How Is Propane Made?

Date: February 26, 2024

Propane Is Derived from Both Oil and Natural Gas

propane production tennessee Propane is created through the processing of natural gas and crude oil, and it’s a fuel that is largely a domestic product. In fact, about 90% of our propane supply is generated in the United States. Not only does this make it a reliable fuel choice, but it also helps propane’s price remain relatively stable.

Going back to its source, some propane is created during the process of crude oil refining. During the stabilization phase of the refining process, heavier hydrocarbons fall to the bottom. But propane, being a lighter hydrocarbon, is at the top and it’s easily extracted.

Crude oil refining, however, plays a small role in the production of propane. Most propane is derived today from natural gas production. When natural gas gets taken out of the earth, it is a mix of different gases. One of these gases is propane.

To stop condensation from forming in natural gas pipelines, propane is extracted from liquid compounds as the natural gas is being processed. Butane is also extracted during this process. Propane, being much denser as a liquid than as a gas, is stored and transported as a liquid in this form of production.

Why You Can Feel Good About Propane

Here are some of the qualities of propane that make Tennesseans feel good about making it a part of their lives.

  • Versatility. You can use propane to heat your home and water, cook your food and dry your clothes, to name just some of its potential household uses. Whatever appliance you choose, you can count on getting a lot of power and heating energy from every gallon of propane you use.
  • A Remarkably Safe Fuel. Because there are strong federal, state and local regulations, as well as extremely high industry standards, propane is an incredibly safe energy source for your home or business.
  • Clean and Green. Propane is a clean-burning fuel that was recognized as an alternative fuel in both the 1990 Clean Air Act and the 1992 National Energy Policy. Propane does not contain a speck of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. And in the rare event of a leak, propane has no detrimental impact on the air, soil, water, aquatic life, marine life or plant life.
  • Efficient. Because propane burns so hot and clean, the appliances it powers — furnaces, water heaters, fireplaces and more — can achieve super-high efficiency ratings. This means you won’t waste much heating energy when you use propane. And when you eliminate energy waste, you save money.

So, if you’re searching for energy tips to save money, put “use propane more” at the top of your list.

New to the Mix: Renewable Propane

While renewable propane is not widely available yet, homes and businesses all over the U.S. will eventually be able to easily use it. Since renewable propane is molecularly identical to conventional propane, there will be no need to replace or alter existing propane appliances and equipment.

What is renewable propane gas made of? Just as conventional propane is a coproduct of crude oil and natural gas extraction, most renewable propane can be considered a coproduct of biofuel creation. Many of the same feedstocks that go into creating biofuel — animal oils, vegetable oils, biomass — are used to create renewable propane.

This method of producing propane is as safe, cost-effective, and dependable as conventional propane. Plus, renewable propane has a smaller carbon footprint.

Read more about renewable propane gas.