What Is the Difference Between Propane & Butane?

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The main difference between propane and butane is the fact that propane is a three-carbon gas and butane is a four-carbon gas, but both are highly flammable, odorless gasses that are easily compressed into a liquid. Discover the difference with instructions from an experienced carpenter and construction specialist in this free video on home repair.

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Video Transcript

Hello my name is Mark Blocker and in this segment we are going to cover the difference between propane and butane. First let's discuss or explain what we are dealing with basically. Both propane and butane are a colorless, odorless gas that is highly flammable. Both propane and butane have a stench added to them so they can be detected by humans in case of a leak. Basically both are gaseous compounds that can be easily compressed and transferred into a liquid form for storage and for processing into manufacturing or marketing. They are both found in the alkane family and what that is is they are chemical compounds that consist only of the elements of carbon and hydrogen or hydrocarbons. Propane is a three carbon gas and butane is a four carbon gas. That is actually the only difference between the two gases. When it comes to marketing propane is generally found you can pick it up in refillable containers in large amounts. It is also used for home heating, used in RV uses, barbecues, it is more tailored to refillable bottles. They also come in disposable bottles as well but propane is most popular in that form where butane is in prepackaged items like lighters or small cannisters to fill lighters, hand warmers and stuff of that nature. So the only difference between propane and butane is one carbon element.


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