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Companion Brands Information Page: Introduction to LPG "Gaseous paraffins" is the correct description for what we call LPG (Liquified Petroleum Gas). LPG consists of the hydrocarbons propane and butane, or a mixture of the two. These gases are extracted from crude oil. At norm

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LPG Information and Safety

Introduction to LPG

"Gaseous paraffins" is the correct description for what we call LPG (Liquified Petroleum Gas). LPG consists of the hydrocarbons propane and butane, or a mixture of the two. These gases are extracted from crude oil. At normal temperatures, LPG is gaseous but is a liquid when under pressure. Propane must be distributed in steel cylinders that can withstand high pressure. Butane can be distributed in lighter gas cartridges.

LPG and Safety

  • Leaking LPG is a fire hazard
  • LPG is heavier than air
  • LPG uses air during combustion.

There are primarily two things to think about to prevent accidents with LPG:

  • Avoid leakages
  • Ensure good ventilation

Leaking LPG can ignite and cause a fire, or in the worst case, an explosion. The cylinder valve should always be closed when the cylinder is not in use. The cylinder should be stored upright and, if possible, at ground level since LPG is heavier than air and can therefore accumulate in cellars, manholes etc. Good ventilation is important when working indoors as the flame consumes air. Lack of oxygen causes incomplete combustion, which produces carbon monoxide instead of carbon dioxide. Carbon monoxide is a treacherous and deadly gas.

LPG and Efficiency

  • LPG permits very high power outputs
  • Energy content is high
  • Fuel is easy to store and transport.

A large amount of fuel only occupies a small space and is therefore easy to store and transport. LPG forms a combustible mixture with air when the proportion of gas is between 2 and 10 percent. When the gas changes from a liquid to a gaseous form, the volume increases by 250 times. In other words, the energy content is high. LPG can be stored in its container almost indefinitely without the gas breaking down.

LPG and The Environment

  • LPG is non-toxic and does not contain hazardous additives
  • It does not contaminate air or water.

LPG does not produce any hazardous combustion gases, just carbon dioxide and water vapor. The gas does not contaminate water, it does not produce soot, it is not corrosive and it does not cause corrosion to iron or other metals. It does not contain lead or heavy metals and is non-toxic. In other words, LPG is an environmentally friendly fuel. The only additive is a strongly smelling substance that acts as a warning signal for leaking gas. Pure LPG has no smell.

LPG and Handling

  • Work in well-ventilated areas
  • Avoid placing the LPG cylinder near sources of heat
  • Ensure that the cylinder is stored upright during transport.

You should regularly check valves and connectors for leakage. Remember also that good ventilation is important at areas where the gas is stored or used. Ventilation is also important to ensure effective combustion. Make sure that the cylinder is at ambient temperature when you begin working. If you are going to use the fuel at temperatures below 0º Celsius, use propane, as butane does not gasify at low temperatures.

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