Propane is an alkane with the chemical formula C3H8. As a type of hydrocarbon, it can undergo hydrocarbon combustion, which gives off heat. Propane is one of the hydrocarbon components of raw natural gas, which is a type of fossil fuel. Propane is usually removed from natural gas before being shipped to customers, but is also sold separately as a fuel on its own.
Propane is normally in a gaseous state during consumption. However, it is normally stored as a liquefied propane gas in tanks such as the one shown in Figure 2. Propane has one of the highest energy densities (50.3 MJ/kg) of any hydrocarbon, second only to methane.
Below is a table of some of the basic properties of propane.
|Molecular Mass||44.1 grams/mole|
|Energy density||50.3 MJ/kg|
For Further Reading
- Ben Mills. (2014, Dec. 12). Propane-3D-vdW-B [Online]. Available: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Propane-3D-vdW-B.png#mediaviewer/File:Propane-3D-vdW-B.png
- “NATURAL GAS FAQs,” Pacific Northern Gas RSS. [Online]. Available: http://www.png.ca/natural-gas-faqs/. [Accessed: 24-May-2017]
- Personal photo submitted by a member of the Energy Education team.
- (2014, Jul. 1). Chemical Potential Energy [Online]. Available: http://physics.info/energy-chemical/
- (2015, Jan. 29). Boiling Points and Structures of Hydrocarbons [Online]. Available: [http://www.elmhurst.edu/~chm/vchembook/501hcboilingpts.html