Is LPG the Same as Natural Gas?

Gas production is generally a chemical process. But is LPG the same as natural gas, given that other gases come about due to chemical composition? That question is only answerable after an in-depth look at the elements that make up each of the two fuels. Technically, the two energy sources have different chemical compositions.

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LPG is liquefied petroleum gas which is either propane or butane with a heat content of 93.2MJ/m3. On the other hand, natural gas is primarily methane and has a heat content of 38.7MJ/M3. Both are crude oil products, but the energy content and density are different. LPG comes in cylinders while natural gas in pipelines. 

Are they the same?

The only similarity between the two is that they are both highly combustible. However, the fact that LPG gas has a higher calorific value means that a little bit of it goes a long way than natural gas. There is also a close similarity between LPG and natural gas in that LPG comes from natural gas processing.

LPG produces a higher content of carbon dioxide than natural gas during combustion. It is also more readily available than natural gas, and so is the reference in the market. Both are flammable hydrocarbon gases, but it does not mean that they are the same. Natural gas or LPG are both applicable in-home or business.

Natural Gas

The methane in natural gas is one of the safest fuels to use as it quickly disperses into the air if there is a leak. That is the advantage that this fossil fuel holds over liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). Utilities often liquefy natural gas to form the LNG.

The appropriate packaging of liquefied natural gas is a cryogenic tank. When it comes to storage, the difference between LPG and LNG is that the former can be moved in cylinders or tanks, while LNG requires special cryogenic tanks and pipeline consumers.

Propane or LPG

LPG can either be propane gas or butane. Note that propane is not natural gas but is a product of the processing of natural gas. It’s transported in cylinders where it is stored under pressure.

Propane is heavier than air, unlike natural gas, which is lighter than air. Its chemical formula is C3H4. It can be compressed into liquid form and transported or stored. As for propane in appliances, they operate at a pressure similar to those for methane. 

Knowing the Similarities and Differences

Now that you know the answer to the question “is LPG the same as natural gas,” you should never confuse between the two as they are different. It starts from each gas’s heat content to how they are stored, transported and the differences in costs.

Contact us to learn more similarities and differences between LPG and natural gas.