Butane is a gas made up of carbon and hydrogen. It is a highly flammable gas that is colorless, odorless and easy to liquify. These characteristics make it highly useful for certain applications.
Uses of Butane
- The most common use of butane is as the fuel for the common cigarette lighter. These are sold in both disposable and refillable models.
- The same butane fuel is used for the butane torch. These are most commonly used in the kitchen for caramelizing sugar in cooking. They may also be used in glassmaking.
- Butane gas is sold in gas bottles for cooking on a grill or for various uses while camping. Smaller cans of butane are also sold for specially designed camping stoves.
- Butane can also be mixed with propane and other products to make LPG (liquified petroleum gas). This can be used as fuel for vehicles, in cigarette lighters, in aerosol sprays as a propellant and in the production of other petrochemicals.
- The purest forms of butane can be used as refrigerants in household refrigerators and freezers. This has replaced the derivatives of methane, which cause depletion of the ozone layer.
- Cordless hair irons are heated with a cartridge of butane.
Did you know?
Butane is a commonly misused and deliberately inhaled. When inhaled it causes drowsiness, euphoria, unconsciousness, oxygen depletion, memory loss and even frostbite. Purposely inhaling butane has been known to cause death!
In the presence of oxygen butane burns to form carbon dioxide and water.
An unpleasant scent is added to butane gas so that any leaks can be easily detected.