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Propane is a colorless gaseous alkane A hydrocarbon containing only single carbon-carbon bonds The chemical formula for propane is C3H8 It is readily liquefied by compression and cooling Propane has a melting point of an unbelievable 1899C and boils at just 422C Propane occurs in nature in natural gas in its dissolved form of course in crude oil its separated in large quantities from natural gas light crude oil and oil-refininery gases and is commercially available as liquefied propane or as a major constituent of liquefied petroleum gas LPG Its also looked at as a byproduct of petroleum refining Its main purpose is as a fuel For this purpose it is sold compressed in cylinders just like you see on tankers oil drums When it is carried in these various shapes of cylinders it is usually mixed with other hydrocarbons such as butane because of the similarity they both share to each other it has great importance as a fuel for domestic and industrial uses and for internal-combustion engines It is called the third member of the paraffin series following methane and ethane As with ethane and other paraffin hydrocarbons propane is an important raw material for the ethylene petrochemical industry The decomposition of propane in hot tubes to form ethylene also yields another important product propylene From propylene such organic chemicals as acetone and propylene glycol are derived The oxidation of propane to such compounds of carbon hydrogen and oxygen as acetaldehyde is also of commercial interest People use propane for heating and cooling homes heating water cooking refrigeration drying clothes barbecuing lighting and relaxing in front of the gas fireplace More and more homes even those found in the affluent outskirts of metropolitan areas are being built to use propane--supplied discreetly almost invisibly from the underground tanks And where soil conditions or terrain make buried tanks impractical above ground tanks are incorporated directly into the siting plans Homebuyers prefer gas
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