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How Is Propane Made?

Published on: July 24, 2023

Learn About This Efficient, Clean-Burning, Versatile Fuel

propane production Blacksburg, va As electric rates go up and the grid remains vulnerable to storms as well as increased demand, many homeowners are looking for a domestic fuel source for heating with less volatile prices. It’s why many people are discovering the many benefits of clean-burning propane. But what exactly is propane and how is it made?

Where Does Propane Come From?

Propane is a byproduct of natural gas, and one of the cleanest, most versatile and efficient fuels around.. For the most part, propane comes from domestic natural gas processing, especially since shale gas extraction has increased in the U.S. in recent decades. Today, close to 70 percent of the U.S. propane supply comes from natural gas processing here and in Canada.

As natural gas is processed, the liquid components are recovered, producing propane as well as methane, butane and ethane. Propane is shipped to bulk distribution centers by pipeline, tanker ship, railroad, truck or barge. From there, propane distributors bring it to local propane providers like SWVA.

Because it is compressed and stored in a liquid state, it is sometimes referred to as Liquid Petroleum Gas or LPG.

It’s a domestically sourced alternative fuel that can provide steady, reliable heat at an affordable price. Propane also offers exceptional performance and efficiency in a wide range of home appliances at a much lower cost than electricity.

Here’s what else you probably didn’t know about propane, and why so many customers are making the switch:

Propane Is Very Efficient

Propane generates more Btus than an equivalent amount of electricity, and it delivers more than twice the Btus of natural gas, so you need much less propane to produce the same amount of heat or energy.

Also, propane appliances are very efficient so they waste very little fuel in the combustion process. On the other hand, about two-thirds of the energy used by a power plant to generate and transmit electricity is wasted.

Propane is Versatile

Because propane is so efficient, it’s a smarter choice than electricity for a wide variety of appliances, in addition to heating your home. For example, propane water heaters generate much more hot water at a cheaper cost per gallon. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, homes that heat water with propane rather than electricity can see significant savings.

The same technology that makes propane ideal for space heating and water heaters makes it a smarter choice than electricity to power all kinds of appliances that use hot water or heat:

  • clothes washers and dryers
  • dishwashers
  • outdoor lighting
  • patio heaters
  • pool and spa-tub heaters
  • outdoor grills

Propane Is Safe

While it’s a highly flammable gas under certain conditions, leaks are rare and propane is a safe and clean-burning way to heat your home and water, and run many of your appliances. Propane has a distinct rotten-egg smell to help you quickly notice leaking gas.

Propane can also help keep your home and family safe: When storms knock out power, a propane-fueled backup generator will keep your lights and everything else running until the utility companies can make repairs. In addition, a gas stove will continue to work during a power outage. Now that’s peace of mind.

How Can I Get Propane?

Whether you’re ready to make the switch, or have more questions, the professionals at SWVA have the knowledge, experience and resources to answer all your questions about the benefits of a propane-powered home. And, we can get you started, with the right size propane tank for your needs, reliable propane delivery and more.

Contact us for more information today.