Posted: May 6, 2024

Is Propane Heavier Than Air?

Breaking down the physical properties of propane gas.

propane density Hazleton, PA From time to time, the team at Koppy’s Propane receives a bit of a science quiz about our fuel from a customer. Luckily, our employees are propane experts and can give you a rundown of its physical properties, how it differs from other fuels and what this all means for your home in Central or Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Is propane a gas or a liquid?

Propane can exist as both a liquid and a gas. When placed under pressure in a delivery truck, storage facility, home propane tank or portable propane cylinder, it takes the form of liquid. As pressure is relieved, liquid propane vaporizes and becomes a gas. This gas can then pass into a burner on your furnace, water heater, gas range, grill or another propane product.

How is propane different from natural gas?

Propane is a natural co-product of natural gas extraction. (More on that later.) However, they are fundamentally different fuels even though they serve similar roles in homes and businesses.

As mentioned earlier, propane can be stored and transported under pressure as a liquid. Natural gas is always gaseous. Natural gas is lighter than air and rises. For this reason, natural gas must be transported to homes and businesses via utility lines.

Natural gas is primarily composed of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that is 80 times more effective than CO2 at trapping heat in the atmosphere for 20 years after it is released. Propane, on the other hand, contains no methane.

Is propane heavier or lighter than air?

Even as a gas, propane is denser than air. One cubic foot of propane gas weighs approximately .1162 lbs., and one cubic foot of air weighs roughly .07655 lbs. As such, propane will settle to the lowest point possible.

Where does propane come from?

Most propane comes from natural gas extraction. It is a heavier hydrocarbon than natural gas and is separated as the lighter hydrocarbons are extracted. Some propane comes from the oil refining process, where it is a lighter hydrocarbon than diesel and gasoline. In both these cases, no additional wells need to be drilled to extract propane.

We are also seeing an increasing amount of propane coming from recycled and renewable sources like used cooking grease, animal fats, plant oils and biomass. The resulting product is called renewable propane, and it has all the benefits of conventional propane with a much lower carbon intensity. Renewable propane isn’t in wide residential use now — but its production is growing at a quick pace!

Koppy’s Propane — Your Partner for Year-Round Home Comfort.

Are you in need of a dependable propane delivery company in Hazleton or elsewhere in Central or Southeastern Pennsylvania? The Koppy’s Propane team has been serving homes and businesses since 1944. We provide complimentary automatic propane delivery, which ensures you never run out of this vital, versatile fuel.

Reach out to us to join the family of Koppy’s Propane customers. We are committed to your comfort!