Natural gas is found in nature in the form of a mixture of methane and other gases, and propane is a by -product of oil refining and processing of natural gas. Before use, natural gas needs to be cleaned, and as a result of this process, hydrocarbons are formed, including propane, butane, ethane and pentane.
The difference between propane and natural gas is reduced in the energy efficiency of each, as well as costs, storage and risks. Although all these differences are not so great, they can matter when choosing fuel for heating, cooking or drying. Today we will talk about storing these gases.
How to store propane and how to store natural gas?
One of the significant differences between propane and natural gas is their physical properties that affect how easily they are thinned and how to transport them.
Propane turns into a liquid at -43 ° C, but under pressure it will remain liquid even at higher temperatures, which allows you to store and transport it in steel tanks that can be bought in almost any company selling cylinders and even at gas stations. After the pressure is reset, propane acquires a gaseous shape while the temperature is higher than -42 ° C. For portable street kitchens or grills propane is a great option, although it can also be used as fuel for heating systems (for heating).
Natural gas can be stored in several forms, including as a compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas and in an uncompressed form. In most cases, natural gas is compressed before storing or transported. In this form, it is easier to move and extract it, because it can be “pushed” through pipes and valves. And therefore it is used in communal needs. True, gas in storage tanks is under high pressure, so that the risk of the explosion is large enough, and safety should be at the highest level.
To transfer natural gas into a liquefied shape, it must be cooled to -162 ° C. At such low temperatures, it takes up even less space than in a compressed form, so it is more convenient to store it in isothermal tanks. Special insulated containers must be used to restrain liquefied gas in this form, otherwise leaks are possible.
Propane is heavier than air, and the air is heavier than natural gas. Both propane and natural gas will be dissipated in the air if they are released in an open environment. Both gas are explosive if they are very concentrated and ignited.
Since propane is heavier, he will settle on the ground and gather, therefore it is more dangerous. Explosive natural gas is also dangerous in concentrated form, but it does not tend to collect, it, on the contrary, is scattered in the air. Nevertheless, compressed natural gas has the greatest probability of exploding in case of damage to the tanks.