Propane, the most common liquefied petroleum gas (LP-gas), is one of the nation's most versatile sources of energy and supplies about 4 percent of our total energy needs.
Propane exists as a liquid and a gas. At atmospheric pressure and temperatures above –44 F, it is a non-toxic, colorless and odorless gas. Just as with natural gas, an identifying odor is added so it can be readily detected. When contained in an approved cylinder or tank, propane exists as a liquid and vapor. The vapor is released from the container as a clean-burning fuel gas. Propane is 270 times more compact as a liquid than as a gas, making it economical to store and transport as a liquid.
Approximately 90 percent of the United States’ propane supply is produced domestically, while 70 percent of the remaining supply is imported from Canada and Mexico. Approximately equal amounts of propane come from the refining of crude oil and from natural gas processing. Thus, propane is a readily available, secure energy source whose environmental benefits are widely recognized. Propane is an approved, alternative clean fuel listed in the 1990 Clean Air Act, as well as the National Energy Policy Act of 1992.
SAFETY COMES FIRST
The U.S. propane industry has a proud safety record, with equal emphasis on the adoption of sound engineering principles, up-to-date employee training, and educating consumers on the safe use of propane. The industry’s safety record has been praised in the Congressional Record, and such organizations as the National Fire Protection Association, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board, and the International Association of Fire Chiefs have public acknowledged the propane industry’s commitment to safety.