How Is Propane Made?

facts about propane north carolinaBecause propane is created through the processing of natural gas and crude oil, it is a fuel that is largely a domestic product. In fact, about 90% of the American propane supply is generated in the United States. That abundant, right-at-home supply makes propane a reliable fuel choice for your North Carolina home or business, and all of its propane-powered appliances and equipment, throughout the year.

Some propane is created during the process of crude oil refining. During the stabilization phase of the refining process, heavier hydrocarbons fall to the bottom. But propane, being a lighter hydrocarbon, is at the top and it’s easily extracted.

Crude oil refining plays a small role in the production of propane, however. The majority of propane is derived today from natural gas production. When we take natural gas out of the earth, it is a mix of different gases. One of these gases is propane.

To stop condensation from forming in natural gas pipelines, propane is extracted from liquid compounds as the natural gas is being processed. Butane is also extracted during this process. Propane, being much denser as a liquid than as a gas, is stored and transported as a liquid in this form of production.

Propane Gas Vs. Natural Gas

One of the drawbacks of natural gas is that it can only get to your home through an underground pipeline. If something goes wrong with that pipeline, you can’t get any gas. Propane is easier to move around because it gets compressed, or squeezed, until it turns into a liquid. It is then put inside large storage tanks and your propane supplier then delivers it to your home or business as needed.

When you turn on an appliance, propane goes into action. The liquid changes to gas before it leaves the tank. At that point, it’s similar to natural gas again, and it can create the heat you need for cooking and heating.

Propane In North Carolina: By The Numbers

Here are some numbers and facts to give you a better understanding of how important propane is to the people of North Carolina.

  • $1,000,000,000: Propane is a billion-dollar industry in North Carolina.
  • 400 million: Propane companies deliver more than 400 million gallons of propane each year.
  • 400: There are more than 400 licensed propane suppliers in our state.
  • 2,200: Our propane industry has more than 2,200 retail employees.
  • 335,000: There are about 335,000 North Carolina households using propane.
  • 100: There are propane customers and locations in all 100 counties in North Carolina.

Learn more about how propane’s versatility and efficiency can give you more comfort and convenience in your home. Propane can do that! Go here to read about the many ways you can use propane in your North Carolina home.