The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary









Name Propane

Lewis Structure:

  H H H
  | | | 
  | | |
  H H H
Chemical formula CH3CH2CH3 or C3H8
Formula weight 44.10 g/mol
Synonyms Dimethylmethane, LPG, Propyl Hydride
CAS number 74-98-6
UN number 1978

Phase behavior

Melting point 85.5 K (−187.6 C)
Boiling point 231.1 K (−42 C)
Triple point 85 K (−188 C)
169 µPa
Critical point 369.9 K (96.9 C)
4.25 MPa
ΔsubH 28.5 kJ/mol
ΔfusH 3.52 kJ/mol
ΔfusS J/(molK)
ΔvapH 19.4 kJ/mol
Solubility 0.1 g/dm³

Liquid properties

ΔfH0liquid -120 kJ/mol
S0liquid 171 J/(molK)
Cp 98.3 J/(molK)
Density 582 kg/m3

Gas properties

ΔfH0gas −105 kJ/mol
S0gas 269.9 J/(molK)
Cp 73.6 J/(molK)
Ingestion Nausea, vomiting, internal hemorrhage.
Inhalation Rapid breathing & heart rate. Headaches, mood disturbance, conufsion and seisures may occur. Danger of cardiac arrest in severe cases.
Skin (Frostbite on exposure to cryogenic liquid)
Flash point −104 C
Autoignition temperature 450 C
Explosive limits 2.1–9.5%

More info

Properties NIST WebBook
MSDS Hazardous Chemical Database

SI units were used where possible. Unless otherwise stated, standard conditions were used.

Disclaimer and references

A three-carbon alkane, propane is sometimes derived from other petroleum products during oil or natural gas processing.

When commonly sold as fuel it is also known as liquified petroleum gas (LPG or LP gas) and is a mixture of propane with smaller amounts of propylene, butane and butylene, plus ethanethiol as an odorant to allow the normally odorless propane to be smelled. It is used as fuel in cooking on many barbecues and portable stoves and in motor vehicles. Propane powers some buses, forklifts, and taxis and is used for heat and cooking in recreational vehicles and campers. In many rural areas of the US, propane is also used in furnaces, water heaters, laundry dryers, and other heat-producing appliances. Delivery trucks fill up large tanks that are permanently installed on the property (sometimes called pigs) or exchange bottles of propane.

Another use of propane is the application as propellant for aerosol sprays, especially after the ban of CFCs. It is also used as a feedstock for the production of base petrochemicals in steam cracking.

See also

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