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Butane: uses – damage - hazards


Butane: uses – damage - hazards Butane gas information What is butane gas?

What is butane gas?

Butane is a hydrocarbon and a highly flammable gas that is odorless, colorless, and easily liquefied.[1] Butane is a form of liquefied petroleum gas, known by the chemical formula (CH₁₀), and is usually kept in airtight cylinders, and has many important uses in our daily lives.[2]


 Butane gas was discovered by the chemist Edward Frankland in 1849 AD, and butane maintains its gaseous state when placed at room temperature, and at normal atmospheric pressure values, and in the event the temperature drops below -1 degree Celsius or increases atmospheric pressure values, It goes into a liquid state.[3]


The product of butane combustion with sufficient amounts of oxygen is carbon dioxide and water vapor, while in the absence of sufficient amounts of oxygen, the product of combustion is toxic and dangerous carbon monoxide.[3]



Butane gas uses

Butane gas has many important uses in our daily life, and here are some of these uses: [3]

1.      Butane gas is used in some craft projects such as glass industry, plumbing and heat-requiring works.

2.     Butane gas is used in cooking and barbecue work.

3.     Butane gas is a component of liquefied petroleum gas, where propane gas and butane gas are combined to obtain liquefied petroleum gas, which is used in the manufacture of petrochemicals.

4.     It is used in refrigeration in refrigerators as a pure and environmentally friendly alternative, instead of methane, which is harmful to the ozone layer, and gasoline is added to butane gas to improve its performance in the cooling process.

5.     Butane gas is used in lighters, and this depends on the properties of butane related to pressure, so liberating it from a liquid state to a gaseous state can be easily achieved, through small lighter packages.

6.     Butane gas is used in the calibration of gas detectors and other equipment used in the detection of gases.[4]



Butane gas storage and transportation

Butane gas is transported by various means of land, sea or air transportation, and given the danger of butane gas as a result of its extreme flammability, and its harmful effects on human health if inhaled, it is necessary to observe public safety standards greatly during its storage and transportation and to follow the correct and necessary procedures in In the event of a gas leak [4]


It should also be taken into account to store butane gas in a dark and hermetically closed area, away from heat, flames, sparks or hot surfaces, and it must be stored in well-ventilated and cool places away from any consuming foods or drinks. [4]



Butane gas damage

Butane gas is one of the most harmful volatile substances when inhaled, as inhalation of butane gas can lead to death, as a result of cardiac arrhythmia, or cardiac arrest if inhaled during or after great physical exertion. It is also possible for butane gas to reach the larynx directly and cause laryngeal spasm, thus preventing air from reaching the lungs, which leads to death due to suffocation. [1]



Butane gas features

Butane gas has many advantages that made it one of the most prevalent sources of energy in our daily lives, including the following: [5]

·       Low cost: With the great developments that accompanied oil extraction and refining, the cost of owning butane gas has become somewhat low, and within the reach of citizens.

·       Energy-saving: Butane gas is energy-saving, which is directly reflected in the ability to save money, compared to other means of obtaining energy.

·       EASY TO CARRY: Butane is a fairly lightweight gas, which makes it a convenient option when you're on the go.

·       Environmentally friendly: Butane gas, despite its health risks, is considered an environmentally friendly gas.

·       Easy to use: Butane gas is easy to use, compared to other fuels, and butane works quickly, reaching maximum temperatures, within a relatively short time, which saves time and effort.



Butane gas health hazards

Butane is known as a colorless, flammable, rest gas, and is used in industrial products; Like cigarette packages, and aerosol aerosols, it is also considered a central nervous system depressant that slows brain activity and mental responses. Another danger of butane gas is its flammability, as this property can cause the gas to ignite by heat, spark or flame, and it explodes when exposed to air. It results in deep burns that sometimes lead to the death of the person.



Butane gas side effects on health

The effects caused by butane gas vary according to the dose, and the following are the side effects of inhaling butane gas:[6]


1. Immediate side effects

Immediate side effects of inhaling butane include:

1.      Aggressive behaviour.

2.     Anesthesia.

3.     Possible loss of consciousness.

4.     Short-term memory loss.

5.     Unclear.

6.     Loss of coordination.

7.      Confusion.

8.     convulsions and seizures;

9.     hallucinations;



2. Long-term effects

The long-term effects of inhaling butane include:

1.      Chronic headache.

2.     Sinusitis.

3.     Lack of muscle coordination.

4.     dizziness;

5.     Shortness of breath.

6.     nosebleeds;

7.      Chronic or recurrent cough.

8.     Depression.

9.     Anxiety.

10.  Tinnitus (noise in the ears or head).



Addiction and death

Intentionally inhaling butane gas can cause sudden death syndrome, a heart condition in which a person suffers from an irregular heartbeat caused by a person feeling excited, dazed, or participating in any sudden physical activity after inhaling butane, and the following are other causes of death resulting from inhaling butane. :[6]

·       Choking due to vomiting.

·       Choking and inability to breathe.

·       Swelling at the back of the throat.



Safety rules to avoid the dangers of butane gas

Butane gas is considered a type of toxic gas, which must be treated with caution, and the following are the most important rules to be followed when dealing with it:[7]

1.      Avoid inhaling butane when used in cooking, heating, and lighting.

2.     Keep packages containing butane away from various heat sources.

3.     Store butane in well-ventilated places out of direct sunlight and food and drink.

4.     Allow cigarette lighters and cans containing butane to cool before refilling them.

5.     Use only approved cans for storing butane gas.

6.     Secure butane storage cans when transporting to avoid exploding.

7.      Use goggles and protective gloves when using butane in manufacturing processes.

8.     Avoid putting out a butane fire until the gas source is turned off.

9.     Wash or discard clothing after handling butane gas.



The difference between butane gas and propane

Both propane and butane are common gases nowadays; They are used for industrial and domestic purposes to operate stoves, ovens, and car engines, and some may think that these two gases are similar because they have many similar characteristics, but there are some differences between them, which are as follows:[8]


1. Properties

The molar mass of propane is about 44 g/mol, and it is in the gaseous state at room temperature. It can also be compressed to make portable liquid propane. Because of its low boiling point of about -42 degrees Celsius, liquid propane can be easily vaporized; Once the lid of the propane container is opened, the liquid propane will immediately be converted into a gas that can be burned for energy.[9]


 The complete combustion of propane results in carbon dioxide, water vapor, and thermal energy, but the lack of sufficient oxygen will lead to incomplete combustion and the formation of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbon soot, and water vapor, and the thermal energy resulting from combustion is not Complete combustion is less than that obtained by complete combustion.[9]


Butane is in the gaseous state at room temperature, and the molar mass of butane is about 58.12 g / mol. Butane is a colorless gas with an odor similar to gasoline, and its boiling point is about -1 ° C, and it is considered one of the highly flammable gases that It can be easily burned at room temperature.[9]



2. Composition

The two gases differ from each other in terms of formula or molecular structure; Butane is an alkane consisting of four carbon atoms and ten hydrogen atoms and its chemical formula is C3H8, while propane is an alkane made up of three carbon atoms and eight hydrogen atoms, and its chemical formula is C4H10. for heating homes.[8]



3. Uses

Although propane and butane are similar in their properties, they each have specific uses; The boiling point of propane is low, which makes it suitable for outdoor storage, so it is commonly used in central heating, cooking, transportation, and commercial operations. It can also be used in recreational activities during the summer months while camping, in stoves and for barbecue purposes, and in cigarette lighters, and it is considered lighter than propane, by about 12%.[8][10]


Propane is suitable for use in harsh climates because it has a lower boiling point than butane, and can burn easily at freezing temperatures. Butane is less expensive than propane, and it is also more energy efficient; It produces more energy per unit of fuel when burned.[8]





1.      "Butane", mhc, Retrieved 11/1/2022. Edited.

2.     "Everything you need to know about Butane", calor, Retrieved 11/1/2022. Edited.

3.     "POPULAR USES FOR BUTANE GAS", adamsgas, Retrieved 11/1/2022. Edited.

4.     "Butane Calibration Gas: 3 things to know", semagases, Retrieved 11/1/2022. Edited.

5.     "Know all about Butane Gas Canister for your Camping Stove", adventuregears, Retrieved 11/1/2022. Edited."

6.     BUTANE", cameochemicals.noaa, Retrieved 11/1/2022. Edited.

7.      "Best Safety Practices When Handling Butane", butanesource, 19/9/2014, Retrieved 11/1/2022. Edited.

8.     "Difference Between Propane and Butane",, Retrieved 18/4/2022. Edited.

9.     "Difference Between Propane and Butane",, Retrieved 18/4/2022. Edited.

10.  "Propane vs Butane – what’s the difference?",, Retrieved 18/4/2022. Edited.