Dixie Land Energy has been delivering propane to Mid-Atlantic Region for over Twenty years. We have the equipment and personnel to take care of you and treat you like family. Dixie Land Energy provides the highest quality propane available to residential and commercial clients. We provide HD5 quality propane, also known as “Consumer-grade propane” or “brand special duty propane.” HD5 propane is a minimum of 90% propane, max of 5% propylene, the remainder consists of other gases such as iso-butane and methane. If you need propane delivery, we offer volume discounts for larger quantities of fuel delivered.


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Fuel Laws LPG

What is propane?

Also known as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), propane is an odorless hydrocarbon (C3H8), gas at normal pressures and temperatures. It is the same propane used for residential heating, cooking, and grills. Propane that is marketed and sold exclusively for use in motor vehicles is sometimes branded as Autogas, to reflect that it is measured, taxed, and dispensed as a vehicle fuel. But it is virtually identical to conventional propane. When pressurized in a tank to 150 pounds per square inch, it becomes a liquid with an energy density 270 times greater than that of its gaseous form. 

Propane is a three-carbon alkane gas (C3H8). It is stored under pressure inside a tank as a colorless, odorless liquid. As pressure is released, the liquid propane vaporizes and turns into gas that is used in combustion. An odorant, ethyl mercaptan, is added for leak detection. Propane being colorless and odorless for safety reasons is required to be odorized as to indicate positively, by distinct odor, the presence of gas in air down to a concentration of not over 1/5th the lower level of flammability 0.4% in air another safety precaution. Achieved by adding 1.0 lbs. of ethyl mercaptan, or 1.0 lbs. of thiophane, or 1.4 lbs. of amyl mercaptan per 10,000 of liquefied petroleum gas.

Currently there are three grades of propane available, HD5 for internal combustion engines, commercial propane and a commercial propane butane mix for other uses. The exact composition of propane varies slightly from refinery to refinery and throughout different parts of the country. Hard to picture in our minds the effects of temperature and pressure on propane, even though we may deal with propane daily it is always sealed inside a storage container, out of sight. Trying to understand propane better, let us compare it to water, a substance that we are all familiar with. Liquid propane and water act very similar to temperature changes, the main difference being the temperature and pressure at which gas becomes liquid.

Propane complete combustion equation/ reaction of propane (C3H8) is written as: C 3 H 8 + 5 O 2 → 3 CO 2 + 4 H 2 O + Heat (Propane) (Oxygen) (Carbon (Water) dioxide) results in the formation of carbon dioxide and water vapor. Carbon monoxide is a by-product of combustion. If there is not enough oxygen to completely burn the propane, propane does not emit any wastes such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides or methane.

Propane has a high-octane rating, making it an excellent choice for spark-ignited internal combustion engines. If spilled or released from a vehicle, it presents no threat to soil, surface water, or groundwater. Propane accounts for about 2% of the energy used in the United States. Of that, less than 3% is used for transportation. Its main uses include home and water heating, cooking, and refrigerating food, clothes drying, and powering farm and industrial equipment. The chemical industry also uses propane as a raw material for making plastics and other compounds.

What is LPG?

LPG is liquefied petroleum gas commonly referred to as propane (C3H8), is a combustible hydrocarbon-based fuel source. Propane is derived from the refining of crude oil and natural gas. At normal pressure and temperatures above -44F Propane remains in a gaseous form; at lower temperatures and/or higher-pressure propane becomes a liquid.

How is propane produced and distributed?

Propane is a byproduct of natural gas processing and crude oil refining. As of 2020, more than 93% of the U.S. propane supply was produced in North America. Propane is shipped from its point of production to bulk distribution terminals via pipeline, railroad, barge, truck, or tanker. Propane marketers then purchase propane at terminals and distribute the fuel to customers, including retail or private fueling stations. Chemically identical to conventional propane, renewable propane is produced from biomass-based feedstocks, including used cooking oil, animal fats, or 20% dimethyl ether. Renewable propane is currently produced in limited quantities at biodiesel refineries.

Propane as an Alternative Fuel

Interest in propane as an alternative transportation fuel stems from its domestic availability, high-energy density, clean-burning qualities, and relatively low cost. It is the world’s third most common transportation fuel, behind gasoline and diesel, and is considered an alternative fuel under the Energy Policy Act of 1992.

Propane used in vehicles is specified as HD-5 propane and is a mixture of propane with smaller amounts of other gases. According to the Gas Processors Association’s HD-5 specification for propane, it must consist of at least 90% propane, no more than 5% propylene, and 5% other gases, primarily butane and butylene. (See fuel properties.)

For vehicle fueling, the quick release “Type K15” dispenser connector is required to be installed on all new vehicles beginning January 1, 2020, per National Fire Protection Association Code 58. This connector allows for one-handed fueling and does not require the use of personal protective equipment such as gloves and face shield (which are required for the older style connector).

Propane is stored onboard a vehicle in a tank pressurized to about 150 pounds per square inch—about twice the pressure of an inflated truck tire. Under this pressure, propane becomes a liquid with an energy density 270 times greater than its gaseous form. Propane has a higher-octane rating than gasoline, so it can be used with higher engine compression ratios and is more resistant to engine knocking. However, it has a lower British thermal unit rating than gasoline, so it takes more fuel by volume to drive the same distance.

Propane Highlights:

  • Propane will not go bad.
  • Propane burns clean resulting in the formation of carbon dioxide and water vapor.
  • Propane is very safe & easy to install with proper training.
  • Propane requires no wiring except the on/off solenoid.
  • In many cases propane is much cheaper than gasoline rates at 100-110 octane and prolongs engine life.
  • Propane automatically compensates for altitude.
  • Propane is not harmful to soil or water.