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LPG, A Hugely Versatile Gas

Liquefied Petroleum Gas otherwise referred to as LPG, is a hugely versatile energy source.

Clean burning, LPG has a vast array of uses in the home, within industry, agriculture, on the roads – in fact everywhere! Discover for yourself how LPG is produced and stored – there’s even a chemical breakdown if you really want to know the subject.

Liquefied petroleum gas, or LPG, represents a simple and cost effective alternative to coal fired electricity. Many homeowners, industrial facilities and even mining operations have made the change to LPG, simply because of its efficiency as a fuel source. But LPG is also currently one of the most effective ways to reduce carbon emissions from your facility, and to reduce your home’s dependency on municipal electricity.

Coal fired power plants are still some of the biggest producers of harmful carbon emissions and greenhouse gasses. So any way that homeowners can find to reduce their dependency on the power supplied by these plants is a move in an environmentally friendly direction.

Cooking is, of course, one of the most popular applications for LPG in the modern home. Anyone who uses their oven or hob to regularly prepare meals for a large family knows how much electricity these appliances can consume. With LPG, cooking is a gas. You’ll save money by cooking more efficiently, because with a gas hob, you get instant heat. There’s no waiting for an element to heat up before you can start cooking. Once burning, a gas hob yields its maximum heat output within seconds and when using high quality gas hob, you’ll have absolute control of the temperature, allowing you to cook your favourite meals to perfection.

For factory managers and anyone looking to optimise energy usage in an industrial environment, LPG offers the same benefits that it does in the home, only on a much bigger scale. Factories that make the conversion to LPG are not affected by blackouts or power cuts, electricity bills are significantly reduced and, because LPG releases less carbon dioxide when burnt, the carbon footprint of your business is significantly reduced.

If you’re in search of a truly functional and more environmentally friendly heating solution for your home or business, contact us at Unique Welding to find out which LPG solutions are available to you.

If you have any questions or if there’s anything you’d like more information on don’t hesitate to contact us, our experienced team is always on hand to help – just get in touch.

Properties Of LPG

LPG vapour is heavier than air, which has important safety implications. Any leakage will sink to the ground and accumulate in low lying areas and may be difficult to disperse, so LPG should never be stored or used in cellars or basements.

Like mains gas, LPG has no smell and so a strong “stenching ” agent is added before delivery to help detection of any leaks. LPG is flammable in air and although non-toxic, large quantities could cause suffocation.

LPG is a high performance fuel, but will only ignite if mixed with air in a gas:air ratio of between 1:50 and 1:10 (lower than the limit for mains gas). The low limit for flammability means that even small leaks could have serious results.

The ignition temperature of LPG in air is around 500ºC – lower than that of mains gas but actually requiring more energy to cause ignition. This means that some gas lighters may not work with LPG.

The calorific value of LPG is about 2.5 times higher than that of mains gas so more heat is produced from the same volume of gas.

LPG is chemically reactive and will cause natural rubber and some plastics to deteriorate. Only equipment and fittings specifically designed for LPG should be used.

LPG exists as gas at normal atmospheric pressure, only existing in a liquid form at very low temperatures, or under pressure. Normally, the gas is stored in liquid form under pressure in a steel container.

When the pressure is released (e.g. when the gas supply valve is turned on), the liquid will boil and form a vapour. It’s this vapour (gas) which is used to fuel appliances.

Heat is needed to convert the liquid to gas, known as the latent heat of vapourisation. As the liquid boils, it needs to take heat energy from itself and its surroundings. This is why containers feel cold to touch and if there is a heavy gas off-take, frost may appear on the outside.

Pressure increases with temperature, so if the temperature around the tank increases, so will the pressure inside the tank as the liquid expands. Tanks are normally fitted with a pressure relief valve to release any extreme build up of pressure safely.

LPG is a mixture of two gases (propane and butane), which have similar properties but are very different in storage requirements. Propane has a lower boiling point than butane, so will continue to convert from a liquid to a gas even in very cold conditions. This makes it suitable for domestic and commercial heating, hot water and cooking, as well as a whole range of uses in agriculture and industry.

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