Gas bottles or propane? The many names for LPG

Shakespeare famously wrote that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Well, LPG may not have the nicest fragrance, but it’s certainly got a lot of names. Here’s a handy guide to some of the pseudonyms adopted by this portable fuel commonly used to power hot water, heating, cooktops and BBQs.

8 alternative names for LPG

1. Liquefied petroleum gas

It may sound like a mouthful, but liquefied petroleum gas is the full name for the much-easier acronym of LPG. Try saying that 10 times fast and you’ll soon revert backing to the abbreviation!

2. LPG Gas

Why say LPG Gas when you can just say LPG? Good question. As we’ve just learnt, LPG stands for liquefied petroleum gas, which means when you say LPG gas you’re saying… liquefied petroleum gas gas.

But we’re all for a bit of extra gas love here, so feel free to say it twice – or three times, or even four.

3. Propane

LPG in Australia is composed of propane. So referring to LPG as propane is accurate – they’re one and the same thing.

In the United States, the name LPG isn’t in common use. Americans just call it propane.

4. Butane

Overseas, LPG is often composed of a mix of propane and butane gas. That’s why people sometimes refer to butane as a form of LPG.

5. Gas bottles

A colloquial favourite, gas bottles are invariably LPG.

LPG is stored as a liquid under modest pressure in a metal container like a cylinder or gas bottle. Its ability to be stored and transported makes it perfect for use in situations where fuel is needed but it’s not practical to run natural gas pipelines to the site.

View the most common gas bottle sizes

6. BBQ gas

Those small, portable gas bottles you see sitting at petrol stations or hooked up to your backyard barbie are a popular way to use LPG.

Because it’s easily transported, LPG is used for a variety of outdoor activities like camping, caravanning, and outdoor cooking and heating.

7. Autogas

Automobiles can be converted to run off LPG instead of, or in addition to, petrol. LPG sold at the petrol pump is then called autogas, because… well, we’re sure you can work it out.

8. GPL

Internationally, the common acronym ‘LPG’ gets jumbled – in France and Italy, LPG is known as GPL! This stands for ‘gaz de petrole liquefie’ and ‘gas di petrolio liquefatto’ respectively.

We promise we’re not trying to confuse you.

But LPG and natural gas are different

Many people mistakenly think that gas is gas. However, it’s important to understand that LPG and natural gas are two different forms of fuel.

While both are classified as hydrocarbons – that is, a compound made up of hydrogen and carbon – from there the chemical make ups differ.

Home appliances can run on either natural gas or LPG, but the two aren’t interchangeable. Make sure you know the difference so you get the right gas supply to suit your appliances.

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