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How High School Chemistry Will Help You Get More Out Of Your Propane Tank

These days, everybody is trying to stretch their propane tank a little farther, but one little-known way to do this can be taken right out of your high school chemistry class. Even if chem wasn’t your best subject, a couple of scientific laws can still help you get more out of your propane tank, saving you money and a visit from your gas company. 

The Ideal Gas Law

The ideal gas law says that pressure times volume is equal to the amount of gas, multiplied by a constant, times the temperature, which can be shortened as PV=nRT. How does this translate to more value from your propane tank, you might ask? The answer lies in the temperature, as the higher the temperature, the more volume of propane will be present in your tank, and therefore the more gas you can use for your business. The same goes for pressure, but raising the pressure in your propane tank is much harder than raising the temperature. 

Le Chatelier’s Principle

Propane will either exist as a gas or as a liquid, depending on pressure and temperature in the tank, and this relationship is dynamic based on Le Chatelier’s Principle, which states that a system at equilibrium will absorb shocks to the equilibrium. In plain language, if a liquid is heated up, it is more likely to turn into a gas. Since you can’t use liquid propane in as many places as you can use gas, keeping your propane in gas form is preferable, and this can often be done by keeping the temperature relatively high. 

The Bottom Line

As you can see, your tank’s temperature can be very helpful in getting the most use out of the limited gas in your tank. The best way to regulate your tank’s temperature, then, is by installing a tank heater, which will help to keep the gas in your tank at a temperature that will keep the pressure high enough to use the gas useful, while preventing the gas from turning into useless liquid propane. This part can be installed very easily and quickly, and is a small investment for the benefit that it provides. 

Many business owners might not know that the easiest way to improve their bottom line isn’t in buying more or less propane, but getting the most out of what they do buy, and simple chemistry can teach you how to accomplish this. Buying a propane tank heater simply improves the quality and state of your fuel so that you don’t have to buy as much propane, and your machinery will undoubtedly run longer and better on the same amount of fuel.