How is Propane Made and Bottled?

Meet a member of the liquefied gas family!

Ever had your gas grill propane tank refilled and wonder just how that propane was produced and how it got to the supplier?

Today we’ll learn a little bit about this process.

Joining gases like ethane, butylene, and butane is our favorite: propane. Like the others, propane results from refining petroleum and the processing of natural gas. Some refer to propane as a by-product of these processes; others say that’s not totally accurate. A more accurate term, it is suggested, might be “co-product”.

Basically, propane is a fossil fuel that’s been around for millions of years (though not discovered until 1857 and not developed as an energy source as used today until early in the 20th century).

Refrigeration is used to separate propane from unprocessed natural gas. Propane is removed from heated crude oil through distillation. (Propane is not isolated naturally; this must occur in a manufacturing process). In the petroleum refining process, liquefied gas is produced that is made up of propane and butane. The distillation process allows propane, which is lighter than butane, to remain in the top layer, while the heavier butane and other hydrocarbons sink. The propane is then removed from this top layer.

So how was this discovered and how did propane come to be stored and used as an energy source?

Let’s take a closer look!

Learn about how propane is made

Propane History

It was U.S. chemist Walter Snelling who, in 1910, began to work with liquefied gas and found that it could be stored. Soon its uses in lighting and cooking were discovered. The “Father of Modern Propane”, as he’s been called, patented the discovery in 1913. He and a few partners began the first commercial marketing company for propane. The rest is propane history.

But how does it come to be delivered to your home?

After propane has been isolated, it is stored in a liquefied form through pressurization. Storage tanks are usually made of welded steel, though aluminum and even more recently composite tanks made from fiberglass and plastic are also used.

Once stored, it can easily be transported by train, truck or boat. It can also be transported through interstate pipelines. It is taken to bulk plants, where large tanks are filled and sent to propane suppliers for sale to consumers.

Incidentally, propane, unlike some other energy sources, is homegrown; nearly all of the propane consumed in the U.S. is produced in the U.S.

Diversified Energy: Playing Their Part in History

A leading East Coast propane retailer, Diversified Energy serves more than 25,000 customers in North Carolina and Pennsylvania as well as parts of Virginia and South Carolina. Overall, the company is the 31st largest propane retailer in the country.

You’re in good hands with Diversified Energy. From automatic home delivery services to storage tank and gas line installation, we’re a full-service company you can count on to meet all of your propane needs. We provide new installations as well as repairs.

We are also a distributor for fireplace inserts, grills, gas stoves, tankless water heaters and more, from such leading names as Kozy Heat, Broilmaster, Hearthstone and Majestic.

With eight North Carolina showrooms and a Mount Joy, Pennsylvania location, we are easily accessible and have fireplaces, stoves and other products on display. Come in, take a look around and sit down with a representative to discuss your particular needs.

Give Diversified Energy a call at 1-800-719-1194 and we’ll answer any questions you might have or visit today, get started on powering your home with this precious gas and become a part of propane history!