Propane Facts

Dixie Land Energy LLC, maybe you are aware that we transport, diesel fuel, gasoline and that we offer full-service HVAC and installation, but a large part of our business is propane or LPG delivery to farms restaurants, commercial businesses, residential homes, we follow several construction companies, suppling temporary heat and do both above and below ground propane tank installations. If you are thinking of upgrading or converting your heating and cooking needs here are some great facts that you might be interested in learning about Propane or LPG.

Most folks don’t know propane is transported to and used in every corner of the United States sometimes also known as liquid petroleum gas or (LPG), propane naturally occurs with petroleum deposits and is associated with natural gas that accumulates in subterranean reservoirs made of porous layers of sandstone and carbonate rock. Propane clean green and powerful, a safer energy alternative that is easy to use, reduces your carbon footprint all while saving you money. Propane is one of the most versatile, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly fuel sources in the world.

Read on to learn the amazing facts about this clean-burning fuel that is 90 percent domestically produced in the U.S. if you want to come out ahead in the energy game and care about domestic fuel independence compared to other energy sources…especially electricity propane could be your answer.


  • Propane was discovered by the French chemist Marcellin Berthelot in 1857. It was found dissolved in Pennsylvanian light crude oil by Edmund Ronalds in 1864. Walter O. Snelling of the U.S. Bureau of Mines highlighted it as a volatile component in gasoline in 1910, which was the beginning of the propane industry in the United States. The volatility of these lighter hydrocarbons caused them to be known as “wild” because of the high vapor pressures of unrefined gasoline. On March 31, 1912, The New York Times reported on Snelling’s work with liquefied gas, saying “a steel bottle will carry enough gas to light an ordinary home for three weeks”.
  • It was during this time that Snelling, in cooperation with Frank P. Peterson, Chester Kerr, and Arthur Kerr, developed ways to liquefy LP gases during the refining of gasoline. Together, they established American Gasol Co., the first commercial marketer of propane. Snelling had produced relatively pure propane by 1911, and on March 25, 1913, his method of processing and producing LP gases was issued patent #1,056,845.
  • A separate method of producing LP gas through compression was developed by Frank Peterson and its patent was granted on July 2, 1912.
  • The 1920s saw increased production of LP gas, with the first year of recorded production totaling 223,000 US gallons in 1922.
  • In 1927, annual marketed LP gas production reached 1 million US gallons and by 1935, the annual sales of LP gas had reached 56 million US gallons. Major industry developments in the 1930s included the introduction of railroad tank car transport, gas odorization, and the construction of local bottle-filling plants.
  • The year 1945 marked the first year that annual LP gas sales reached a billion gallons. By 1947, 62% of all U.S. homes had been equipped with either natural gas or propane for cooking.
  • In 1950, 1,000 propane-fueled buses were ordered by the Chicago Transit Authority, and by 1958, sales in the U.S. had reached 7 billion US gallons annually.
  • In 2004, it was reported to be a growing $8 billion to $10 billion industry with over 15 billion US gallons of propane being used annually in the U.S.
  • The “prop-” root found in “propane” and names of other compounds with three-carbon chains was derived from “propionic acid”, which in turn was named after the Greek words protos (meaning first) and pion (fat).


  • Propane is great for our country’s economy about 90 percent of the U.S. propane supply is produced domestically right here at home, choosing propane supports domestic fuel independence. About three-quarters of the remaining 10 percent of our domestic propane supply comes from Canada or Mexico.
  • Propane is one of the lightest, simplest hydrocarbons, resulting in it being one of the cleanest burning of all fossil fuels with a lower carbon footprint its use as an alternative fuel and can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Propane is a non-toxic, non-poisonous fuel it doesn’t contaminate groundwater, does not spill, pool, or leave a residue and does not cause long-term environmental damage. Meaning underground propane tanks can be safely buried at home sites & farms in areas beyond the natural gas main.
  • Complete propane combustion produces clean water vapor and carbon dioxide. In the event of a propane gas leak, propane causes no damage to the air, soil, water, marine or plant life.
  • Propane is the single alternative fuel listed in the 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act as well as the National Energy Policy Act of 1992; neither propane production or the combustion of propane gas produces significant acid rain contaminants, propane is not strictly green energy being it still can contribute to greenhouse gas emissions produced in production and transport.
  • Propane gas emits less than half the greenhouse gas emissions of electricity; in fact, propane gas is not a greenhouse gas being it does not occur naturally in the atmosphere and exceeds the requirements for clean fuel regulation it is much cleaner emitting less carbon into the atmosphere than gasoline, diesel, and most other fossil fuels.
  • It takes less propane energy than electricity to run the same appliance type and propane can be used to power almost any home appliance, including dryers, kitchen appliances, on demand water heaters, home heating, fireplaces, pools, spas, and even propane vehicles.
  • Propane gas dryers for clothing dry more quickly and with less static created than electric units saving you time, money, and the quality of your wardrobe.
  • Nationally, the average gas-powered dryer cost per load is between 15 to 33 cents per load while the average electric dryer cost per load is between 32 and 41 cents.
  • Economically propane compared to other forms of energy is of great value with many modern propane appliances achieving efficiency ratings of 95% or higher manufactured with rigorous safety standards. Propane furnaces can be up to 95 percent efficient; propane tankless water heaters can achieve even greater efficiency of up to 98 percent.
  • Close to 95 percent of professional chefs prefer to cook with gas due to the precise instant temperature control allowing for even cooking while preparing meals.
  • Outdoor propane grills use very little gas to cook, during warm summer months; try keeping unwanted heat outside in turn lowering your energy bills when it comes to cooling homes.
  • Propane is a vital fuel source for many businesses around the Mid-Atlantic region fueling stoves in restaurants, hotels, resorts, both commercial and institutional kitchens. Propane is a workhorse on construction sites providing temporary heating, running backup generators, or charging power tools.
  • Propane-Powered light and medium-duty vehicle fleets are becoming more prevalent. They offer less maintenance, lower cost of ownership and fewer emissions; larger propane fleet vehicles ranging from delivery vans to school buses and shuttles can also benefit. EPA funding is available to replace diesel school buses with Propane-Powered, lowering infrastructure costs.
  • Renewable propane is a “Gallon-for-Gallon” substitute for conventional propane they are molecularly identical, all the efficiency of conventional propane is present in renewable propane, they able to coexist in the same equipment without modification and propane is 90 percent efficient in modern heating equipment produces 43 percent fewer emissions than an equivalent amount of grid-produced electricity.
  • Renewable propane reduces landfill waste its production diverts used cooking oil, meat fats from languishing in landfills. In 2018, in conjunction with biofuel production, renewable propane production used the following as feedstocks: over 7.5 billion pounds of soybean oil, over 2 billion pounds of corn oil, 1.7 billion pounds of yellow grease, 618 million pounds of white grease.
  • Carbon intensity of renewable propane is incredibly low ranging from 20.5 to 43.5 grams per megajoule placing it well below grid-based electricity, diesel and gasoline, renewable propane is one-half to one-quarter the carbon intensity of conventional propane lastly propane is carbon neutral at the point of combustion.
  • A recent study determined if one million European homes existing beyond gas grids used renewable propane it would eradicate up to 5 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, reductions like this are one of renewable propane’s environmental benefits.
  • When either conventional or renewable propane is burned in vehicle engines, it produces far less nitrogen oxide than gasoline which contributes to acid rain and respiratory issues.
  • Renewable propane could soon have negative carbon intensity or net-negative carbon emissions a promising tool for reaching this goal is dimethyl ether (DME) where researchers can now synthesize this biogas from animal waste preventing the release of methane and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, this product can be blended with propane.
  • Propane can be used as a refrigerant some perks are, low price, low refrigerant expense, pure component, no glide, low GWP, high efficiency, low running costs, natural long-time solution, not subject to future restrictions, propane as a refrigerant is expected to see increased use due to new IEC 60335-2-89 and more availability of components. A drawback of using propane for AC is propane is denser than air, so if a leak occurs it will displace air dropping to the lowest point; meaning it could collect into an enclosed area running the risk of explosion if the leaked gas encounters an ignition source like an open flame or spark.


  • Propane an all-American fuel source being primarily produced in the United States it creates jobs; in 2018 a study done by the Propane Education and Research Council (PERC) stated the U.S. propane industry generated $46 billion in direct economic impact annually and employed more than 57,000 American workers.
  • The United States imports about 10% of the propane consumed each year, with about 70% of that coming from Canada via pipeline and rail. The remaining 30% of imported propane comes to the United States from other sources via ocean transport.
  • The U.S. is the world’s leading supplier of liquid petroleum gas or (LPG), we export nearly half of the country’s two million barrels per day (bpd) of our propane production to Asia, Latin America, and Europe.
  • Trade in Propane, (LPG) liquefied represented 0.32% of total world trade exports in 2021. Liquefied propane is part of petroleum gas exports in 2021 the top exporters of propane, liquefied were Qatar ($25.5B), United States ($20.4B), United Arab Emirates ($3.76B), Canada ($3.19B), and Saudi Arabia ($1.6B).
  • Current U.S. propane supplies are abundant due in large part to an overall increase in natural gas production. The United States is the largest exporter of propane in 2021, exports averaged 52% of the nation’s production. 
  • In 2021 global propane market size reached $81.40 billion (USD) the propane market industry growth forecast 2021-2030 is expected to register a revenue (CAGR) of 4.7% during this forecast period.
  • Propane contributes around $40 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product.
  • Most domestic propane is a byproduct of natural gas processing, specifically, propane is extracted in part of a process that removes condensation from natural gas pipelines; although some propane is produced from crude oil refinement, most domestically produced propane is a byproduct of domestic natural gas processing.
  • Propane is also produced during the stabilization stage of crude oil refining, heavier hydrocarbons sink, while lighter hydrocarbons (such as propane) rise, making them easy to separate; butane in combination, propane accounts for between one and four percent of processed crude oil.
  • Most renewable propane comes from the same process as biofuel, a fuel derived directly from living matter most renewable propane can be considered a coproduct of biofuel creation many similar feedstocks that go into creating biofuel, animal oils, vegetable oils, biomass are used to create renewable propane.
  • Over 80% of Canada’s propane is extracted from natural gas as part of a (NGL) Natural Gas Liquid mix at hundreds of field plants in, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, while the remaining supply produced at refineries across Canada.
  • Canada produces approximately 2,641,720 Gallons of propane annually and half of the supply is exported.
  • Propane is produced from liquid components recovered during natural gas processing. These components include ethane, methane, propane, and butane, as well as heavier hydrocarbons. Propane and butane, along with other gases, are also produced during crude oil refining.
  • The propane fuel we buy is not 100 percent propane gas; it is about 90 percent propane plus 1 percent odorant/propylene, and about 9 percent butane.
  • Renewable propane is an industry poised for growth set to scale with biofuel as a coproduct, American renewable propane currently makes up about only 0.1 percent of total propane production, as more resources are dedicated to renewable propane production it has tremendous potential.
  • In 2019, 7.6 million gallons of renewable propane was circulating in the U.S. the U.S. produces about 200,000 tons of renewable propane per year, heating homes, powering appliances, and fueling vehicles.


  • Liquid propane boils or converts from liquid to vapor at -44F (-42.2C).  Liquid propane weighs half as much as water, typically a gallon of fresh water at room temperature weighs roughly 8.34 lbs. One gallon of propane weighs 4.2 lbs. Want to know the liquid weight of a propane tank. Simply multiply the number of gallons by 4.2.
  • Propane density as a liquid at 25 °C (77 °F) is 0.493 g/cm3, which is equivalent to 4.11 pounds per U.S. liquid gallon, or 493 g/L. Propane expands at 1.5% per 10 °F. Thus, liquid propane has a density of approximately 4.2 pounds per gallon (504 g/L) at 60 °F (15.6 °C).
  • The density of propane gas at 25 °C (77 °F) is 1.808 kg/m3, about 1.5× the density of air at the same temperature.
  • As the density of propane changes with temperature, this fact must be considered every time the application relates to safety or custody transfer operations.
  • The propane chemical formula (C3H8), or propane chemical structure, is three carbon atoms branched with eight hydrogen atoms (C3H8). Meaning the atomic makeup of a propane molecule is a “simple” alkane that is clean burning, with little smoke or odor.
  • About 23.5 cubic feet of air is required to burn one cubic foot of propane.
  • Propane is 270 times more compact as a liquid than as a gas hence it is stored and transported as liquid; propane is then converted back to gaseous form during combustion.
  • Propane (BTU) British Thermal Unit per gallon is 1 gallon of propane produces 91,452 BTU it takes 91,500 BTUs (or one gallon) of propane = 27 kWh (kilowatt hours) of electricity. 1 watt = 3.412141633 BTU/HR. Having basic conversions on hand helps in selecting the best appliances for your needs and in determining your ideal propane tank size and how much propane you will need to buy annually if you switch from electric.
  • When comparing propane to natural gas or shopping for a new appliance keep these formulas in mind. Natural gas is measured in standard cubic feet (SCF), a slightly different formula accounting for the variable molecular structure of natural gas. 1 cubic foot of propane produces 2516 BTU, and 1 cubic foot of natural gas produces 1030 BTU. An example of usingthese formulas to purchase a home furnace rated at 90,000 BTU per hour will use a little over 1 gallon of propane per hour with many variables influencing this, so use those equivalencies only as a starting point.


  • A person dying from a direct result of a propane transportation or even storage accident involving loss of cargo are relatively low and vehicles fueled by propane must meet the same safety standards as gasoline vehicles, passed rigorous crash testing, propane vehicle tanks are 20 times more puncture-resistant than gasoline tanks additionally aided by propane’s narrow flammability range.
  • Compared with other petroleum products propane has a narrow range of flammability, for propane ignition, the air mixture must contain from 2.2 to 9.6 percent propane vapor. If the mix contains less than 2.2 percent gas it is too lean to burn and if it contains more than 9.6 percent gas, it is too rich to burn.
  • The auto-ignition temperature of propane at which the chemical can spark or ignite (if it meets an ignition source), won’t ignite when combined with air unless the source of ignition reaches at least 940 degrees Fahrenheit in contrast to gasoline source of ignition that reaches only 430 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • If propane is released from a pressured container as a vapor, it can’t be ingested like gasoline or alcohol fuels.
  • Propane is virtually odorless and colorless in its natural state hence the commercial odorant (usually ethyl mercaptan) is added allowing propane to be detected if the system leaks from its container or tank. Note: you also can smell the odorant (which smells like rotten eggs) when your fuel tanks are running very low.


  • Propane (LPG) is commonly used for home heating with a propane furnace, cooking, water heating, and as fuel for heavy industrial and agricultural machinery, but there are at least 8 other household appliances that can run conveniently and affordably on propane. It can be delivered and even automatically refilled by Dixie Land Energy. Consider trying these propane-powered appliances when you are ready for a propane appliance upgrade, we service, install, and can convert most items.
  • Propane Tankless Water Heaters: Not uncommon, propane burns hotter than gas, heats much faster than electricity and resonates, meaning you can heat up a lot of water quickly. The most common energy sources for water heating are typically electricity or natural gas, with propane as a close third.
  • Propane Fireplaces: Gas log fireplace sets are often propane fueled, some advantages over burning wood are cleanliness, convenience, and hook up of a propane tank, over tapping into an underground natural gas line can be easier on installation.
  • Propane Stovetops Ranges or Ovens: Efficient alternative to electricity a propane powered oven preheats faster than electric. Some homeowners prefer cooking over a flame as opposed to a flat top stove or coil and propane allows for precise temperature control.
  • Propane Clothing Dryers: Clothes dry faster as propane creates heat more quickly and keeps a steady heat over time and provide cost savings over electric dryers.
  • Propane Outdoor Fire Pits: Burning wood creates a lot of smoke and getting it lit is not always easy, skip the work of starting a wood fire and just flip a switch.
  • Propane Pool and Hot Tub Heaters: Want to heat your pool or hot tub, propane is a much more efficient heating fuel with rapid heating time and the longevity of heat make it a wise choice for warming large quantities of water.
  • Propane Refrigerators and Freezers: Although much less common are still a possibility most often found in campers’ folks can still benefit from propane-powered refrigerators and freezers.
  • Propane Backup Generators: Are great for emergencies, if the power goes out or a natural gas line is interrupted, your own personal propane supply is still ready and available in many cases, propane is more affordable than natural gas or electricity.