Have you ever wondered, as you’ve turned on your propane range or come to Parker Gas to refill the propane cylinder for your BBQ grill, where your propane comes from?
You’ve come to the right place! We have put together a primer on propane so you’ll know more about this clean, green, versatile and abundant energy source.
Propane is also known as liquified petroleum gas (LPG) and its chemical formula is C3H8. It was first identified in 1910 by chemist Walter O. Snelling. While investigating gasoline evaporation and storage, Snelling discovered that several evaporating gases in gasoline could be converted into liquids, propane among them. Snelling created a method to bottle the liquid gas and the propane industry was born. Three years later, Snelling sold his patent on propane to Frank Philips, founder of Philips Petroleum for $50,000. That’s $1.3 million in today’s money.
About 90% of the propane supply in the United States is produced domestically. Here’s how the supply is generated:
Liquid components from the processing of natural gas — propane, butane, methane and ethane — are extracted. Once the propane production is complete, it gets sent to bulk distribution centers by pipelines, tanker ship, trains, trucks and barges. Distributors then send the propane to local suppliers like Parker Gas, and we deliver it to you!
The increase in shale gas extraction in recent decades has led to more domestic propane production here in the U.S. Because of that, our supply is so abundant that we’ve become a net exporter of propane!
And thanks to the United States having such a plentiful supply of propane, it ensures that no matter what happens elsewhere, we’ll always be able to deliver the propane you need.
Propane is clean-burning and energy-efficient, saving you money on energy costs and propane appliances. Thanks to that clean burning, propane creates much fewer greenhouse gas emissions than other fuels, especially when you factor in how much of our electricity comes from coal-fired plants.