Are Propane And Butane The Same Thing?

The science behind your some popular fuels!

butane and propane comparing tennessee

If you use propane in your home, you know that it is an efficient, clean-burning, versatile gas.

You may not know that it also shares some similarities with another gas: Butane.

Both propane and butane are both liquid petroleum gases (LPGs). They are both flammable hydrocarbon gases and byproducts of natural gas processing.

Propane and butane also both produce carbon dioxide, water, carbon monoxide and soot when combusted. They each can be used to fuel vehicles and heating stoves.

But, even after a number of similarities, propane and butane really are quite different. We’ll explain how!

The differences between propane and butane

  • Propane’s chemical formula is C3H8. The chemical formula for butane is C4H10.
  • Propane stores far better than butane, especially in colder weather. Butane stops vaporizing at 31˚F, its boiling point. Propane’s boiling point is -43˚F. So no matter how bad the polar vortex ever gets here in Tennessee and southern Kentucky, propane will work for your home all year ’round!
  • When stored as a liquid in a tank, propane also exerts a greater pressure than butane at the same temperature. This makes it more suitable for exterior storage and use.
  • Butane is more commonly used as a propellant and refrigerant.
  • Propane is better for grilling

    Butane is frequently seen as a fuel for camp stoves and grills. But propane is the preferred choice here as well.

    Remember what we said about propane working in cold weather? That applies here too. If you’re grilling in the winter, butane may not work for you. Literally. Propane is also much easier to use with your grill. Just connect your propane cylinder to the grill, and you’re ready to go!

    Propane is clean burning, so it won’t add strange flavors to your food, especially light, delicate-flavored food like fish or fruit. Butane? You’ll likely get a fairly pungent smell and taste of lighter fluid.

    At the end of the day, both gases emit no long-term negative effects on the environment. Propane and butane are both safe, non-toxic, clean burning fuels that are a great source of energy. We just hope now that you can tell them apart!

    Count on Advanced Propane for reliable, safe propane delivery. Become a customer today and experience the Advanced difference!