignite when combined with air unless the source of ignition reaches at least 940 degrees Fahrenheit. In contrast, gasoline will ignite when the source of ignition reaches only 430 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

Can propane be ingested?

No! If liquid propane leaks, it doesn’t puddle but instead vaporizes and dissipates into the air. Because it is released from a pressured container as a vapor, propane can’t be ingested like gasoline or alcohol fuels.

How qualified are technicians to perform work on a propane system?

The Certified Employee Training Program (CETP) is a nationally recognized training program for people involved in the handling of propane equipment and appliances. Required in eight states, used by propane marketers nationwide, and being continually updated and expanded, CETP has become the industry’s flagship curriculum in workforce training and certification. More than 120,000 propane industry employees have received CETP certification since 1999. Prism Propane provides CETP training to all of their technicians.

How does the presence of a propane system impact emergency response?

The Propane Education & Research Council has developed a new comprehensive training program for America’s public safety agencies and propane retailers. The educational package includes a 220 -page textbook, Propane Emergencies, which has been sent to every fire department in the country. The objectives of the emergency response program are to increase the level of responder safety, improve efficiency to mitigate emergencies, and to encourage propane marketers and local emergency responders to develop working relationships before an accident occurs.

Each year, thousands of industry employees and firefighters attend service and safety schools sponsored by the industry. The sessions provide important training in how to quickly control and safely handle a propane emergency.

How clean of a fuel is propane?

Propane is one of the lightest, simplest hydrocarbons in existence, and, as a result, is one of the cleanest burning of all fossil fuels. Propane is an approved, clean fuel listed in the 1990 Clean Air Act as well as the National Energy Policy Act of 1992.

Is propane toxic?

No! Propane gas is nontoxic, so it’s not harmful to soil and water. Because propane does not endanger the environment, the placement of propane tanks either above or below ground is not regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Can propane be used to run vehicles?

Yes! Overall, propane fuel for fleet vehicles typically costs less than conventional or reformulated gasoline. Many states offer fuel tax incentives to encourage the use of clean fuels, thus further reducing operating costs.

Propane autogas is an approved clean alternative fuel under the Clean Air Act of 1990 and the third most popular vehicle fuel worldwide behind gasoline and diesel. Propane is commonly used to fuel buses, light- and medium-duty trucks, vans, shuttles, taxicabs, and police and government vehicles.

Can I fuel my landscaping equipment with propane?

Yes! Landscape contractors trust propane to stand up to the toughest jobs daily. Sixteen of the top mower brands offer propane- powered options.

How do I convert gallons and cubic feet when it comes to propane?

One gallon of propane is equal to 35.97 cubic feet of propane.