Many homeowners in Columbia, Maryland, may think of using propane to fuel their backyard grill, but to heat their entire home? Propane can do that and much more. Check out these three surprising facts about propane fuel and learn why homeowners are turning to this unique fuel source.
Both petroleum refineries and natural gas processing plants make propane. That propane is then transported in a liquid form via pipelines to a distribution plant. Under atmospheric pressure, that liquid propane then evaporates into a gaseous form. During production, refineries add a foul-smelling odor to the normally odorless propane so you can quickly detect a leak.
These production facilities must keep up with increased demand for propane, since about 1 million barrels of propane are consumed every day for a variety of uses in homes, businesses, as fuel for transportation, recreation, and more. The propane these facilities produce is used for everything from heating a grill, to cutting metal, and even producing aerosol propellants.
Propane is especially helpful for those in rural communities, who may not have access to natural gas pipelines and are in need of reliable fuel that burns more cleanly than other alternatives. Individuals in these communities can use propane to heat their homes, dry their clothes, and heat their water. In fact, propane heats around eight percent of homes in the Midwest and seven million homes across the country.
While propane does produce carbon dioxide that needs to be ventilated, propane is one of the cleanest-burning fossil fuels. While other fuels can produce ash and other particulate matter, a significant amount of sulfur oxides, and even mercury emissions, propane only releases water vapor and some carbon dioxide.
In addition to burning cleanly, propane also burns efficiently. Many new propane appliances, such as water heaters and home heaters, are much more energy efficient than their non-propane-burning cousins.
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