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Characteristics, Behavior, and Properties of LPG
CHARACTERISTICS OF LPG
LPG is liquid inside the container but immediately transforms to gaseous state when released. It is liquefied so that it can be stored economically and transported easily. A gallon of liquid of LPG in a container will need a truck 270 times bigger if stored in vapor form.
Like any other liquid, LPG expands and contracts with changes in temperature. A gallon of LPG expands at 10°F. This is why LPG containers are never filled to their full capacity to give allowance for expansion of liquid.
LPG is non-toxic or non-poisonous. However, because it is heavier than air in vapor form, it pushes out air inside the room causing a shortage of oxygen and this might suffocate any person in that room.
LPG is colorless, tasteless, and odorless, but an odorizing agent called Ethyl Mercaptan is added to give a peculiar smell so that any leak can be easily detected.
LPG dissolves natural rubber. Thus, it is important that all materials used in LPG installations must be LPG resistant.
LPG in air will ignite if it is within its flammability limit. The flammability limit is within 2% to 9% mix with air.
BEHAVIOR OF LPG
When LPG is released, it rapidly vaporizes and mixes with air.
If the released gas is not properly dissipated, it will readily ignite upon contact with sparks, open flames, or any other sources of ignition. The fire, however, may not be so serious unless the gas is confined. In that case, an explosion may occur, the intensity of which will depend upon the degree of commitment.
LPG vapor travels at about 15 feet per second.
In open air, flaming LPG vapor will travel at about 15 feet per second depending on the atmospheric conditions and the concentration of the gas. There will be spots where there is not enough air and the travel will be retarded until air is in correct proportion.
PROPERTIES OF LPG
Heating value is the amount of heat given off during combustion. The heating value of LPG is 46,800 BTU/kg.
Fuel (LPG) and air must be mixed in the right proportion in order to burn. LPG has a flammability limit from two percent to nine percent (2% - 9%). This means that the mixture of LPG must contain no less than two percent LPG and not more than nine percent in order to burn.
The boiling point of a liquid is the temperature at which boiling occurs when the pressure above the liquid is atmospheric or 14.7 psig. The boiling point of LPG is 10°F or -12°C.