Written on: December 27, 2022
Since propane was first identified as a volatile compound in gasoline in 1910, businesses and scientists have worked diligently to make propane the viable fuel source it represents today. The process itself of making propane has evolved over the last century or so. Today, there are two primary ways propane is produced.
Because propane is created through the processing of natural gas and crude oil, it is a fuel that is largely a domestic product. In fact, about 90% of the American propane supply is generated right here in the United States! That abundant, right-at-home supply in your propane tank makes propane a reliable fuel choice for your Maine home or business, and all its potential appliances and equipment, throughout the year.
Some propane is created during the process of crude oil refining. There are a lot of products that can be derived from crude oil refining, including gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene, jet fuel and heating oil—and propane as well. During the stabilization phase of the refining, the heavier hydrocarbons fall to the bottom. But propane, being a lighter hydrocarbon, is at the top and it’s easily extracted.
The process of crude oil refining now plays a small role in the production of propane, however. The majority of propane is derived today from natural gas production. When we take natural gas 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.
Propane is an ideal fuel for many purposes, even beyond your water heater and heating your home with your furnace, boiler, space heater, or fireplace. It’s also useful for stoves and grills, as well as for outdoor use, including lawnmowers, pool heating, and outside lighting. And the peace of mind is never far off when you have a propane-fueled generator.
This comes as a surprise to many people, but homes that are run on electricity are actually less energy efficient than those running on propane. And it is pretty straightforward – propane gives a big bang for your buck on your energy bills. Since propane naturally burns hotter, it feels warmer, and the energy produced creates a larger impact. Your energy bills will cost less with such an efficient fuel working for you, especially when paired with energy-efficient propane appliances.
Because there are strong federal, state, and local regulations, as well as extremely high industry standards, propane is an incredibly safe energy source for Maine homes.
For Maine families who prefer or need to be off the grid, propane also presents a secure, ideal solution. If you’re in an area with spotty utility service, you won’t have to worry about losing power based on geography—or weather. And with your propane tank right on your property, you can avoid concerns about supply within the community.