A Guide to Propane and Butane Gas
Propane and butane gas are the most common gas cylinders on the market. Understanding the differences between propane gas and butane gas is essential, as neither gas will operate properly if they’re being stored in areas where the temperature isn’t appropriate.
For more information on what gas is appropriate for your needs, please feel free to get in touch with our friendly team today via our contact page.
What is the Difference Between Propane and Butane Gas?
Both propane and butane gas fall under the term ‘Liquefied Petroleum Gas’, which is widely used to describe various light hydrocarbons. The main difference is that propane has a lower boiling point, meaning it will still convert from a liquid to a gas, even in extremely cold conditions.
Butane, however, has a much lower vapour pressure, which makes it a good gas for residential uses (BBQs, heating appliances etc). It’s also far cheaper to use than propane gas.
Propane Lasts Longer
Both propane and butane gas are the core hydrocarbons of LPG. They’re commonly confused because both can be used for residential and industrial purposes. While both gases are extracted from petrol in oil, there are a few minor differences between the two.
As stated previously, propane has a lower boiling point than butane, which makes it a better for exterior use. This is the main reason propane becomes more suitable for many applications, such as cooking, heating, hot water and general commercial heating uses.
Propane, in short, is better for large scale jobs, as it can stored for a very long time and in very cold temperatures (ideal gas for cooking while hiking).
Both propane and butane are stored in steel cylinders (pictured below) for easy use.
When to Use Butane Gas and When to Use Propane Gas
Strictly speaking, both gases can be used for similar purposes. It’s really a matter of using the appropriate pressure regulator. People usually jump to use butane because it’s cheaper than propane. Look at it this way, a bottle filled with butane contains around 12.5kg, whereas the same bottle filled with propane contains just 10.5kg.
Generally speaking, butane and propane can be used for the same jobs. However, the only major difference you need to take into account is temperature. For example, propane should not be used in doors, but if you’re placing gas cylinders outside during the winter and summer months, you need to use propane. Always remember to use butane if the temperature where you’re keeping the bottle is over 5 degrees Celsius.
Below, we’ve outlined the common areas where propane and butane gas are used:
Uses for Propane and Butane Gas
- Patio Heaters – Propane Gas
- BBQs – Propane or Butane Gas
- Portable Heaters – Butane
- DIY Use – Propane Gas
- Outdoor Use – Propane Gas
- Caravans – Propane and Butane Gas
- Camping – Butane Gas
- Ovens (Non-intense Residential/Commercial Use) – Propane Gas
- Commercial Heating (Intense)- Propane
Remember the Difference Between Propane and Butane
The most important factor to remember, is the butane gas will turn to a liquid if kept in freezing temperatures, so don’t keep the cylinders outside during winter.
If you do require more information on how to use propane and butane gas safely, please feel free to get in touch with our team via our contact form, or give us a call today.