Where Does Propane Come From?

Written on: April 17, 2023

Learn more about this versatile, efficient energy source

propane production michigan In 1864, Edmund Ronalds – an English industrial chemist and academic – made a momentous breakthrough with the discovery of propane (C₃H₈) during his research into volatile chemicals in crude oil.

In 1910, American chemist Walter O. Snelling was researching gasoline evaporation and storage when he discovered that certain evaporating gases could be converted into liquids. Among the new liquids, propane was found to be most abundant.

Snelling then created a method to bottle the liquid gas, leading to the creation of the propane industry. Bottle gas, or bottled gas, is a term still being used today for propane. Three years later, Frank Philips of Phillips Petroleum made a savvy business decision when he purchased Snelling’s patent for $50,000, equivalent $1.4 million in today’s value. Talk about making a sound investment!

Businesses and scientists have been working hard to make propane a reliable fuel source over the past century. Currently, there are two primary ways in which propane is produced: a process that has grown increasingly sophisticated with time.

Where is Propane Made?

Derived from natural gas and crude oil processing, propane is a fuel that is produced mainly in the US. It’s no surprise then that approximately 90% of our nation’s supply of propane originates here!

Natural gas production. Today, approximately 70% of our domestic propane supply is produced from natural gas extraction. When extracting natural gas, it is comprised of a melange of gases including propane.

To prevent condensation from forming in natural gas pipelines, both propane and butane are extracted during its processing. Propane is especially advantageous since it can be stored and shipped as a liquid due to its greater density compared to when it’s gaseous.

Crude oil refining. As a by-product of crude oil refining, propane is produced when the heavier hydrocarbons are divided during the stabilization process. It can be easily separated due to its low weight compared to other petroleum derivatives such as gasoline and diesel fuel. Propane is only one of many products derived from this stage, including kerosene and heating oil. With efficient extraction methods in place, it serves an important role in energy production on both large and small scales around the world today.

Thanks to reliable propane delivery from Lakes Gas, you’ll have a plentiful and easily refillable supply of propane in your propane tank and can trust that no matter the season or situation, it will power all appliances and equipment at your Upper Midwest home or business.

Get Energy Efficiency & Lower Energy Costs With Propane

Propane is a remarkably versatile fuel for numerous applications, more than just your water heater and heating your home e with a furnace, boiler, space heater or fireplace. It’s also great for stoves and grills, as well as for outdoor use, including deck and patio heaters, firepits, insect traps, pool heating and outside lighting. A propane whole-house standby generator keeps your home safe and comfortable during power outages.

Electric homes lack the efficiency that propane-powered houses offer. Propane burns with more intensity and creates a much warmer atmosphere, making your home feel comfortably warm. And with energy bills becoming increasingly expensive, you’ll be glad to know that pairing your house up with propane fuel will help keep costs down significantly due to its reliable performance and high level of efficiency, especially when used with other propane appliances.

Get reliable propane delivery and service from Lakes Gas! Become a customer today.