LPG bottles vs natural gas lines

There are two options for using gas in a residential or commercial context: liquid petroleum gas (LPG) and piped natural gas (PNG). While LPG bottles are handy and simple to use, PNG lines may be less expensive.

What is LPG?

Liquid petroleum gas is the most often used natural gas in residences and commercial setups worldwide, and in South Africa, we use it primarily for cooking and heating.

LPG is a portable, clean, and efficient energy source that is easily accessible. LPG is primarily derived from natural gas and oil extraction, although it is increasingly derived from renewable sources. Because of its unique qualities, it is a versatile energy source that may be employed in over 1 000 various applications.

LPG refers to two natural gas liquids: propane and butane, or a combination of the two. While propane and butane are chemically quite similar, tiny changes in their characteristics mean they are best suited to specific applications.

Propane has a lower boiling point, making it ideal for outdoor storage. It is generally used for central heating, commercial uses, cooking, and transportation.

Butane is often transported in cylinders for use in portable applications like mobile heaters or recreational vehicles like boats and caravans.

LPG comes in various sized cylinders. Commercial-grade LPG cylinders range from 19 kg, 45 kg, 90 kg, and 210 kg. Before being filled and transported to a gas source, an LPG bottle will be subjected to various stress tests and inspection procedures.

What is a PNG line?

Piped natural gas is mainly composed of methane with a low percentage of other hydrocarbons. Since methane has a low carbon-to-hydrogen ratio, it burns fully, proving environmentally beneficial. In addition, methane is significantly lighter than liquid petroleum gas. As a result, PNG has a faster dispersion rate, making it less dangerous in the event of a leak.

PNG is one of the cleanest, safest, and most efficient energy forms and is in plentiful supply. These gas lines ensure you don’t have to worry about running out of gas, and the PNG runs at low pressure. The lines are generally reliable and easy to maintain. Possibly the most significant benefit of PNG is the extremely low levels of greenhouse gasses it releases on combustion.

It is also possible for some PNG resources to be recycled and recovered.

Side-by-side comparison of LPG and PNG

Propane and butaneMethane
Because LPG is heavier than air, it tends to sink at ground level when a leak occurs. LPG is very flammable as a result, and it may cause hazardous harm to your property and any living beings within.Because PNG is lighter than air and disperses fast, there is less likelihood of an explosion in the event of a leak.
Fire hazard
LPG catches fire when it produces a 2% mixture with the air surrounding it.PNG catches fire when it develops a 5 – 15 percent mixture with the air surrounding it.
LPG is easy to store as it is only available in LPG bottles or gas cylinders.PNG cannot be stored, only supplied from its source with one or more pipelines.
LPG has a distinctive, sometimes unpleasant odourBecause PNG is often odourless, ethyl mercaptan is mixed into it to help in detecting gas leaks.

The bottom line

Overall, piped natural gas lines are the safest choice compared to LPG bottles, although they aren’t always the most convenient.

Contact Combustion and Heating Systems for details

Combustion & Heating Systems specialises in installing, maintaining, and repairing commercial gas solutions at competitive rates.

If you have any questions about LPG and PNG, contact us today. In addition, we offer a diverse range of specialised industrial heating equipment, including oil and gas burners, hot water and steam boilers, hot water circulating pumps, expansion tanks, burner control boxes, oil pumps, nozzles, valves and pressure switches, solenoids, and more.

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