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Butane Vs Propane | What Is The Difference between Butane and Propane

We all are aware of LPG or liquefied Petroleum Gas which comes from the family of hydrocarbons. Hydrocarbons are the chemical compounds that are used as an energy generator. As we know that propane and butane both belong to the same family and that is the LPG. So it seems they are quite similar. Of course, they are similar in some respect but they differ too in some fields. 

Most of us often get confused between the propane and butane as they have certain similarities. But they originally have some differences. Let us reveal the difference between them. But, before that, let us gather some important units about propane and butane both.

Understand The Basics of Propane and Butane

Molar Mass44.1 g/mol58.12 g/mol
Density493.00 kg/m32.48 kg/m3
Boiling Point-43.6°F(-42°C)30.2°F(-1°C)
Melting Point-306.4°F (-188°C)-220°F(-140° C)


Propane is a hydrocarbon that has three Carbon Alkane and its molecular formula is C3H8. It is available in the gaseous state at standard pressure and temperature but can be liquefied under pressurization. Propane has a lower boiling point which is up to -42°C. Propane is a colorless gas that is mostly used for residential purposes and also in heating and cooking at home.


Butane also called n-butane is a hydrocarbon that has four carbon alkanes and its molecular formula is C4H10. It is colorless, flammable gas and is gaseous at standard temperature and pressure and can be liquefied at room temperature. It has a higher boiling point which is at -2°C. this gas works well when used in summers. And it is generally used for fuels and propellants.

What is the difference between Propane v/s Butane?

Although there is quite a similarity between propane and butane there are some factors that distinguish them. The following are the major factors. Let us find some of them.

Boiling Point

The boiling point of water is lower than butane. Therefore it will be converted into the gas from liquid even at the lowest temperature, -45º C. Propane exerts more pressure than butane when it is stored in the tank as a liquid. Therefore propane gas is more used for external uses. If you are planning for campaigning, mountain climbing then uses propane instead of butane especially in the colder weather as propane works well in the colder days.


Propane is more expensive than butane and even the butane CAN has a higher volume than propane CAN. So, purchasing one butane bottle is equivalent to the two or one and a half bottles of propane.  

Energy efficient

Butane is more energy-efficient than propane. Butane is 12% more efficient than propane if burned in the same volume which indicates that butane will be more profitable as compared to the propane because you don’t have to buy much propane CAN. Your butane CAN alone can do this much work and saves a lot of your money. 


When it comes to usability, propane is better than butane. Butane does not go well at low temperatures while propane goes great at a lower temperature. If butane is used at a higher temperature then it will work well in this weather.


With regard to availability, it is easier to find propane in comparison with butane. Only if you don’t purchase the entire stock of butane.

Residential Use

®Propane: It is used in homes for cooking and heating, in automobiles and generators also in the gas-powered appliances.

®Butane: It is used as a fuel for portable stoves, lighters, and other automobiles.

Commercial/ Industrial Uses

®Propane: Fuel gases are used for buses and trains, heating live-stock facilities, and grain dryers. Refrigerant and feedstock for petrochemicals.

®Butane: Propellant for aerosol sprays, lighter fluid, and refrigerant. Blends into propane and gasoline. Feedstock for petrochemicals.

Storage Pressure 

®Propane: It can store up to 190 PSI. 

®Butane: It can store up to 52 PSI.

What are the similarities?

As we know that both the gases are evolved from the same source I.e. LPG, then there is a lot of possibility that these gases have many similarities. It’s an environment-friendly nature, no harm to the natural properties are the same with both the gases. They both are used for heating purposes like cooking and heating stoves.


Propane and butane are the two most general categories of LPG. There are many similarities between them but some differences differ from each other. Above are the factors that differentiate between propane and butane.

Both of them are friendly for nature, they are non-toxic and eco friendly. You can use any of them but that too depends on the weather. Do check them out. I hope the article guided you with the best of knowledge. 

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