The Differences Between Propane & Natural Gas - GVP is #1 in PA

September 9, 2019

What is the Difference Between Propane and Natural Gas?

Propane, also known as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), is a readily available gaseous fuel that has been widely used in vehicles throughout the world for decades. Natural gas is a domestically abundant gaseous fuel that can have significant fuel-cost advantages over gasoline and diesel fuel.

How is Propane Produced?
Propane is produced from liquid components recovered during natural gas processing. These components include ethane, methane, propane, and butane, as well as heavier hydrocarbons. Propane and butane, along with other gases, are also produced during crude oil refining. Propane is a by-product of natural gas processing and crude oil refining with almost equal amounts of production derived from each of these sources. Most of the propane consumed in the United States is produced in North America. 

How Is Propane Distributed?
Propane is transported and stored as a liquid and then distributed as vapor and air. It’s shipped from its point of production to bulk distribution terminals via pipeline, railroad, barge, truck or tanker ship. Propane marketers fill trucks at the terminals and distribute propane to end users, including retail fuel sites.

What is propane used for?
Propane has been widely used in vehicles throughout the world for decades. Using propane as a vehicle fuel increases energy security, provides convenience and performance benefits, and improves public health and the environment.

How long does a propane tank last?
A good propane tank lasts about 10-20 years.

How to dispose of/recycle an old propane tank.
Members of our team will safely and completely remove your tank and replace it with a new one.

What size propane tank do I need?
A standard 120 gallon tank holds 96 gallons of propane and is generally installed for residential hot water or space heating with sufficient storage if you add a range or clothes dryer.
A standard 500 gallon tank holds 400 gallons of propane and is generally installed for central heating and small commercial applications.
A standard 1,000 gallon tank holds 800 gallons of propane and is generally installed for commercial and industrial applications. Large commercial and industrial installations may require multiple 1000-gallon tanks.

Is a propane heater safe to store in a garage?
Propane heaters can be used indoors or outdoors, although you should be careful to check the properties of the heater to ensure that it is suitable for either outdoor or indoor use. Using an outdoor propane heater indoors is very dangerous

How to read a propane tank gauge.
Most propane tank gauges read anywhere from 5% to 90%. To determine how much gas is in your propane tank, multiply the outage reading by the capacity of the tank. For example: A 500 gallon propane tank at 40% = 500 x 0.4 = 200 gallons remaining in the tank

Alternative Fuel
Also known as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) or propane autogas, propane is a clean-burning alternative fuel that’s been used for decades to power light-, medium-, and heavy-duty propane vehicles. It is considered an alternative fuel under the Energy Policy Act of 1992. According to the Propane Education & Research Council, there are nearly 200,000 on-road propane vehicles with certified fuel systems in the United States. Many are used in fleet applications, such as school buses, shuttles, and police vehicles.

The availability of new light- and medium-duty propane vehicles has surged in recent years, especially for fleet use. Propane vehicles are available from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) or by conversion. Propane engines and fueling systems are also available for heavy-duty vehicles, such as step vans and school buses, including some prep-ready engines from OEMs, which are included in equipment packages with components that allow conventional vehicles to run on propane.

More than a dozen 
alternative fuels are in production or under development for use in alternative fuel vehicles and advanced technology vehicles. Government and private-sector vehicle fleets are the primary users for most of these fuels and vehicles, but individual consumers are increasingly interested in them. Using alternative fuels and advanced vehicles instead of conventional fuels and vehicles helps the United States conserve fuel and lower vehicle emissions.


In model year 2014, there were 196 models of light-duty vehicles capable of running on alternative fuels or with hybrid electric drive systems. Offerings from major manufacturers have been rising since 2006.