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LPGforHome

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WrittenbyEricHahn

HistoryandOriginofLPGGasPropane
LPGcylindersareacommonsite,whetheritbeonaBBQorthesideofahouse.
ButwhodiscoveredLPG(Propane)andhowdidithappen?

TheFatherofLPG:Dr.WalterO.Snelling
LPGwasfirstidentifiedasasignificantcomponentofpetroleumin1910.

ThestorygoesthataFordModelTowneraskedDr.WalterO.Snelling,a
chemistandexplosivesexpertwiththeU.S.BureauofMines,whythe
gasolinehehadpurchasedwashalfgonebythetimehegothome.

Thecarownerthoughtthegovernmentshouldinvestigatebecause
consumerswerebeingdefrauded,withthegasolineevaporatingatarapid
rate.

Whosaidconsumeractivismisanewidea?

ItAllStartedwithaGlassJug
So,Snellingfilledaglassjugwiththegasolinefromthecaranddiscovered,onhiswaybackto
thelab,thatvapourswereforminginthejugcausingthecorktokeeppoppingout.

Inaddition,thegasolinehehadpurchasedwashalfgonebythetimehegothome.

Usinganoldhotwaterheaterandothermiscellaneouspiecesoflaboratoryequipment,Snelling
builtacontraptionthatcouldseparatethegasolineintoitsliquidandgaseouscomponents.

SnellingdiscoveredalargepartofliquidgasolinewasactuallycomposedofLPG,including
propane,butane,andotherhydrocarbons.

Hebeganexperimentingwiththesegasestofindwaystocontrolandcapturethem.

EarlyCommercialisation
SnellingsoonrealisedthattheLPGcouldbeusedforlighting,metal
cutting,andcooking.

ThatdiscoverymarkedtheoriginoftheLPGindustry.

Snelling,incooperationwithothers,createdwaystoliquefytheLPGduring
therefiningofnaturalgasoline.

TogethertheyestablishedtheAmericanGasolCompany,thefirst
commercialmarketerofLPG.

Snellingmanagedtoproducerelativelypurepropaneby1911and,in1913,
hisLPGtechnologywasawardedaU.S.patent.

Othermethodsandadvancesintechnologyfollowed.

SeeTheFirstFiftyYearsofLPG
(http://www.npga.org/files/public/LPGA_Times_1962_History.pdf)fora
muchmoredetailedchronology.

GASPLANTINSTEELBOTTLE(http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?
res=F30E12FA345517738DDDA80894DC405B828DF1D3),the1912NewYorkTimesarticle
aboutSnellingswork,isalsoworthaquickread.

TheOriginofLPGPropane
LPGprocessinginvolvesseparationandcollectionofthegasfromitspetroleumbase.

LPGisisolatedfromthepetrochemicalmixturesinoneoftwowaysbyseparationfrom
naturalgasorbytherefiningofcrudeoil.

Bothprocessesbeginbydrillingoilwells.

Thegas/oilmixtureispipedoutofthewellandintoagastrap,whichseparatesthestreaminto
crudeoiland"wet"gas,whichcontainsnaturalgasoline,LPGandnaturalgas.
Theheaviercrudeoilsinkstothebottomofthetrap
andisthenpumpedintoanoilstoragetankfor
refining.

Crudeoilundergoesavarietyofrefiningprocesses,
includingcatalyticcracking,crudedistillation,and
others.OneoftherefinedproductsisLPG.

The"wet"gas,offthetopofthegastrap,isprocessed
toseparatethegasoline(petrol)fromthenaturalgas
andLPG.

Thenaturalgas,whichismostlymethane,ispipedto
townsandcitiesfordistributionbygasutility
companies.
(http://www.elgas.com.au/res
Thepetrolisshippedtoservicestations.

TheLPGalsoentersthedistributionpipeline,whereit
eventuallyfindsitswaytoendusers,includingfor
HomeLPG(http://www.elgas.com.au/forhome)
andCommercialLPG
(http://www.elgas.com.au/forbusiness)usersallaroundAustraliaandtheworld.

PleaseseetheLPGSupplyChainInfographic(http://www.elgas.com.au/blog/455
lpggassupplychain)

SomepeoplestillthinkthatLPGisabyproduct.Thisissimplynotthecase.

LPGisactuallyanextremelyversatileandvaluablecoproduct,justlikethegasolineandnatural
gasproducedinthesameprocessstream.

ThisLPGcomponent,whichisabout10%oftotalgasmixture,canbeusedasamixtureor
furtherseparatedintoitsthreeprimaryparts:propane,butaneandisobutane
(http://www.elgas.com.au/blog/1688butanevspropanevslpgisobutaneliquefied
petroleumgas).

Propane(LPGinAustralia)isabout5%ofthetotalgasmixture.

Bestofall,itcanbecompressedintoaliquidfortransportvirtuallyanywhere.

PleaseseeThePropertiesofLPG(http://www.elgas.com.au/blog/453thesciencea
propertiesoflpg)forinformationaboutthephysicalattributesofLPG.

Youmayalsowishtosee:

LPGConversionValues:KG,Litres,MJ,kWh,BTU&M
(http://www.elgas.com.au/blog/389lpgconversionskglitresmjkwhandm3)

TheScience&PhysicalPropertiesofLPG(http://www.elgas.com.au/blog/453the
scienceapropertiesoflpg)

12HandyHowToGuidesforLPG&GasAppliances
(http://www.elgas.com.au/blog/49512handyhowtoguidesforlpggasagas
appliances)

(http://www.elgas.com.au/resources/blog/learnmore

lpgfactstechnology)

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