Petroleum Gas – It is a mixture of three hydrocarbons such as ethane, butane, and propane. But the main constituent of petroleum is butane. Butane, ethane, and propane burn readily and producing a lot of heat that makes petroleum a very good fuel. Propane, ethane, and butane are gases under ordinary pressure. However, they can be easily liquified under pressure.
LPG Gas – The petroleum gas which has been liquified under pressure is known as LPG (Liquified Petroleum Gas). Mostly Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) consists of butane with a small amount of ethane and propane that have been liquified by applying pressure. It is important to note that domestic gas cylinders such as Indane contain mainly butane with less amount of ethane and propane.
Petroleum gas is supplied in liquid form thus a small cylinder may contain a good weight of the gas and a domestic gas cylinder contains about 14 kilograms of LPG. Ethyl mercaptan is a strong-smelling substance which is added to LPG gas cylinders to help in the detection of gas leakage. It has a foul smell resembling that of hydrogen sulphide gas that can be easily detected by any individual. This gas is used for cooking the food at home is known as LPG (Liquified Petroleum Gas) due to it is obtained from petroleum that is liquified by compression before filling into the cylinder. LPG is obtained from the fractional distillation of petroleum and also from natural gas and is commonly used for domestic heating purposes.
Use of LPG – Our domestic gas cylinders contain a mixture of liquified butane, ethane, and propane hydrocarbons under pressure. When we turn on the knob of the gas cylinder, the pressure is released and the highly volatile LPG gas is converted into gas that goes into the burner of our cooking stove. If a match stick is applied to the burner then the gas burns with a blue flame producing a lot of heat and is used for cooking food.
Benefits of LPG – There are some of the benefits of LPG are as given below –
- It burns with a smokeless flame and thus it does not cause pollution.
- It is a very clean and net domestic fuel.
- It has a high calorific value so it is a good fuel. LPG has a calorific value of about 50 kJ/g thus if one gram of LPG burns in a gas stove then it produces 50 kilojoules of heat energy.
- It does not produce any poisonous gases on burning which is not harmful for you.
- It is very simple to handle and suitable to store.
Hazards of LPG – Though LPG is a very good domestic fuel but it can also be dangerous for you. LPG is a highly inflammable gas that catches fire easily. If there is any leakage of LPG from the gas cylinder or stove or the rubber pipe that connects the cylinder and stove will form an explosive mixture with air in the kitchen. In this condition, if you lighting the match stick then an explosion will take place in the whole kitchen will be set on fire and the person working in the kitchen may get burnt.
Precautions for using LPG – There are some of the precautions for use LPG to avoid any accidents are as given below –
- You should not use any hot flames such as kerosene stove, kerosene lamp, or electric heater near the gas cylinder.
- You should check the rubber pipe connecting the gas cylinder to the gas stove periodically for any wear and tear.
- You should handle the gas cylinder with care so that its valve does not damage.
- You should ensure that there is no foul smell of the leaking gas in your kitchen near the gas cylinder or gas stove before lighting a match stick. When you smell gas leakage then the door and windows should be opened at once to allow gas to escape from your kitchen due to LPG is not a poisonous gas but when inhaled in large quantities, it is moderately harmful and also can cause death. The gas cylinder, rubber tubing, and gas stove should be checked to find out the source of gas leakage. The gas should be used only if the leakage has been set right by your gas mechanic.
- You should never use a leaking gas cylinder. The gas agency should be informed and the leaking gas cylinder replaced at the earliest in your kitchen.
- To light the gas stove, you should first open the stop-cock of the cylinder and then turn on the knob of the gas stove for cooking food.
- To turn off the gas stove, you should first close the stop-cock of the cylinder. After that, the knob of the gas stove should be turned off to avoid leakage of gas.