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1. What is LPG
LPG is the abbreviated word of Liquefied Petroleum Gas. Petroleum Gas is produced by boiling crude oil in the distillation column. LPG, Naphtha, Kerosene, Diesel, Bunker oil, AP are produced from crude oil. The gaseous materials(Propane and Butane) from crude oil are called Petroleum Gas. The Petroleum Gas becomes LPG when it is compressed at high pressure.


2. Properties of LPG
(1) LPG mainly consists of Propane and Butane

Propane and Butane are chemical compounds of hydrogen and carbon. These compounds are called hydrocarbon. Propane consists of 3 carbons and 8 hydrogens and Butane consists of 4 carbons and 10 hydrogens. Butane and Propane differ in properties for Butane has 1 more carbon than Propane


[Table] Physical and chemical properties of pure Propane and Butane
Item Propane n-Butane Remark
Molecular fomula C3H8 C4H10
 
Molecular weight 44.09 58.12  
Specific gravity of Gas state 1.52 2.01 Air is 1
Specific gravity of Liquid state 0.507 0.584 Water is 1
Boiling point(1atm) -42.04℃ -0.50℃  
Caloric value 12,042kcal/kg 11,845kcal/kg  
23,673kg/m3 30,695kg/m3  
Vapor pressure(kg/cm, 20℃) 7.4 1.4  
Combustion range
(Volume % in the air)
2.2~9.5 1.9~8.5  

(2) When LPG(Propane) is liquefied, the volume decreases to 1/250, Therefore, large quantity can be stored in a vessel.

(3) Sulfur which may become oxides of sulfur exists little in LPG. And LPG doesn’t contain carbon monoxide(CO).

(4) LPG’s caloric value is very high(Propane:23,000kcal/Nm3, Butane:30,000Kcal/Nm3)

(5) Large quantity of air is required for perfect combustion(Propane: 24.24Nm3, Butane:32.23Nm3). For comparison, refer to that hydrogen and carbon monoxide needs 2.38Nm3 and methane needs 9.52Nm3 of air.

(6) Liquid volume of LPG varies according to the temperature. Liquid state of LPG is 1.5 times lighter than water and Gas state of LPG is 1.52 times heavier than air.

(7) Pure LPG is odorless and colorless. However, an agent for odor is added to help recognition of leakage.

(8) LPG exists as a gaseous type in the normal temperature and pressure. However, it is easy to liquefy LPG at a relatively low pressure.



3. Safety and Other Information on LPG
(1) Volume expansion of LPG

It is enacted that LPG should not be filled over 85% of inner volume of the filling vessels on the basis of the ‘Safety Control and Business Regulation of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Act’. The volume of liquid state of LPG gets bigger as the temperature rises. The volume expansion rate of LPG is 15~20 times higher than water and 100 times higher than metals. In the condition that LPG is filled upto 85% in a vessel, if the temperature reaches at 60℃, liquid type of LPG fully expands in the vessel. And if the temperature rises over 60℃, the vessel will explode. This is why the temperature of LPG vessels should be kept under 40℃ by law.


(2) Recognition of LPG leakage

Both Propane and Butane originally don’t have any odor and color. However, an odorant is added to help the recognition of LPG leakage. The legally allowed quantity of odorants is as much as it can be smelled when the concentration of leaked LPG is 0.1%. Even though LPG starts to smell, it doesn’t mean that it explodes righ away. The concentration for LPG’s explosion is over 2%.


(3) How to act when LPG leaks

Gas also has its own weight. Propane is 1.5 times heavier than the same volume of air and Butane is 2.0 times heavier. So, Propane and Butane sink toward the bottom when they leak. That is why even we open the windows, the leaked gases remain on the floor. To discharge leaked gases outside, use brooms or floor cushions, etc. It is why LPG usage in the basement is so dangerous.


(4) Effect of LPG on Human

Pure LPG is nontoxic. However, if it is inhaled continuously, it may cause sleepiness or light anesthesia. Skin contacts to LPG may cause frostbite because the evaporation heat at the boiling point is big(Propane: 101.8Kcal/Kg, Butane: 92.09Kcal/Kg).




 
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