At Van Dyke Gas Co, your safety is our most important priority. Propane plays an important role in our everyday lives. It is an efficient energy source for heating and cooking and is widely used in manufacturing and agriculture. Most people know propane as the fuel in a white container attached to a barbecue grill. But propane has long proven its versatility for heating homes, heating water, cooking, drying clothes, fueling fireplaces and as an alternative fuel for vehicles. Propane is also used to make petrochemicals which are the building blocks for plastics, alcohol fibers, and cosmetics.
Propane naturally occurs as a gas at atmospheric pressure but can be liquefied if subjected to moderately increased pressure. It is stored and transported in its compressed liquid form, but by opening a valve to release propane from a pressurized storage container, it is vaporized into a gas for use. Propane is a by-product of natural gas processing and petroleum refining.
Propane is a liquid hydrocarbon that vaporizes into a colorless, odorless, highly flammable gas. In properly maintained and operated systems, propane is completely safe. However, it can be extremely dangerous if an uncontrolled release of propane occurs. In order to detect an uncontrolled release or leak of propane, an odorant (ethyl mercaptan) is added. This odorant give propane an unpleasant smell like rotten eggs, a skunk’s spray or a dead animal.