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Liquefied gases and feedstocks

Liquefied gases and feedstocks are substances used especially as fuels or as raw materials supplied to processing plant for chemical synthesis. Some hydrocarbons such as ethylene, 1, 3-butadiene, propane and butane are classified in this category.

Liquefied petroleum gas or liquid petroleum gas (LPG or LP gas), also referred to as simply propane or butane, are flammable mixtures of hydrocarbon gases used as fuel in heating appliances, cooking equipment, and vehicles. It is increasingly used as an aerosol propellant and a refrigerant, replacing chlorofluorocarbons in an effort to reduce damage to the ozone layer. When specifically used as a vehicle fuel it is often referred to as autogas.

Varieties of LPG bought and sold include mixes that are primarily propane (C3H8), primarily butane (C4H10) and, most commonly, mixes including both propane and butane. In winter, the mixes contain more propane, while in summer, they contain more butane. In the United States, primarily two grades of LPG are sold: commercial propane and HD-5. These specifications are published by the Gas Processors Association (GPA) and the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM). Propane/butane blends are also listed in these specifications.

LPG is prepared by refining petroleum or “wet” natural gas, and is almost entirely derived from fossil fuel sources, being manufactured during the refining of petroleum (crude oil), or extracted from petroleum or natural gas streams as they emerge from the ground. It currently provides about 3% of all energy consumed, and burns relatively cleanly with no soot and very few sulfur emissions. As it is a gas, it does not pose ground or water pollution hazards, but it can cause air pollution. LPG has a typical specific calorific value of 46.1 MJ/kg compared with 42.5 MJ/kg for fuel oil and 43.5 MJ/kg for premium grade petrol (gasoline). However, its energy density per volume unit of 26 MJ/L is lower than either that of petrol or fuel oil, as its relative density is lower (about 0.5–0.58, compared to 0.71–0.77 for gasoline).Large amounts of LPG can be stored in bulk cylinders and can be buried underground.

1,3-Butadiene

1,3-Butadiene is a simple conjugated diene with the formula C4H6. It is an important industrial chemical used as a monomer in the production of synthetic rubber. When the word butadiene is used, most of the time it refers to 1,3-butadiene. The name butadiene can also refer to the isomer, 1,2-butadiene, which is a cumulated diene. However, this allene is difficult to prepare and has no industrial significance. This diene is also not expected to act as a diene in a Diels–Alder reaction due to its structure. To effect a Diels-Alder reaction only a conjugated diene will suffice. Although butadiene breaks down quickly in the atmosphere, it is nevertheless found in ambient air in urban and suburban areas as a consequence of its constant emission from motor vehicles. The EPA lists it as the “mobile source air toxic” with the highest normalized risk factor, exceeding that of formaldehyde, the second riskiest air toxic emitted by motor vehicles, by a factor of more than 20.

Butane; C4-Raffinate; Ethylene; DPG; C5+; Propane; Raffinate (C6-Non Aromatic)

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