All gas fuel is not the same, and uncertainty is dangerous

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

When you report price changes for gasoline price, you often report the LPG price change. Sometimes you refer to the product as  “Liquid Natural Gas” (LNG).  It is dangerous to confuse the two. Appliances need to be set up for the gas to be supplied.  In Costa Rica,  the fuel is LPG.

LPG is mostly propane and/or butane, it is heavier than air and in confined spaces leaks settle to the lowest level, where it can suffocate sleeping persons and be ignited.  Improper combustion can easily lead to carbon monoxide, a colorless odorless poisonous gas.

LNG is mostly methane, must be stored at a cold temperature to stay as a liquid and tanks need to be heavily insulated. When it is a gas, it is lighter than air and rises to the ceiling in confined spaces.  In the U.S.A., natural gas is available at most suburban and urban areas, delivered thru underground pipes, but not as a liquid.

Appliances imported thru regular commercial routes are probably set for LPG, but appliances that are imported used and/or for personal use may be set up for natural gas.

John Osborn
This entry was posted in Reader Opinion. Bookmark the permalink.