10 Quick Facts About Propane

Written on: July 4, 2022

Learn more about this efficient and versatile energy source!

why propane wisconsinMany of your Southeast Wisconsin neighbors are converting their homes to propane. If you haven’t used propane before, you may be wondering about propane and the advantages it offers.

We’ve put together 10 facts about propane that will help answer your questions as well as show you some of the benefits that propane could offer your home and family.

  1. Propane’s chemical formulation is C₃H₈.
  2. Walter O. Snelling discovered propane in 1910, identifying it as a volatile component in gasoline. He patented it, and, three years later, sold the patent to Frank Phillips, the founder of Phillips Petroleum. Snelling was paid $50,000, which would be $1.4 million in today’s money.
  3. Propane has no odor in its natural state. An odorant, most commonly ethyl mercaptan, is added during processing to make detecting propane leaks easier. The odorant has a smell that is best described as being like rotten eggs.
  4. Propane is largely a domestic product, with 90% of our propane supply being produced domestically.
  5. Because the majority of our domestically produced propane comes from natural gas processing, we have an abundant supply that allows the U.S. to be a net exporter of propane.
  6. More than 50 million homes in the U.S. use propane in a wide array of ways including home heating, water heating, cooking, fireplaces, space heating, whole-house backup generators, clothes drying, pool heating, and more.
  7. Propane offers outstanding energy efficiency. Some propane appliances achieve efficiencies as high as 98%. Propane water heaters produce twice the amount of heated in the same amount of time as a comparable electric water heater. Propane provides more BTUs per gallon or cubic foot than natural gas. To generate the same amount of energy as created by burning one gallon of propane, you need 27 kilowatt hours of electricity. 
  8. The propane industry employs more than 75,000 people in the U.S. and contributes close to $40 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product.
  9. Propane is a safe fuel. Propane will not burn until the surrounding air reaches 940° Fahrenheit, making it one of the safest fuels available. Furthermore, propane cylinders are built from carbon steel and are 20 times more puncture-resistant than ethanol, methanol, or gasoline tanks.
  10. Propane is one of the most environmentally friendly energy sources on the market. It was named an alternative fuel in both the 1990 Clean Air Act and the 1992 National Energy Policy. Propane is not a greenhouse gas. Natural gas is a greenhouse gas because it contains methane.

Boehlke Bottled Gas is Southeast Wisconsin’s leader for dependable propane delivery and service. Become a customer today!