Most people know propane as the fuel in a white container attached to a barbecue grill. But propane has long proven its versatility for heating homes, heating water, cooking, drying clothes, fueling fireplaces and as an alternative fuel for vehicles. Propane is also used to make petrochemicals, which are the building blocks for plastics, alcohol fibers and cosmetics.
Propane naturally occurs as a gas at atmospheric pressure but can be liquefied if subjected to moderately increased pressure. It is stored and transported in its compressed liquid form, but by opening a valve to release propane from a pressurized storage container, it is vaporized into a gas for use. Propane is a by-product of natural gas processing and petroleum refining.