Because of the great demand for butane, its users seek to know every detail about it. However, one notable question that strikes the fuel world hard is whether butane is flammable. Perhaps you are one of those curious minds that crave an answer to this question. This article can be an eye-opener for you.
Is Butane Flammable?
Butane is an extremely flammable hydrocarbon that burns readily at room temperature. It is a volatile substance that belongs to the fourth class of the alkane family.
Butane occurs as a colorless, odorless gas at room temperature. However, it can be easily liquified when subjected to vapor pressure. Butane has an auto-ignition and flashpoint temperature of 689°F and -76°F, respectively.
Dr. Walter Snelling discovered the famous butane in 1912. Ever since then, almost everyone around the globe uses butane as a fuel. This gives rise to the high demand for butane and the curiosity in the world’s mind as to if butane is flammable.
Meanwhile, the key ingredient in the butane fuel which makes it suitable as fuel gas is liquid petroleum gas (LPG). Butane is a primary ingredient in cigarette lighters.
Now, the question is, what exactly is the constituent of butane that makes it flammable? Let’s discover.
What Makes Butane Flammable?
Butane ranks high amongst common fuels used all over the world. In the presence of naked fire and at room temperature, this gas combines with air and becomes flammable. Butane readily attracts naked flame and explodes.
Butane is quite denser than air. Owing to this, it spreads to long distances faster when ignited. Besides, butane gas is usually stored in pressurized metal containers. If this container comes in contact with a bare flame, it is likely it flares and burns.
Note that the explosion range of butane is 1.8%-8.4%.
Is Butane Flammable When Dried?
Keep it at the fold of your palms that fuel flammability only happens in the presence of oxygen. So regardless of being dried or not, butane will burn once oxygen is involved.
Is Butane Safe to Use in Homes?
To those that have some untouched butane gas cylinders at home, fret not. It’s okay to cook with the gas provided you take the precautions. Just as butane has its bane, it also has boons you can’t override.
Worthington Industry has set aside some safety and first aid measures for you. Just in case you are afraid of handling butane. So the short answer is yes, butane is safe to use at home.
Butane combustion products are not toxic. If you use the butane fuel in a well-ventilated area that is rid of sparks, then you are free from any form of harm.
Just like every other alkane, the two major products of butane combustion are carbon dioxide and water.
And of course, everyone knows water is not in any way poisonous. However, excessive inhalation of carbon dioxide can cause suffocation. This makes it more reason you should use butane in an open room.
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Discrepancies Between Butane Gas and Butane Fuel.
Most people don’t know that butane gas differs from butane fuel. Hence, they consider both of them as a single entity which is not supposed to be.
Although there’s a slight difference between butane gas and butane fuel. However, this trivial discrepancy is still noteworthy. Let’s look at them.
Butane gas is the purest form of butane. This is because it comprises a single ingredient which is butane.
The primary constituent of butane fuel is propane. Butane fuel usually contains about 50%-85% propane.
The propane percentage in butane fuel varies per country. In the United States, butane fuel comprises 85% propane, which is equivalent to exactly 2.5% butane.
Butane Flammability Nature: Does Butane Burn Clean?
Sure, it does. Butane reacts the same way every alkane would when it mixes with sufficient air. It burns cleanly by giving off just two by-products: carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O).
Are Butane Derivatives Flammable?
Yes, butane derivatives are highly combustible, just like butane. Their characteristics are like butane. Butane derivatives are also colorless and can be easily vaporized under pressure.
Side Effects of Butane.
When inhaled in unnecessarily high amounts, butane can become dangerous to one’s health.
Uncontrolled sniffing of butane is one of the biggest causes of solvent death in the United States and the United Kingdom.
About 55% of butane inhalation deaths are triggered by sniffing tremendous doses of it. The damages are always fatal, most especially when it is a butane gas explosion.
Mind you, butane not only results in death. It can also cause some diseases or irritations when it comes in contact with your skin. The global butane safety data sheet lists some emergency measures to take in case of an unforeseen encounter with a butane explosion.
Butane can cause frostbite, which comes with several unbearable symptoms. Symptoms like persistent itching, discoloration, formation of blisters, and dysfunction of the affected skin area.
Other side effects of butane inhalation include:
- Dizziness and drowsiness
- Difficulty in breathing
- Abnormal fluctuations in blood pressure
- Memory loss
- Heart attack
Moreso, butane can induce a permanent eye defect if it comes in contact with one’s eye.
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Now that you’ve learned that butane is flammable, let’s take a step forward by learning how to control it. You have nothing to worry about. We have already done the hard job for you!
Below are some control measures to observe in case of butane leakage:
- Ventilate the explosion area to disperse the gas and curb asphyxiation.
- Annihilate all nearby sources of ignition, sparks, or naked flame.
After keeping the above measures in mind, you can visit here to learn extra butane leakage precautions. Then, there you go.