What Is Propane Made Of?

Written on: October 10, 2022

Take a closer look at where your home fuel comes from.

Propane is a versatile and energy-efficient fuel source that offers many benefits for Finger Lakes region homes.

If you don’t know much about propane, that’s all right! We have gathered some information to help expand your understanding.

What is propane?

Propane’s full name is liquified petroleum gas (LPG). The chemical formula for propane is C₃H₈.
In 1864, Edmund Ronalds, a British academic and industrial chemist, discovered propane while researching chemicals in light crude oil from Pennsylvania. The next big step forward in propane was made by American chemist Walter O. Snelling in 1910. Snelling worked for the United States Bureau of Mines in Pittsburgh, where he was studying gasoline evaporation and storage methods when he discovered that certain evaporating gases might be converted to liquids. Out of all the gases studied, Snelling found that propane was the most plentiful. He then discovered a way to bottle the liquid gas, which led to the establishment of the propane industry. He went on to sell the patent for propane to Frank Philips, founder of Philips Petroleum, for $50,000 three years later. That’s about $1.4 million in today’s money.
Propane processing involves adding an odorant since propane doesn’t have a smell. The most common odorant is ethyl mercaptan, the smell of which might remind you of rotten eggs. This scent helps people identify propane leaks. If you notice that rotten-egg smell in your home, follow propane safety best practices and evacuate immediately. Get to a safe location, then call 911 and Hometowne Energy.

Where does propane come from?

About 70% of the propane used domestically in the US and Canada is produced as a by-product of natural gas processing. The recent increase in shale gas production has helped to meet this demand. Our propane supply is also derived from crude oil refining.

When natural gas is processed, it produces liquid components like propane, butane, methane, and ethane. Propane is then distributed through pipelines, tankers, ships, trains, and trucks to bulk distribution facilities. The propane is distributed to local vendors, such as Hometowne Energy.

We provide safe and dependable propane delivery to communities in Monroe County, Yates County, Onondaga County, and other parts of our service area. You can be confident that you’ll always have the propane you need to keep your home warm, safe, and comfortable with our Automatic Delivery and wireless propane tank monitoring.

Is propane environmentally friendly?

Propane is a clean-burning, efficient energy source that was selected as an alternative energy under both the 1990 Clean Air Act and 1992 National Energy Policy. Propane is not a greenhouse gas because it does not contain methane, unlike natural gas. In the rare event of a leak, propane does not harm the air, soil, water, aquatic life, marine life, or plant life.

Propane is not only cleaner burning, but more energy efficient. In fact, today’s propane heating systems and appliances have efficiency ratings that can reach 95% or higher! Propane eliminates the need for you to compromise comfort or convenience in order to decrease your home’s carbon impact.

Become a Hometowne Energy customer and get the most dependable propane delivery in the Finger Lakes region!