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LPG stands for Liquefied Petroleum Gas. It is a mixture of hydrocarbon gases that are used as a fuel in heating devices and vehicles. Liquefied petroleum gas is a clean-burning fossil fuel that maybe used to power internal combustion engines. LPG-fueled vehicles are environment friendly, as they produce fewer toxic and smog-forming air pollutants. LPG is usually less expensive than gasoline.

It consists of hydrocarbons in a vapour state instead of liquids, at normal temperatures and pressures. However, at moderate pressures it turns into liquid. The main constituent of LPG is propane. LPG is increasingly replacing chlorofluorocarbons as aerosol propellant and a refrigerant to reduce damage to the ozone layer.

The incineration of the liquefied petroleum gas produces Carbon Dioxide (CO²) and a water vapour. Therefore, the presence of sufficient air is very important. If the air would not be present, it would result in the production of a very harmful gas Carbon Monoxide (CO).

LPG is produced by refining petroleum and is mainly obtained from fossil fuel sources. It is synthesised during the refining of crude oil, or extracted from oil and gas streams when they materialise from the ground. Currently, it provides 3% of the consumed energy. LPG has a specific calorific value of 46.1 MJ/Kg as compared to 42.5 MJ/Kg for diesel and 43.5 MJ/Kg for gasoline.

LPG evaporates at normal temperatures and pressures. Therefore, it is supplied in pressurised bottles of steel. These bottles are not completely filled so to allow thermal expansion of LPG. Normally they are filled between 80% to 85% of their capacity. Large amounts of LPG may be stored in bulk tanks and can be buried underground if need be.

On the other hand, gas cylinders can also be used. LPG burns cleanly with no soot and minute sulfur emissions thereby posing no pollution hazards. Liquefied Petroleum Gas is heavier than air, and tends to flow along floors and settles in low altitude spots. This can cause suffocation and ignition hazards if not taken care of.

LPG is widely available. It is the best alternative for other fuels. Liquefied Petroleum Gas is much safer to use than gasoline. The tanks in which it is filled are immune to the usual casual fires, which occur because of leakage of fuel. It is also cheaper than gasoline at most places, if we compare the price of a gallon of gasoline with the price of a little larger volume of LPG needed to drive the same distance. LPG enters the engine in the form of vapours. It does not wash oil off the walls of cylinders neither does it dilute the oil when the engine is cold. It does not contaminate the oil with carbon particles and sulfuric acid. As a result, the engine running on LPG has a longer life and its maintenance cost is low.

Although it is an alternative for other fuels, but still it is obtained from petroleum, thus if there is shortage of petroleum there would be shortage of LPG too.

Source by Mike P Reader

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