Skip to content
🌟 Unbeatable Offer! 🌟 Secure the lowest price of the year when you sign a contract with us now! Don’t miss out on this exclusive opportunity. Click here to access our special promotion page and lock in your savings today!
Return to blog overview

Propane Information

What Is the Difference Between Butane and Propane?

BBQ party propane butan
The biggest difference between butane vs propane is their boiling point. Find out all differences and learn about some important similarities.

3 differences between propane and butane that you should know

The most common types of LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas), a family of light hydrocarbon gasses, are butane and propane. Although both LPGs are colorless, low carbon, and highly efficient fuels, there are differences between butane vs propane that should be considered by consumers.

Both of these gasses have residential and commercial uses in rural, off-grid settings. In this article, we will discuss the qualities of both LPGs, their differences, and their similarities to help consumers choose which one is best for them.

What is propane?

Propane (LPG) is a popular alternative fuel which comes from natural gas processing and oil refining. This LPG is pressurized into liquid form and stored in tanks or cylinders. Depending on their usage requirements, propane may be delivered to consumers and stored in large, on-property tanks or smaller, portable cylinders. Propane has a low boiling point of -43.6 degrees Fahrenheit, making it ideal for outdoor storage and use.

Another reason propane is stored in larger tanks and cylinders is because it is used in places where energy consumption is constant. Propane is needed by customers on a daily basis, so more storage capacity is required than butane.

Propane is a popular heating and energy source in commercial and residential settings. It is used for heating homes and water, cooking, powering appliances and vehicles, and a number of other uses.

What is butane?

Butane is also in the family of LPGs found alongside natural gas and crude oil. A major difference between butane vs propane is their boiling points. Butane's boiling point is much higher than propane, 30.2 degrees Fahrenheit, making it better suited for indoor use and fueling appliances like portable gas heaters and small cooking stoves.

Because butane is used to fuel portable heaters and stoves, it is sold in small bottles. Butane consumption is sporadic, unlike propane, and is more commonly used when people are on vacation, RV-ing, or camping.

Like propane, butane needs to be liquified before storage. Unlike propane, butane is typically stored in smaller canisters, making it a good portable fuel source for camping or RV-ing.

What are the differences between butane vs propane?

While butane and propane are both LPGs, there are some key differences between the two

Boiling Point

When considering butane vs propane, boiling point is the main difference to take into account. As mentioned above, the boiling point of propane is -43.6 degrees Fahrenheit, which is much lower than the boiling point of butane, which is 30.2 degrees Fahrenheit. Propane stores better and will continue to vaporize from liquid to gas in much colder temperatures than butane. This quality makes propane a better choice for homes with outdoor storage. This also makes propane a better choice for commercial operations because the LPG will continue to function in colder climates.


Propane produces more heat than butane and is more efficient in combustion, which means the overall butane vs propane cost is lower when it comes to propane.


Butane is more commonly used as a refrigerant, a propellant, or to fuel portable heaters and cooking stoves. Propane is more commonly used for grilling, heating, powering commercial kitchens, cooking, and as an alternative fuel source.


What are the similarities between butane vs propane?

Because both butane and propane are LPGs, they share many similar characteristics:


Butane vs propane safety is the same because they are both non-toxic, clean-burning, and stored in sealed containers.

Identifying odor

Both gasses are odorless, but an identifying odor is added to both to make leak detection easier.

Carbon Footprint

The carbon footprint of butane vs propane is similarly low, much lower than oil, gasoline, diesel, and even natural gas. Neither gas is considered a greenhouse gas by the 1990 Clean Air Act.


Conclusion: Where to buy propane?

We hope that this article covering the differences between butane vs propane is helpful to consumers deciding which LPG to purchase for their needs. To recap the biggest differences, here is a convenient list:

  • Propane has a lower boiling point than butane, making it better for cold weather climates

  • Propane produces more heat and is more efficient, making it cheaper to use

  • Propane is delivered to large outdoor tanks or sold in cylinders

  • Butane is sold in small bottles

  • Butane is more commonly used as a refrigerant, propellant, or to fuel portable cooking stoves

  • Propane is more commonly used to heat homes, water, cook, power appliances and vehicles, and as an alternative energy source

Pinnacle Propane can help you decide what amount of propane you need to fuel your home or business. For more information, check out our homepage or contact us here.