Butane and Propane Gas

Butane Gas

What is Butane?

Butane chemical formulaButane is a saturated hydrocarbon gas with the chemical formula C4H10. It is an alkane with four carbon atoms. Butane is a gas at room temperature and atmospheric pressure but is easily turned into a liquid by cooling or applying moderate pressure. Butane is a safe, efficient and clean fuel that powers many standard mobile heating appliances.
A far higher boiling point than propane makes butane only suitable for outdoor use during milder months. as low winter temperatures may mean the liquid will not boil to produce vapour to burn.

What do butane cylinders and Cartridges look like and what regulators are used?

A blue butance cylinder exampleMost butane cylinders are blue. However the butane cylinders from BP Gas, Flogas, Handy Gas & MacGas which use the 21mm butane regulator (CG4) are usually a beige/grey/gold colour whereas the butane bottles from these same suppliers which use the 20mm butane regulator (CG5) are blue. All Calor Gas butane bottles are blue and only use the CG4 regulator apart from the 4.5kg bottle which uses CG3.

Regulator Image Regulator Name
Butane 4.5 (LP) Regulator Butane 4.5 (LP) Regulator
Butane 21mm butane regulator Butane 21mm butane regulator
Butane 20mm butane regulator Butane 20mm butane regulator

What applications use butane gas

Butane is ideal for indoor use such as cabinet heaters and for use outdoors in the Spring and Summer for camping. Butane is also used as lighter fuel for a common lighter or butane torch


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Butane Bottle Chart

  Calor Gas MacGas Flogas
4.5kg Available   Available
7kg Available Available Available
13kg   Available Available
15kg Available    
Properties
Molecular formula C4H10
Molar mass 58.12 g mol−1
Appearance Colourless gas
Odour Odourless
Density 2.48 g dm−3 (at 15 °C)
Melting point

-140--134 °C, 133-139 K, -220--209 °F

Boiling point

-1-1 °C, 272-274 K, 30-34 °F

Solubility in water 61 mg L−1 (at 20 °C)
log P 2.745
Vapour pressure ~25 PSI (at 50 °F) [2]
kH 11 nmol Pa−1 kg−1

View more information about butane gas on Wikipedia

Propane Gas

What is propane?

propane molecular formulaPropane is a three-carbon alkane with the molecular formula C3H8, normally a gas, but compressible to a transportable liquid. A by-product of natural gas processing and petroleum refining, it is commonly used as a fuel for engines, oxy-gas torches, barbecues, portable stoves, and residential central heating.

Propane is one of a group of liquefied petroleum gases. Propane should not be used indoors but because of its low freezing point it is perfect for outdoor use in the autumn and winter.

What do propane cylinders and Cartridges look like and what regulators are used?

A red propane cylinder exampleMost propane bottles are red, but there has been a growing trend towards having green bottles for alfresco use such as barbecue gas and patio gas. Examples of these are 5kg & 10kg Mac Gaslight and the 5kg & 13kg Calor Gas Patio Gas.

What applications use propane gas

Which Gas should you choose

Propane tends to be cheaper than butane, Butane however burns cleaner. Always ask your local stockist for advice as to which is more suitable for your use.

Propane Bottle Chart

  Calor Gas MacGas Flogas
3.9kg Available   Available
5kg   Available  
6kg Available Available Available
7kg Available Available  
10kg   Available  
11kg   Available  
12kg *FLT   Available Available
13kg Available    
18kg Available Available Available
19kg Available Available Available
47kg Available Available Available
Properties[2]
Molecular formula C3H8
Molar mass 44.10 g mol−1
Appearance Colourless gas
Odour Odourless
Density 2.0098 mg mL−1 (at 0 °C, 101.3 kPa)
Melting point

-188 °C, 85.5 K, -306 °F

Boiling point

-42--42 °C, 230.9-231.11 K, -44--44 °F

Solubility in water 40 mg L−1 (at 0 °C)
log P 2.236
Vapour pressure 853.16 kPa (at 21.1 °C)
kH 15 nmol Pa−1 kg−1

View more information on propane gas on Wikipedia