What is LPG Gas?
LPG—Liquid Petroleum Gas—is a flammable gas commonly used in residential heating, cooking and hot water systems; as a fuel in cars; and in industrial, agricultural, and manufacturing contexts.
In Australia, LPG is made only from propane, but overseas it is made from a mixture of propane and butane. This regional variation is due to climate, with propane and butane varying in effectiveness depending on the temperature.
LPG is manufactured during the refining process of crude oil (also known as petroleum), or is extracted from crude oil or natural gas streams within the ground. LPG must be placed under pressure in order to be transported as a liquid and is hence transported in gas cylinders. When this pressure is released, such as when you open the nozzle on your gas cylinder, the liquid LPG becomes gas again.
Why is LPG a Good Option for your Home?
LPG is the preferred fuel for home use for three reasons:
- Efficiency—LPG is an energy-rich fuel, with greater caloric value (heating value) compared to natural gas, coal, or other common fuels. This means that LPG burns hotter and more efficiently than other options, meaning better heating for your home and better bang for your buck.
- Portability—LPG is a highly convenient fuel source, with gas cylinders easily delivered to homes all around Australia, both urban and rural. It is also easy to store, with cylinders being safely located in homes around the country.
- Cleaner Power—LPG is cleaner than most other fossil fuels, with low sulphur content, low emissions of black carbon, and no spills. Its use helps keep our air clean and emissions of greenhouse gases low compared to use of other fossil fuels.
LPG Gas for Cooking
Gas for cooking is one of the most popular uses for LPG in homes. Gas cooktops and ovens are the most common uses, but outdoor gas BBQs are also seen in most Australian homes.
Cooking with gas has a number of advantages compared to other alternatives, such as with electric appliances. The most important of these is total control over the heat—an advantage that both amateur and professional chefs appreciate. The heat changes are also instantaneous, with no waiting for an element to heat up and cool down—you can jump straight from a high intensity sizzle to a gentle simmer in seconds.
Similarly, gas ovens offer a number of advantages, primary among them is better control over moisture content in the food, making it much less likely to dry out and instead maintain more of its natural juices.
LPG Gas Hot Water Systems
Gas hot water systems are increasingly popular around Australia for their efficiency and on-demand availability of hot water.
There are two types of gas hot water systems—storage hot water systems that heat and store water in a tank for use on demand, and instantaneous hot water systems that heat water on demand without the need for a storage tank.
Instantaneous hot water systems are especially fantastic, as they do not waste energy heating water that is standing in a tank not being used. It also means no more half-cold showers because a certain someone used all the water in the tank earlier in the day...