The Difference Between Natural Gas and Liquid Petroleum Gas by Paradise Plumbing & Gas

Posted on March 12, 2016

Liquid Petroleum Gas (propane) is denser than air, and natural gas (methane) is lighter than air. LPG can be compressed into a liquid and stored or transported in a cylinder or larger vessel. LPG has a higher energy content than natural gas, so less LPG is required to produce the same amount of heat.

LPG requires an oxygen to gas ratio of approximately 25 to 1 to combust. Natural gas requires a ratio of around 10 to 1 to combust. To achieve this difference, LPG is typically provided in a smaller quantity but at a higher pressure, drawing more oxygen with it into the combustion process.

LPG is created in the oil refining process. The term LPG actually encompasses more than one type of gas. There are a number of hydrocarbon gases that fall into the category of LPG. Their common characteristic is that they can be compressed into liquid at relatively low pressures. The two most common are Propane and Butane.

Natural gas is primarily Methane. When it is extracted from the ground it may also contain Ethane, Propane, Butane, and Pentane. Most of these are usually stripped out for other specific applications before it is passed along through the pipelines. Impurities are also removed, including water and sulfur.

Natural gas is mainly used for appliances in your home like water heaters, furnaces, fireplaces, stoves, ovens and more. LPG, because of its compressible nature is most often used as fuel in many portable heating appliances, cooking equipment, and vehicles.

Paradise Plumbing and Gas is a licensed and certified installer of gas lines for LPG and natural gas! Call us at 602-565-0936 for an estimate today!