Bulk propane

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by oil pan 4, Dec 25, 2017.

  1. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    To get the tanks filled it was just shy of $50 per tank.
    Propane is worth 21,548 btu (I believe that's lower heating value)
    So a 100lb tank holds 2,154,800 btu $50.
    That's around 5 times the price of natural gas. We will say that's 43,100 btu per dollar.
    To compare to electrical heating you get 3,412 btu per kwh. Which translates into to about 36,000 btu per $1 worth of power where I am. A pretty big difference.

    But natural gas has 3 big disadvantages.
    You can't store very much of it (already looked into it), supply disruptions and that annoying surcharge you get during the summer where you pay $20 to $30 to use between $0 and $5 worth of gas.

    Electrical has 5 main disadvantages.
    You can't store very much of it compared to how much we use (already looked into it), making your own is really expensive and/or really inefficient, supply disruptions and almost everything depends on it to work.

    Let's say new Mexico the winter is really only about 4 months long.
    To get on the natural gas coop costs about $25 per month and they probably want a $500 deposit.
    So during the warm months I would be wasting $200 on surcharge. That would buy about 400lb of propane.

    My calculated propane usage would be something on the order of:
    The stove, if I hooked a propane stove up to a 100lb tank and only used it for cooking I could probably get a whole year out of a 100lb tank.
    The hot water heater: probably up to 300 lb per year.
    A propane heater in the living room: based on last year, probably use up to 120lb of propane per winter.

    To heat the living room based on last years 40lb tank usage if I used only propane I would burn about 150lb.

    Based on me and my sister living with my parents back in the day we used a 125 gallon tank for the range and hot water heating. We filled if up about once a year, in maine.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2018
  2. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    Here in Cambodia, a typical tank size is called a "15 kg" tank. However, that is only the net weight contents. The tanks usually run about 16.4 to 16.5 kg, tare weight. Ours is 16.5 kg, being a total of 31.5 kg, gross weight. They sell new, filled with LPG, for about $60 USD.

    We just refilled a tank that was full, when we brought it here to the farm on May 23rd. So, it lasted just shy (~1 week) of 3 months. I am considering trying out Biogas production. But, until I can gather all my parts to construct a biogas plant, I am considering buying two (2) each, of the 45 kg LPG tanks. If my Jethro Bodine figurin' is ko-rect here, two should last one year, at the rate we are currently burning LPG.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2018
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  3. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Propane or butane? IIRC our hobs were butane in Singapore, but truthfully I was not paying attention.
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  4. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    Well, it's sold to us as Propane, ghrit. So, I am under the impression it is. Of course, that don't make it so, fer shur, especially in this part of the world. I reckon it could be butane, just as easily?

    I have an old single burner stove top that I am going to run off Biogas, if I ever get that project goin' here. From what I understand, that should be Methane?
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  5. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Yes, along with a large share of inert, to say, not flammable gases.

    OK, thanx.
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  6. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    Well, I may be speakin' out of turn here, as I have only done research on it up to this point. But, what I gather from what I have read thus far is, I should (?) be able to filter out other gases during production? It's been a little while now. But, it had something to do with using steel wool as a filter? I would have to go back and look. Just been busy doing other things over the past couple of months. But, it has been on my mind more recently, especially considering no cooking gas would be available in the event of a SHTF scenario occurring.
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  7. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Without knowing what is going into the reactor, I can't tell what the inert components may be (and may well not be able to tell anyway.) The steel wool "filters" are used when there is a lot of sulphur compounds in the product stream, if I remember rightly. CO2 is a fair share (like 40%) of the contaminants in the processes I'm familiar with, and there's no way to separate that out; the burner has to deal with it.
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  8. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    I definitely should have paid closer attention while taking Chemistry. But, there was this girl...
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  9. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Well, the subject is advanced sewage treatment --. We'll forgive you. This time ----
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  10. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    How are we going to do this?
    Do you have a open sewage slew or is there a way to seal it?
    Paint the top black to speed up the decompression process and install a small vacuum pump on top to pressurize the gas to the burner, I would think that you only need a few ounces of compressed gas to fire it off.
  11. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    Bio methane tends to have a lot of CO2, H2S and moisture.
    Which is extremely corrosive. Any metal in contact with bio gas needs to be at least as corrosion resistant as 304 stainless, but 316 is recommended. Plastic wise I believe PVC and PVC related plastics will work fine.
    I actually work some where that creates and uses bio gas on an industrial scale.
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  12. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    Haven't quite gone that far. But, one or two IBC totes, will, most likely, serve as digestion chambers.

    Is it not possible to filter the CO2 and H2S during production?
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  13. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    The H2S can be reacted out easily. The CO2, well, you either live with it or get a CO2 scrubber, but that is pricey and difficult to operate. There is also a reaction with lithium hydroxide that will remove the CO2 that I don't know much about. The space shuttle uses it, as did submarines when I was in. The LiOH was backup in case the scrubbers went down and we couldn't ventilate.

    Now, you are going to run into an interesting problem, storage of the generated bio gas. At equilibrium, bio gas comes out of the reactor at inches of water gauge pressure. I've forgotten the exact numbers, but THAT isn't very high, given that most stoves and burners want to see about 10 ounces of pressure. (I'll duck the conversion factors, too easy to find.) Compressing flammable gases is an art all to itself, but pretty necessary if you are thinking intermittent use. This is NOT the same deal as a wood gas generator that the pickup truck can carry while you drive and Chan feeds the burner.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2018
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  14. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    H2S yes. CO2 not so much.
    Both can be filtered some what by water bath as both are water soluble.
    It just adds more cost and complexity, it appears to be cheaper just to build a stainless steel system and burn up all the nastys.
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  15. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    To store energy long term propane appears to be pretty effective.
    A 100lb tank will hold over 2 mega watt hours of energy with nearly 0 loss for years and costs around $210 bought new and filled.
    For comparison to buy a meager 42kw hours of refurbished forklift battery capacity would run about $4,000.
    The half life of energy contained within a lead acid battery is about 6 months and the batteries don't last forever.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2018
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  16. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    Here, a 45kg (~100 pounds) tank costs about $100 USD. I wish they sold larger capacity tanks here. But,even if they did, no one would deliver in bulk, to fill them. So, my only LPG "bulk" option, is to pipe them together, through a manifold..
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2018
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  17. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    I think I'm going to consider anything with out an over fill protection valve and bigger as bulk. In United States that means 100lb and bigger.
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  18. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    I swapped out my natural gas and propane wall mounted heater at my rental house for a natural gas only catalytic wall heater.
    That means I got a propane 30k BTU per hour wall heater for $0.

    My wifes grandpa bought that natural gas only catalytic heater for use in that house and it's been stored in a closet since he died in 2011. We just never used it.

    Now I have the propane and natural gas heater that we have been using since 2012 at our new place, just running off propane instead of natural gas this time.
    I just need to get my 100lb propane bottles hooked up.
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  19. STANGF150

    STANGF150 Knowledge Seeker

    I've had Wall mounted propane gas heaters since '94. When it warms up enough to not need them, I clean them with a toothbrush, wet washcloths, & a vacuum cleaner. Then wrap a large trashbag around them & tape it up. Gas company charges $50 just to show up & halfass clean it. I do a better job myself. Did have a 200-250 tank on a lease/rental. Tank full lasted a little over one winter's use. Last year I bought a 500lb refurbished tank from them. If I'd had the room & could have gotten it, I'd have gotten a 1,000 lb tank instead!
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  20. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    2 things to consider with methane digester is,
    1. 5 PSI is what they develop on their own.
    2. once the material is spent you need to get it out, consider your own digestive system and how it is evacuated.
    been there done that , not pretty .
    I have a 40 gallon stainless steel swimming pool filter tank I use for the process . it splits in half using an O ring and band ring too seal the halves.
    The fellow i first learned about, welded the lids on the 55 gallon barrels he used ,other wise the 5 psi poped the lids off. 5 PSI does to sound like much , but spread that over the surface area it is applied and weigh it's capacity .

    Don't put all your eggs in one basket .
    Speaking of propane and water heaters , i shut mine down when not in use, and the propane lasts far longer . during the summer months the pilot light is enough heat for the water.
    I have a solar water heating panel to install, but I still have too many irons in the fire . I built one years ago living on the desert , but to be honest the tank inside a glass cabinet was more efficient .
    Both having the same exposure, in one hour's time the 5 gallon glass enclosed tank achieved 130 degrees from 50 degrees.
    The glass enclosed copper coil achieved 160 degrees from 50 degree water, but it only held a few quarts . easily 4 times the surface in area covered .
    The 5 gallon tank was a water heater tank from an RV . this served us very well. putting one behind the other and it was great .
    People have thrown hoses in the sun for heating water but the wind washes the heat away. Same reason we use dual glazed windows in our home.
    If you dare to play with solar with the primary intent to learn , you will learn volumes .but if your just buying some one else's technology you learn very little.
    If you have sun there are alternative cooking methods; using mirrors, and parabolic dish, and fresnel lenses , even a simple glazed box .
    If you do nothing to learn these methods, they are not likely to be remembered when the time comes .
    I successfully built a Ram Pump (self powered water pump), not that I needed one, but in the event some one needed one i knew how to build it.
    It cost me something in materials ,but the building taught me volumes more in kinetic/ hydraulic / pneumatic energy .
    The sad thing is , this is not modern technology , it's 200 years old. common as dirt in the Philippines.
    I have a philosophy , that if my ancestors could do something, I should be able to do the same things ,no excuses.
    There are some whom are specialists ,but the limit of that are bound to only that specific frame of reference.
    I believe that being as widely experienced as possible, I can marry technologies in paces not here to for considered .
    I know of doctors that cannot drive their own boat. talk about a plough horse.
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