Good question, hartman. Natural gas is actually made up of a few different gases including propane, butane, ethane and is mostly made up of methane. Propane can be separated from natural gas and is more efficient. 1 cubic foot of propane contains 2,516 British thermal units (BTUs) of potential energy, whereas 1 cubic foot of natural gas only contains 1,030 BTUs.
Hope this helps!
Although they can be used for the same purposes, they are entirely different compounds.
Propane is easily compressible, thus easily portable in tanks. Natural gas isn’t as easy to compress, so it is usually piped in through special pipe lines. Propane is heavier than natural gas, which poses a safety risk, because if released into the air, it is more likely to settle near the ground, making it more dangerous if it were to explode. Natural gas is lighter, so if released into the air, it rises and dissipates, posing less of a risk. Propane must be separated and distilled in order to be used, while natural gas occurs naturally and can be used straight away once pumped out of its natural reserves. Lastly, natural gas burns much cleaner than propane – which often emits a nasty exhaust when burned.
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