It Contains What?
Summer wouldn’t be the same without barbeque grills. Cooking burgers, broiling salmon, barbequing chicken - everything somehow tastes better over an open flame. Increasingly, we are seeing those flames fueled by propane, not charcoal. No more waiting for the coals to get to the right temperature, no more starter fluid, no more ashes to dispose of. Just turn on the propane tank, ignite the fuel, and get ready to cook.
News You Can Use
- Propane is a colorless, odorless gasthat burns with a clear flame. Approximately half of the propane produced in the U.S. is obtained from petroleum refineries that separate a number of petroleum products from one another. The other 50% is obtained by fractionation of natural gas, which contains about 5% propane.
- Propane was discovered in the early 1900s as a by-product of research on gasoline storage. In 1912 Dr. Walter Snelling of the U.S. Bureau of Mines learned that many of the gases in the mixture that evaporated quickly could be liquefied and stored at moderate temperatures. Within a year, propane began to be commercially available for home heating and other uses.
- Propane and natural gas are not the same. Propane is a single hydrocarbon (C3H8) while natural gas contains a mixture of low-molecular-weight hydrocarbons that include mainly methane along with some ethane, propane, and butane. Propane provides about twice the heating energy per cubic foot as compared to natural gas. However, in most locales natural gas tends to be less expensive.
- Watch the video at the link below to learn more about propane-fueled vehicles. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Egzj72_VbE
Show What You Know
Use the link below to learn more about propane as a fuel. Then answer the following questions.
- What is added to propane so that it can be smelled in case of a leak?
- What are some of the major uses for propane?
- Why is propane a clean-burning fossil fuel?
- What happens when propane leaks from a tank?
- List three problems associated with converting a new car from gasoline to propane.