Outdoor cooking and adventures call for butane fuel. This fuel makes campers create fire easily. Butane can be refilled in their stove and lighters for easier use. Typically, it comes in handy canisters that are widely available in groceries. So, you can pick it quickly on the grocery shelf before you head off to your camping site.
Butane is derived from fossil fuel like crude petroleum through extraction. On a molecular level, butane is composed of four carbon atoms and ten hydrogen atoms in a straight line arrangement. It really looks like a four-segmented carbon caterpillar with the ten hydrogen atoms as the legs. This molecule is what they call normal butane or n-butane. Another relative form is the isobutane which is typically used as a replacement of Freon in refrigeration when Freon is not available.
Here are the characteristics of butane which distinguishes it from other fuels:
- It has the ability to liquefy using moderate pressure.
- On a liquefied state, its volume significantly reduces.
- It is denser than air. So, it sinks on lower ground when released in the atmosphere.
- It is highly flammable with hydrogen in the air. This is the reason why it is contained in butane fuel canisters to avoid fire accidents.
- Butane releases greater energy than other natural gases.
- It is colorless and odorless. However, for safety reason, stinking agents and organic sulphides are added to it. So, you can detect leakage when you smell the sulphides.
- It is efficient for cooking. Most homes today are using liquefied petroleum gas. This is basically composed of the mixture of butane and propane. Also, most handy outdoor gears for cooking. Butane is cheap and widely available. You can even buy butane refill to take with you on your outdoor adventures.
- It is designed for torches and lighters. Cigarette lighters are popularly carried around. Aside from the simple function of lighting up a cigarette, it can also provide immediate fire. For handy torches, butane is ideal for soldering of handicrafts. The best butane fuel are those which have nozzle for easy refill. The Zippo butane fuel’s spill-free nozzle and within-standard thickness of canisters makes a safe transfer of butane content from the can to the tsrch or lighter.
- Readily available heat. Plumbing projects sometimes, require heat. Butane provides heating of PVC’s and other plumbing materials.
- Constant heat for industries. Many manufacturing plants need constant heat for their production. The LPG form of butane is widely used for this purpose.
All things have their own limitations. Here are some points wherein butane is not that cost-effective:
- Cold weather. It poorly creates fire on low temperature.
- Extra weight. Butane canisters can be heavy to carry around.
- Health issues. You may experience health problems like drowsiness and difficulty in breathing because of the carbon monoxide it emits.
Heat is needed in everyday life. Butane is cheap, accessible and useful in many aspects where heat is needed.