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What Is the Difference Between Natural Gas and Propane?

Are you looking for a way to power your home without using electric energy? Are you wondering whether propane or natural gas is the better option?

If you’ve never used propane or natural gas before, it can take some confusion to understand the benefit of one over another. These two forms of energy are similar enough that they can cause more confusion than clarity.

Let’s look at the difference between natural gas and propane to help you make an informed choice for your home.


Natural gas and propane, known as hydrocarbon fuels, come from various hydrocarbon compounds. Natural gas is methane, while propane consists of a combination of propane and butane.

Natural gas comes from decaying plant and animal matter. You can find it deep under the earth’s surface. Propane is a by-product of natural gas processing and petroleum refining. 

Energy Content

The main difference between natural gas and propane is that natural gas is almost pure methane, and propane is a liquid gasoline-like fuel created from distilling natural gas or petroleum. On an energy-content basis, propane is usually two to three times more dense than natural gas. It means that pound for pound, propane contains more energy than an equal volume of natural gas.

On a gallon-for-gallon basis, propane contains about two and a half times more energy than natural gas. The higher energy content makes propane a more efficient fuel source than natural gas. 


The main difference between natural gas and propane is that natural gas comes from a public utility network, while you store propane in tanks on site. Natural gas is odorless and produced from underground stores, then delivered to customers via utility pipelines.

Propane is a liquid stored in tanks located on a specific property, such as a home or business. There are many propane tank sizes. It depends on the customer’s usage needs.


When dealing with the safety of these gases, there are some significant differences between natural gas and propane. Natural gas is lighter than air, which causes it to dissipate. It makes it less prone to explosion.

Propane is heavier than air and can pool in low-lying areas, becoming explosive when an ignition source is introduced. Additionally, the smell of natural gas can be detected naturally, alerting people when gas is present in the vicinity.

While propane gas also has an odorant added to it that can be smelt, it is less likely to be detectable unless it is present in high concentrations. In the event of an emergency, natural gas will usually dissipate, while propane should likely be controlled by a professional. All these factors say that the differences between the two fuels are vital when dealing with safety.


Natural gas and propane are both combustible fossil fuels used to produce heat. There are some notable differences between the two. Natural gas is supplied to homes and businesses through an underground pipeline and is often used to heat homes, for cooking and drying clothes.

Propane is stored in tanks found outside a building and is portable, making it useful for camping and other outdoor activities. Propane can also be used for heating, but it is most often used for fueling grills, stoves, and portable heaters.

While you can use natural gas and propane for various tasks, propane is best suited for uses where a large, continuous heat source isn’t necessary. For long-term, dependable uses, natural gas is preferred.


Natural gas and propane are both popular forms of fuel. Both provide clean burning energy and when used, can offer efficient heat or electricity to homes.

Natural gas is most supplied from underground utility lines connecting homes and businesses. It means that natural gas service is available in more locations than propane.

Propane is not as ready as natural gas, and its applicable areas are limited mostly to countryside homes and small businesses. Propane for your home is mainly purchased in tanks, and you can fill it at various locations.

Propane can be significantly pricier than natural gas and has to be found or purchased separately. Availability is one of the key differences between natural gas and propane.

Natural gas is widely available and more cost-effective since it is supplied by utility companies. Propane is more challenging to find, and you can buy it via tanks which are often much more expensive than natural gas.


One of the benefits of natural gas is it’s more accessible than propane because it is in pipelines that lead into homes and businesses. It is also a cheaper fuel source than propane, making it an excellent choice for those looking for cheap energy forms.

Additionally, natural gas is a non-toxic and non-polluting fuel source. When burned, it releases lower emission levels than burns from sources such as gasoline and propane.

One of the benefits of Propane is it’s a portable fuel source you can store and use when necessary. It produces more emissions than natural gas when burned, but it is still considered a clean fuel. Propane is also a more flexible fuel source than natural gas, making it a great choice when choosing fuel sources for remote areas.

Understand the Difference Between Natural Gas and Propane

The differences between natural gas and propane are significant. Natural gas comes from the earth, whereas propane comes from petroleum. Natural gas is renewable and non-toxic in its standard form.

Propane is portable, and you can store it. Know the differences between these energy sources. It is vital for making appropriate choices for energy-efficient and cost-effective solutions.

If you need help understanding the difference between natural gas and propane, consult an expert for their advice. Did you find this article helpful? Check out our other articles for more information.

Subhan Saeed
Subhan Saeedhttps://www.updatedjournal.com
Subhan Saeed is the founder of this website. He is an expert in technology, digital marketing, business & finance, and other fields. He is passionate about providing reliable and quality information to his readers.

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