Understanding Propane Transportation

Energy transportation is an incredibly important facet of industry and the economy. There are quite a few intricacies involved in the transportation process and many different methods available. If you are specifically dealing in large amounts of propane, then it is very helpful to have a general understanding of how propane transportation works. This can both increase safety and reduce costs for your business.

How is propane transported?

First of all, you need to understand that propane will naturally become a gas if exposed to the air. However, gases have a much lower density than liquids. This makes transportation of gases a very expensive prospect. In the specific case of propane, the gas is almost 300 times more voluminous than liquid propane of equivalent mass. Transporting propane in a gaseous form is incredibly inefficient, so specific containers are needed to create the conditions necessary for propane to exist in a liquid state.

How do propane containers work?

To do this, an extremely high pressure environment is created. The propane is crammed into the container, so that there is no room for it to expand. It then condenses into a liquid. With such a high pressure, flammable gas inside, these containers become significant safety hazards. Therefore, a variety of precautions are taken to reduce the chances of an explosion or leak.

What are the biggest safety risks when transporting propane?

The main safety concern with transporting propane is leakage. Faulty valves will cause two problems: the release of an invisible, flammable gas and the loss of product. Even if the leak occurs on an open highway, it can still pose a hazard. Even if the safety hazard is minimal, you can lose a large amount of propane very quickly, depending on the severity of the leak. Checking for leaks frequently is extremely important. Some higher-tech containers may have electronic monitoring systems that provide highly accurate measurements regarding the contents of the container and valve status.

However, there is also the more dangerous risk of a puncture or crash. In these situations, the high energy impact may ignite the propane, while simultaneously providing an opening for it to escape from the container. Older and lower-tech containers may explode, which can lead to hazardous debris raining down in a large radius, on top of the shockwave of the explosion. Thankfully, most modern propane containers have fail-safes that will contain any explosion that is not entirely contained. If your project requires propane, visit Pressurized Gas Trailers in Calgary.