You may already use propane in your home or business, but have you ever asked yourself, where does propane come from? In the coming paragraphs, we will be explaining all there is to know about propane, where it is found, and how it is made and distributed.
History of propane
Propane was not a thing until 1912, when people faced the dilemma of storing gasoline. The issue was that gasoline easily evaporated under room temperature. So, when Dr. Walter Snelling was conducting experiments for the US Bureau of Mines, he found out that some gases convert to liquids under pressure. One of such gases was propane.
Fast forward to 1913, and propane began shipping to several households.
Where is propane found in nature?
Propane is found in nature with petroleum deposits in rocks underneath the earth. So, technically it is a fossil fuel. About 55% of the propane produced in the US is obtained from raw natural gas; the remaining 45% is obtained from petroleum.
Making of propane
Conventionally, propane is made from processing natural gas or petroleum. Natural gas is part of the components that are separated during refrigeration. Additionally, propane is a byproduct of crude oil.
There is also another type of propane called renewable propane. It is different from the propane obtained from natural gas but chemically identical. It is produced from biomass-based feedstocks, animal fats, cooking oil, and 20% dimethyl ether.
Where is propane gas made in the US?
In the United States, most of the propane supply comes from the gas processing plants in Canada. However, there are still domestic gas processing plants in the United States.
How propane is distributed
When propane is made, it is transported from where it was produced to the bulk distribution terminals through railroad, truck, barge, tanker ship, or pipeline. The people who sell the propane then fill it up at the bulk distribution terminals and distribute it to those who need it.
Benefits of propane as an energy source
The use of propane as an energy source has grown exponentially in the last decade due to these benefits.
- It is environmentally friendly.
- It burns clean.
- It is relatively affordable.
- It is non-toxic.
- It provides an alternative source of energy.
- Propane is versatile.
- It doesn’t go bad and, as such, can be stored for a very long time.
Will propane gas ever run out?
The supply of propane is directly tied to the availability of crude oil and natural gas. So far, these are available propane gas will always be present. However, this means that the scarcity of crude oil will significantly affect the presence of propane but a new method of propane production has been found that uses biomass to produce renewable propane.
Propane is found in nature and made from refining crude oil and raw natural gas. However, people are now looking for more renewable methods in biomass. So, right now, where propane comes from is not just limited to raw materials.