Bottled gas represents one of our most versatile and convenient fuels thanks to its compact design that makes it simple to transport and store, and its impressive thermal energy production. Suitable for both commercial and domestic applications, it’s ideal for both powering your barbecue during the summer and supplying heat to homes and commercial premises that do not have a mains gas connection.
Bottled gas also comes in various sizes of bottles to suit both residential and commercial requirements. For example, businesses like mobile catering vans may use a 19kg gas bottle to cook food on the road, while forklift trucks can be powered by an 18kg forklift gas bottle. However, there are two kinds of gas that you can choose from depending on your use – propane vs butane.
Knowing the various differences that exist between both gases is crucial in order to select the one that best suits your needs. So here, we’ll take a closer look at both butane and propane so you can be better informed.
What Is Propane?
When compared with butane, propane has a lower boiling point and is therefore more volatile. Propane’s boiling point is extremely low at -45 degrees Celsius, which is very important, since when the temperature of bottled gas falls below the boiling point it turns into a liquid, preventing it from working as an effective fuel. Thanks to its super-low boiling point, propane remains suitable for use as a fuel even when the weather is extremely cold. It also lights easily in all weather conditions.
For anyone looking for an effective and simple way to cook food and keep warm in the great outdoors, propane is an excellent choice of fuel. It’s the perfect option for various leisure applications including for barbecues and patio heaters.
Propane is also a good choice for individuals relying on gas as their primary power source as an alternative to mains gas central heating since it provides energy and light reliably, whatever the circumstances. It is important to bear in mind that it has high volatility, though, and that means users need to take a little more care during its use.
What Is Butane?
Considered to be safer than propane, butane doesn’t light so easily and can output less thermal energy. That means it’s safe to transport and store with reduced risk of combustion. As long as you take suitable safety precautions, your butane gas bottle is virtually guaranteed to never catch on fire accidentally.
Butane is a great choice of gas for short camping and caravanning trips as well as barbecuing as everyone can use it, regardless of their gas safety knowledge. Butane gas has a boiling point of only -1 degree Celsius and is typically sold in smaller bottles than propane gas. That’s why caravanners and caravan sites often opt for Campingaz 907 butane gas cylinders thanks to their portability and more convenient size.
Both butane and propane are LPG gases.
What Are LPG Gases?
LPG or Liquefied Petroleum Gases are low carbon, highly efficient, colourless fuels that come in two forms – butane and propane. While both types of gas can power appliances the same way, the gases are made up of different properties, and are stored and extracted in different ways. That means you need to choose the right bottled gas to suit your needs.
A Comparison of Butane And Propane
The main difference that exists between butane and propane is the boiling points. While propane is capable of handling lower temperatures, butane is better off being stored indoors since it cannot function effectively in a cold climate.
When it comes to which is safer, butane or propane, butane is deemed to be a safer choice due to its lower risk of combustion.
In terms of carbon emissions, both butane and propane burn cleanly, making both a better choice for our environment than alternative fuels like oil.
What Are The Benefits Of Propane vs Butane?
Let’s take a closer look at the various benefits that both butane and propane can offer users:
Propane has a lower boiling point than butane and is used for both commercial and residential applications. Its boiling point is -42°C.
Butane’s boiling point is higher and it is used primarily indoors for residential use or for small-scale outdoor use, such as for camping. Its boiling point is -2°C.
Propane is ideal for use in patio heaters and barbecues as well as for cooking and heating applications.
Butane is used in small-scale cooking stoves, such as those used for camping, and in portable gas heaters, people often use butane gas for indoor heaters as an alternative to mains gas, a more cost effective way of heating just the room that they are in.
Sizes Of Gas Bottles
Propane is available in gas bottles of up to 47kg in size including the following sizes:
Butane is only available in gas bottles of up to 13kg including the following sizes:
Both butane and propane allow you to reduce carbon emissions when compared with oil by as much as 38%.
Could I Use Butane Instead Of Propane And Vice Versa?
In many cases, appliances are able to be used either with propane or butane, but it’s important to be aware that they will use a different regulator depending on which gas you use because both gases operate at different pressures. Therefore, as an example, a propane cylinder cannot work in conjunction with a butane regulator.
Availability Of Propane And Butane
There are some differences between propane and butane that make both gases either an advantage or a disadvantage depending on the way in which you are using them and the application that you’re using them for. The best gas for you to use will depend entirely on its usage.
Here at innergy, we stock a range of propane and butane gas cylinders in a variety of sizes to suit the needs of a broad spectrum of applications. If you’re uncertain of which type of gas you need, want to find out more or receive quote based on your requirements, please get in touch with our friendly team of experts today.