propane vs butane portable heaters (1 Viewer)

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mfw

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Ok you can buy either type for use indoors but being the majority appear to be butane what are the possible issues of using a refillable LPG bottle - similar gasses only really interested in the main difference between safety or toxicity of burnt gasses cant find anything really online - exchange bottles are expensive whereas LPG on pump is cheap thanks for replies
 
May 7, 2016
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I wouldn’t use an unvented portable gas heater either at home or out and about (too much condensation). Butane only works above freezing point and is pretty lame close to it. At home this is probably ok but not likely to be successful outside. If you are going to use propane at home make sure the heater is set up for it, you can’t always swap safely from butane to propane and vice versa, some appliances are designed for one or the other.
I suggest you take professional advice from the heater manufacturer and buy a good CO alarm.
 

filopastry

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The major problem in my opinion with these gas heaters is the high levels of humidity they add to the air, heat up the air, great, but at the same time the humidity rises. Turn off the heating the temperature drops, the airs ability to hold the humidity reduces and boom condensation every where. The only solution, is to ventilate thereby letting in cold air reducing the initial heating effect. My preference is electric, more expensive but less, not zero, risk of the humidity problem. The oil filled, again only my opinion, are better as the air is not passing over very hot wires but a much cooler (still hot) surface. I can't remember where I read it, but I believe that the hot wires within a ventilator type electric heater can adversely effect the air quality, not that I'm an eco warrior.

Phil
 
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mfw

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Ok something like this although you can buy similar cheaper but that is what is throwing me always thought propane needed to be stored outside but now i'm not sure - apart from capping the fill side of a refillable for safety whilst indoors


4%252C200+Watt+LPG+Portable+Cabinet+Heater.jpg

4,200 Watt LPG Portable Cabinet Heater
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£114.99
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May 7, 2016
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Ok something like this although you can buy similar cheaper but that is what is throwing me always thought propane needed to be stored outside but now i'm not sure - apart from capping the fill side of a refillable for safety whilst indoors


4%252C200+Watt+LPG+Portable+Cabinet+Heater.jpg

4,200 Watt LPG Portable Cabinet Heater
See More by Lifestyle Appliances

£114.99
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That model specifically states butane as the fuel source and I wouldn’t use anything else.
 
Dec 12, 2010
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LPG simply means "liquefied petroleum gas" it can be either propane, butane or a mixture of both.
 

dave newell

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Do not use propane in that type of heater. It is designed for butane only. It is not legal or safe to keep propane cylinders indoors due to the higher pressure inside the cylinder (around 100psi for propane against 28psi butane). BUTANE ONLY FOR THIS TYPE OF HEATER!

D.

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mfw

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Ok thanks for that answers my question just seeing portable LPG indoor heaters thought maybe you could use in residential property - I will accept answer as no then Thanks
 
Jan 17, 2019
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we have been using a propane heater inside for years with a little vent above
we had a connection put on it to connect to main tank or outside propane bottle
great heater
upload_2019-1-17_18-0-53.png
4MhWe%ClRqGtyU3Hl3uX7A.jpg
 

pappajohn

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I believe due to the higher pressure of propane over butane means that the jets on the heater are different. (n)
The pressure difference, as pointed out by Dave Newell, is inside the bottle. The regulator on both bottles will reduce the pressure to around 30millibar so the jets will be the same as they are in motorhome gas appliances (y)
 

pappajohn

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You want the catalytic version of the cabinet heater.... Runs happily on propane.
My RV had a small fixed one with a radiant plate about 6" x 8".. 1.5kw
No flame, except the pilot flame, just a chemical reaction between the gas and a catalyst, usually a fibre pad, in place of the burners.
Needs a LOT of ventilation though.
 
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I have a Thermex for sale. £35 if anyone is interested.


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May 7, 2016
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Butane and Propane have slightly different calorific values, burn at slightly different temperatures and Butane produces more CO2. I believe some appliances can burn either fuel but not all, so best check with the appliance manufacturer if thinking of swapping bottles.
 

Basildog

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Not forgetting that the combustion of propane produces 10 cubic metres of water vapour for every cubic metre of gas used by the Fire :(

For those who might be interested and haven’t lost the will to live .
Butane is only 4 cubic metres of water vapour per cubic metre
Basically both will create horrible condensation problems,
 

Misterg

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... the combustion of propane produces 10 cubic metres of water vapour for every cubic metre of gas used
....
Butane is only 4 cubic metres of water vapour per cubic metre

Other way around, actually:

Propane: C3H8 + 5 O2 --> 3 CO2 + 4 H2O

Butane: C4H10 + 13 O2 --> 8 CO2 + 10 H20

/Will to live
 
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mfw

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Ok asked question because fire is clearly being advertised as an lpg portable heater - so slightly different gas makeup to butane - and residential does seem to have fixed lpg appliances with vents as against portable - so although portable propane heaters are used in commercial premises with reasonable throughput of airflow - enough good reasons given from people here to forget the portable lpg fire for residential use

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sepa

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May 18, 2022
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Not yet
Other way around, actually:

Propane: C3H8 + 5 O2 --> 3 CO2 + 4 H2O

Butane: C4H10 + 13 O2 --> 8 CO2 + 10 H20

/Will to live
I was also looking for the answer to how much water vapour is produced by propane vs butane, and Google throws this thread up, but the answer here sounded way off, so I checked.

For butane the equation is in fact C4H10 x 13/2 O2 -> 4CO2 + 5 H20
So 1 mole of butane produce 5 moles of water.
The molar mass of butane is 51.1g/mol and water is 18/mol
So 1 gm of butane produces 5 x 18/51.1 = 1.55 gm water

1 mole of propane produce 4 moles of water
The molar mass of butane is 44.1g/mol
So 1 gm of propane produces 4 x 18/44.1 = 1.63 gm water

So propane produces slightly more water than butane per gram burnt. Hope that clears it up.
Also 1 gm butane produce 3.029 gm CO2, and 1 gm propane produces 2.993 gm, so almost identical.
 
May 8, 2021
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Ok something like this although you can buy similar cheaper but that is what is throwing me always thought propane needed to be stored outside but now i'm not sure - apart from capping the fill side of a refillable for safety whilst indoors


4%252C200+Watt+LPG+Portable+Cabinet+Heater.jpg

4,200 Watt LPG Portable Cabinet Heater
See More by Lifestyle Appliances

£114.99
RRP
£135.99
15% Off
FREE Delivery

I remember we used to have one of these in the kitchen at home when I grew up before we could afford central heating.
 

sepa

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I remember we used to have one of these in the kitchen at home when I grew up before we could afford central heating.
Overkill (literally?) for a small van. I'm looking at one of the small portable butane heaters that use cannisters. Cheap, lightweight and easy to use for off-grid backup.
 
May 8, 2021
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Overkill (literally?) for a small van. I'm looking at one of the small portable butane heaters that use cannisters. Cheap, lightweight and easy to use for off-grid backup.
You obviously didnt read what I wrote?
 

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