Propane is a gas that is essential to many industries that produce things we use in our day-to-day life. It is an essential ingredient in many forms of production and exists in liquid and gas form. It also functions as a source of energy and is readily available. Propane is so much in demand that transfer of this gas or liquid is a common procedure, but is also fraught with many safety risks. If you need to transfer propane, it should be done by professionals and through sturdy pumps that are guaranteed to transport the gasses safely into tanks. Propane transfer is not a do-it-yourself project for absolute beginners but requires substantial experience and cutting-edge equipment to make sure that it is executed properly. With the right guidance about the transfer of propane, you can make the gas work for you at home or whatever industry you are working in.
All About Propane
Propane is currently colorless and odorless gas at temperatures above -44 F. When it is contained within the tank, propane is a liquid and a vapor and is much more compact in liquid form. As a liquid, propane is cheaper to store and transfer. Propane is an alternative clean fuel and is produced as a byproduct of petroleum and natural gas. Propane has residential and commercial uses and is also employed in the auto, chemical, and agricultural industries. Propane is seen in homes for heating and cooling and is popularly used in grills. It is also a popular alternative fuel for vehicles.
Propane was discovered by a chemist named Dr. Walter Snelling who was asked about why gasoline he was selling was evaporating so quickly. He discovered that the gasses that were escaping were propane. The fuel was used in gas stoves and began fueling vehicles as early as 1915.
As soon as this valuable gas became known across the country, people began to look for ways of transporting it. The safest and most effective way of transporting propane is in two stages. Once the gas is released through extraction it is transported to a station where it is shipped to a supplier and finally to a customer. Most of the time, propane is transported in its liquid form through pipeline and truck. The trucks can be large or small but require areas made of strong steel. Any transport of propane is regulated by the US Department of Transportation which has a number of safety regulations including access to an emergency telephone number if needed.
Propane is transported from station to station and finally to the end-user, or it is stored in plants in large propane tanks. The storage facilities are carefully constructed and are secure to prevent loiterers and trespassers. The tanks are also detectable from their bright appearance. Regulations require that certain equipment is used for safe transportation of propane. Some of these devices include pressure relief valves to prevent the buildup of excessive pressure, line valves which are operated manually and regulate the flow of material in and out of the tanks. If there is too much material transferred at once, access flow valves provide an area where excess propane can go safely. Advanced technology has aided the secure transfer of propane and other gasses with shut-off systems that automatically close down the transfer and shut off the valves if there is a leak detected.
Because of the occasional injuries and fatalities that arise during the transfer propane, and because the gas is used so often in residences and businesses, there are a number of safety training practices that are taught to those who deal with the transfer of propane on a regular basis. These courses educate those involved in propane transportation about safety principles governing delivery, operations appliance, installation and connection of equipment. Anyone dealing with propane should educate themselves about the safety principles and be aware of what can go wrong and what to do in an emergency.
The Right Equipment
Some people may decide to do propane transfer themselves if they feel they are experienced with various kinds of gasses and have the right tools for the job. It is advisable to consult a professional just in case, not only because they are well-versed in safety regulations but because they have high-quality tanks and hoses that can prevent dangerous leaks during propane transfer. Whether you going to do the transfer yourself or consult an expert, the operation will require two tanks in different sizes, a dual sided hose, POL fittings and warm in cold water for temperature control. If done correctly, the process will not be over in a snap but will require a substantial amount of time. For safety and efficiency, it is essential to take your time and not to rush the process.
Risks Posed by Propane
Propane is highly flammable and can start a fire even from a small spark. Since you cannot smell the gas, it can pose a danger without your being able to detect it. The gas deprives the body of oxygen and can cause heart attacks, seizures nerve damage, migraines and other problems. Some warning symptoms include hyperventilation, congestion, and nausea. This can result from even minor exposure, so you have to make sure to choose the tanks are free of any scratches or openings.
Get Expert Advice
When consulting a professional about propane transfer, ask about the kinds of tubes that are best for the job and what sizes of tanks you will need. Professionals have flowmeters that can measure the transfer efficiently and to be absolutely sure there are no leaks. Through gauging the flow of the propane you can tell if there is some that are leaving tubes whereas if you execute the transfer without a flowmeter you may not notice minor leakage. This is another reason why professionals who are experienced in propane transfer can guarantee safety because they have flowmeters that can determine exactly how much of the gasses escaped and if there has been a leakage in the first place. If you are considering doing it yourself, you may want to rent or purchase a flowmeter for safety and efficiency.