From A Gas To The Obvious Fuel Choice: Propane's Uses

Propane is a gas. It is the cleaner cousin of natural gas, having been processed a step or two further than natural gas. In its natural state, it has no smell. To detect its presence, an additive makes propane stink like kerosene, which is also a petroleum product. Kerosene has a naturally repugnant odor that reminds one of what chlorine might smell like if chlorine were on fire and burning. At any rate, propane has come a long way from being used as a campfire grilling fuel. The following examples reflect the progress of propane and its uses.

Heating Homes

Natural gas began lighting homes during the Victorian era, but it was not until decades later that people realized that gas could be used to heat a home. As far as propane goes, it is the youngest member at the heating fuel table, since all other types of heating energy were used long before propane. Still, given the fact that propane is safer to use than natural gas, and equally as efficient, propane has become a popular heating fuel.


While you can get a gas stove, a gas dryer, and a few other appliances that run on gas, you have to special order any appliance if you want it to run on propane. That is not to say that it is impossible; it is just to alert you to the fact that most of the appliances sold today are meant for either natural gas or electric. If you buy an RV with a stove, it will run on propane, since the propane tanks are meant for that kind of thing.


Dozens of delivery vehicles now operate on propane. The propane is most effective in vehicles that have to keep products cold, but simultaneously keep the vehicle running. Ice cream trucks, milk trucks, and frozen food delivery trucks are all examples of trucks that currently run on propane for this dual purpose.

Generating Power

It seems strange, but propane tanks can also fuel generators. The generators in turn help to produce electricity to heat homes; more specifically, cabins deep in the woods. One standard-sized tank of propane can keep a generator going anywhere from a day to almost a week, depending how often you use the electricity in your cabin, and how much electricity you use. It beats having to drive from your cabin to the nearest gas station to pick up a lot of gas for a gasoline-powered generator!

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