Propane is used as fuel in cooking on many barbecus, portable stoves and in motor vehicles. The ubiquitous 4.73-gallon (20 lb.) steel container is often dubbed a "barbecue tank". Propane remains a popular choice for barbecues and portable stoves because its low boiling point of −42 °C (−43.6 °F) makes it vaporize as soon as it is released from its pressurized container. Therefore, no carburetor or other vaporizing device is required; a simple metering nozzle suffices. Propane powers some locomotives, buses, forklifts, and taxis, and is used for heat and cooking in recreational vehicles and campers.
In rural areas of North America, propane is used in furnaces, cooking stoves, water heaters, laundry dryers, grain dryers, and other heat-producing appliances. When used for heating or grain drying it is usually stored in a large, permanently-placed cylinder which is recharged by a propane-delivery truck. As of 2001, 7 million American households use propane as their primary heating fuel
Commercially-available "propane" fuel, or LPG, is not pure. Typically in the USA and Canada, it is primarily propane (at least 90%), with the rest mostly butane and propylene (5% maximum), plus odorants. This is the HD-5 standard, (Heavy Duty-5%maximum allowable propylene content) written for internal combustion engines. LPG, when extracted from natural gas, does not contain propylene. LPG, when refined from crude oil does contain propylene. Not all products labelled "propane" conform to this standard. In Mexico, for example, the butane content is much higher
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