What is liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)
LPG is short for liquefied petroleum gas and is the flammable hydrocarbon gases propane and butane. There are a number of fuel gases that fall under the LPG products label, including propane, butane and isobutane, as well as mixtures of these gases.
LPG gas is colourless and odourless until an odourant is added for safety reasons. When compressed, LPG takes a liquid form. When released in a controlled manner and burnt it has a high energy content. LPG can be conveniently stored and transported and is an excellent fuel for heating, cooking, and many other applications.
What is LPG made up of?
Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is made up of carbon and hydrogen atoms forming propane and butane. Flammable hydrocarbon gases (LPG) are liquefied through pressurisation and commonly used as fuel. LPG is stored in vessels ranging from small gas bottles to larger gas cylinders and tanks used at home or industrial premises.
When used in vehicles for propulsion LPG is generally called Autogas.
In small portable cylinders, LPG is sometimes referred to as BBQ gas, Patio gas or camping gas.
Isobutane is the other common LPG gas, used as a refrigerant in ground source heat pumps, fridges, freezers and for various manufacturing processes.
Isobutane is usually sold in cylinders for use in campervans, caravans and motorhomes.
Where Does LPG Come From?
LPG components are found naturally in combination with other hydrocarbons and fossil fuels, typically crude oil and natural gas. LPG is produced during natural gas processing and oil refining. When isolated, LPG can be liquefied through pressurisation and stored in gas cylinders or gas tanks.
Refining LPG from oil wells
A gas/oil mixture is piped out of oil wells and into a gas trap, which separates the stream into crude oil and ‘wet’ gas, which contains LPG and liquefied natural gas. The heavier crude oil sinks to the bottom of the trap and is then pumped into an oil storage tank and transported to refineries. LPG is one of the refined products derived from crude oil distillation.
How LPG is used
LPG is used for cooking, heating, hot water, autogas, aerosol propellant, air conditioning refrigerant and backup generator applications. LPG for home use is typically supplied in large cylinders or supplied via tanker lorry to an on-site gas tank.
LPG has many additional uses for caravans, motorhomes, boats, camping and even hot air balloons. Business, industrial and agricultural uses for LPG include processes such as kilns, ovens, steam boilers and LPG-powered powered forklifts.
LPG liquid turns back into gas vapour at boiling point when you release some of the pressure in the gas bottle by turning on your gas appliance. Vaporisation also makes the gas bottle feel colder than the ambient temperature and even colder the more gas you are using. The LPG gas vapour is held at the top of the bottle and the liquid LPG is at the bottom.
The level of fill in the gas cylinder decreases as LPG is being used, as this affects the rate of vaporisation. As the liquid level falls in the cylinder, the surface area in contact with the cylinder walls is reduced. This results in a reduction of latent heat available, so the rate of vaporisation decreases. The off-take rate of any cylinder or bulk tank slowly decreases as the liquid level falls, until eventually the liquid is completely vapourised, and the vapour pressure is reduced to below the regulator working pressure.
LPG Gas chemical formula
The LPG (propane) chemical formula is C3H8. Butane and Isobutane both have the same chemical formula, C4H10, as isobutane is an isomer of butane.
Eco-friendly clean burning LPG
LPG is an eco-friendly energy choice, as it is a low-carbon, low-sulphur fuel. LPG components result in lower carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions than other energy sources. LPG can help lower greenhouse emissions during the transition to renewable energy sources.
There are many places across the UK and Europe where you can fill up with LPG. Click here for more information
Refilling is quick and easy.
Click here to download a simple PDF fact sheet on how to refuel your gas tanks or refillable bottles
All of our LPG systems can be taken on the Eurotunnel as they have a simple isolation valve that can be operated to turn off the supply before boarding.
2.5.1 The Carriage of gas containers must be declared to Eurotunnel by the Customer. All gas containers carried on passenger Shuttles will be checked by LeShuttle;
2.5.2 Cylinders and tanks, and appliances powered by gas must be switched off or disabled during Carriage;
2.5.3 Leaking or inadequately secured cylinders, tanks or appliances will not be accepted for Carriage;
2.5.4 Empty or part empty cylinders will be considered to be full unless they have been purged (cleaned). There is no restriction on the number of empty and cleaned cylindersthat may be carried. To be accepted for Carriage the Customer must produce a cleaning certificate;
2.5.5 Flammable gas containers, cylinders and appliances containing LPG, LNG, CNG or BP Gas Light, or any other flammable gas must be declared by the Customer;
2.5.6 The maximum permitted volume and quantity of flammable gas cylinders and tanks per Vehicle is:
Portable Gas Cylinders
For the purposes of this text, this means cylinders/bottles containing flammable gas that can be moved from the vehicle for replacement or re-filling. The quantity of gas is limited to 47kg (or approximately 93 litres) maximum for a single container and to 50kg (or approximately 99 litres) maximum in the case of several containers.
For the purposes of this text, this means fixed containers that are permanently installed or fixed in a vehicle and are refillable from outside the vehicle.
The quantity of gas is limited to 47kg (or approximately 93 litres) maximum for a single container and to 50kg (or approximately 99 litres) maximum in the case of several containers. Each container must be no more than 80% full.
The quantity will be checked via the gauge or remote indicator but if neither are present, the vehicle will be refused.
All information provided is from the LeShuttle website and correct as of August 2023. We Provide no responsibility for the information obtained from their website.
ACME thread Adaptor
Also known as: ACME thread, ACME adapter or ACME nozzle
This connector has a thread fitting onto which the petrol pump is screwed before the trigger is pulled to establish a seal before fuel transfer.
For use in the following countries:
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Chile, Germany, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States of America.
Also known as: Euro nozzle
The Euroconnector has been introduced in Spain with great success and is currently being introduced in the U.S. replacing dish and ACME connections.
For use in the following countries:
Portugal & Spain
Also known as: Italian adapter, DISH coupling, Italian dish, Dish adapter, French Adapter
For use in the following countries:
Albania, Algeria, Austria, Belarus, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Greece, Hungary, India, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine.
The information contained in this document is intended to give guidance and believed to be accurate and represent good practice at the time of publication. No responsibility or liability is accepted for any loss or damage arising out of the information given. It is important that all users adhere to all legal requirements, regulations, CoP`s and standards, particularly, those relating to Gas safety including the country you are visiting.
PROPANE/BUTANE LPG MIXES IN EUROPE
The table shown below contains a list of countries and most common propane/butane mixtures for that country. Mixtures may vary between fuel stations.
Why is this information important???? An example would be if you filled up with LPG in the summer months which would possibly have a high Butane content, in the colder months in the UK you would not be able to use the gas you have filled up with as it will not gas off due to low temperature!
|Countries||LPG Grades||Reported Propane/Butane mixture|
|Austria||A||from 100%/0% to 80%/20%|
|Belgium||A||60%/40% all year|
|Czech Republic||A-C||60%/40% in winter,|
40%/60% in summer
|Denmark||A||70%/30% from 1/09 to 31/05|
|Finland||A||95%/5% from 1/09 to 31/05|
|France||A-C||grade A from 1/11 to 31/03,|
grade C in summer
|Germany||A-E||grade B from 01/12 to 31/03,|
grade E in summer
|Greece||D||20%/80% all year|
|Hungary||C||40%/60% all year|
|Ireland||A||98%/2% all year|
|from 90%/10% to 20%/80% from 1/11 to 31/03,|
grade D or E in summer
|Poland||A-D||grade A from 1/11 to 31/03,|
grade D in summer
|Spain||C||35%/65% from 1/11 to 31/03|
|Turkey||B||50%/50% from 1/11 to 31/03,|
30%/70% in summer
|United Kingdom||A||98%/2% all year|
The LPG grades are defined by the temperature at which they reach the minimum pressure of 150 kPa.
|Temperature||Possible Propane/Butane mixtures|
|grade A||-10°C||from 100%/0% to 60%/40%|
|grade B||-5°C||from 60%/40% to 40%/60%|
|grade C||0°C||from 40%/60% to 30%/70%|
|grade D||+10°C||from 30%/70% to 10%/90%|
|grade E||+20°C||from 10%/90% to 0%/100%|
When filling with LPG at a filling station using the Dish type fill adaptor, you may find that when the pump head is locked into the adapter, it leaks LPG from around the adapter and pump head connection.
This is NOT caused by a faulty Fill Adapter, or the adapter is egg shaped as stated on some forums! But a worn rubber gasket in the pump head itself (thats the bit you hold that attaches to your vehicle which is connected to to the dispenser by a thick black filler hose). This is quite a common fault especially in France usually in the summer months.
Our suggestion is to find an alternative garage to dispense gas from, mainly for safety reasons as you must not adapt the filler dispenser on the garage forecourt.
When changing gas cylinders over it is always a good idea to use a leak detection fluid to make sure you have a gas tight connection. After you have changed the cylinders over, turn the gas on and spray or brush a leak detection fluid over the joints form cylinder to regulator, you should wait 30 seconds whilst watching for bubbles to increase in size. If no bubbles are detected you have a good joint, should you find bubbles forming then turn the gas cylinder off and remake the joint. Also, if you are using a cylinder regulator hose connection that has a rubber seal, ensure that it is intact and in good condition.
Always use a Leak detection spray that is designed for the job to the correct standard EN 14291:2004
If you find that you are in need of leak detection fluid but cannot obtain any due to your location, DO NOT USE diluted washing up liquid! Washing up liquid is a corrosive fluid and will damage brass fittings and valves within a short period of time.
In an emergency case you can use diluted hand soap as a leak detection fluid, again this is not the correct solution but will help you get by to find your leak. After using wash the area with clean water and dry off.
If you cannot find a leak but can still smell gas, turn the gas cylinder or tank off and have the installation inspected by a qualified engineer before re-using.