In the UK, LPG, the widely accepted short for Liquefied Petroleum Gas, goes by many names.
For most people, this creates great confusion as they are unsure if the various terms they come across reference the same product.
This article looks at all the popular terms used to refer to LPG and whether they are the same.
But, first things first:
What is liquefied petroleum gas?
Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is the blanket term for natural hydrocarbon gases, which are primarily a by-product of gas and oil extraction. These gases are used as fuel for numerous applications, from heating properties and powering plants to manufacturing processes and running vehicles.
LPG is commercially available as a liquefied gas, and it comes in two common forms:
This is the most common type of LPG in the UK, thanks to its versatility and ability to be used even when it is extremely cold (up to -42°C).
Propane’s chemical formula is C3H8 and is often supplied in refillable gas cylinders that can be exchanged or refilled on site.
Since propane is used for various purposes, it goes by several names, including:
- Camping gas
- BBQ gas
- Bottled gas
- LPG gas
- LP Gas
Butane is another type of LPG, often used for powering BBQs and portable heating such as patio heaters. It is not as popular as propane in the UK, and this is because you cannot use it at temperatures below -2°C due to its low boiling temperature.
Butane’s chemical formula is C4H10 and is a cheaper and more cost-effective option than propane as it produces more energy when burned.
Is autogas the same as LPG?
Yes, autogas is the same as LPG and is the name that has been widely accepted in the UK when liquefied petroleum gas is used to power vehicles.
Is BBQ gas the same as camping gas?
Yes, BBQ gas and camping gas are all LPG (propane or butane).
The various terms used to refer to each have been mainly propelled by marketing terms and everyday references, depending on the intended use.
For camping, butane has the edge over propane as it is lighter and burns more efficiently. However, it cannot be used when camping during the cold season.
On the other hand, propane is the most preferred BBQ gas for commercial use or outdoor barbecues as it can be used all year round.
Note: While you can use butane indoors, it is not advisable to use propane in an enclosed environment, which is why these gas cylinders are mostly kept outdoors.
What is bottled gas?
Bottled gas simply refers to LPG that is sold in gas cylinders.
In the UK, propane is mainly sold in red cylinders and butane in blue cylinders.
Is patio gas the same as LPG?
Patio gas refers to LPG that is meant for patio heaters and BBQs.
Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) is a versatile fuel, and because of its hundreds of applications, it has acquired various names in the UK market. So, you need not be confused when someone mentions LP gas, autogas, BBQ gas, patio gas, camping gas, or bottled gas, as they all refer to the same product.