Propane vs Butane

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Propane vs Butane

Postby GSEE » Sun Dec 24, 2017 6:19 pm

We usually just use a 2 burner Propane stove with a flexible hose and a 20# propane tank out on the table. But we're thinking that for quick stops and one-nighters, we should get a single burner stove to use on the back deck. I assumed we would just buy a single burner propane stove but once I started looking, it seems that most single burner stoves use small Butane cylinders. So what are the pros and cons of propane vs butane in this single burner stove application?

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Re: Propane vs Butane

Postby John61CT » Sun Dec 24, 2017 7:04 pm

I highly recommend the larger Iwatani, designed for hotels and catering. Same bottle and footprint just heavier duty and safer fittings.

Only downside to butane is stops working at higher freezing temps.

And fuel more expensive, $1-1.50 per bottle at local dollar-type or Asian grocery stores.

Can easily convert to run off propane* , but as you say a compact self-contained package is great for portability, toss in a bag for the beach or a picnic.

* I'll find my reference post and link later
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Re: Propane vs Butane

Postby John61CT » Sun Dec 24, 2017 7:35 pm

I recently posted about "remote adapters" available allowing you to relocate the canister away from the stove.

Also converting to use different (safer) butane tank types, and also for running any butane device off (much cheaper) propane.

http://www.cheaprvliving.com/forums/sho ... #pid358470
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Re: Propane vs Butane

Postby tony.latham » Sun Dec 24, 2017 8:46 pm

If you're talking about these one-pound propane bottles...

Image

It's what we use, but we have three refillable ones. They work great.

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We use them on both this portable grill and our hard-plumbed stove. 3-4 days per bottle.

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Re: Propane vs Butane

Postby John61CT » Sun Dec 24, 2017 9:08 pm

If using an Iwatani-style butane stove, I would continue to use the butane canisters that fit inside it for portable use, just because they're so convenient, all in one self-contained unit, no hose etc.

For a fixed location in a living space I'd plumb it to the 20# BBQ bottle of propane.

Yes they can be connected via another adapter to the Coleman style 1"-20 fittings, maybe a little safety improvement, but to me that loses the advantages of both alternatives, not as convenient as either.
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Re: Propane vs Butane

Postby Dale M. » Mon Dec 25, 2017 10:06 am

For most part stove does not care, both burn about same temperature (BTU) for practical purposes and its likely you will not notice any difference, only real issue is deliver pressure (in tank) at given temperature (but you as user will not notice)....

Temperature:
Fuelgastemp.jpg
Fuelgastemp.jpg (57.32 KiB) Viewed 662 times


BTU:
BTU.jpg
BTU.jpg (55.77 KiB) Viewed 662 times


Pressure/Temperature:
Propane press-temp.jpg
Propane press-temp.jpg (72.57 KiB) Viewed 662 times


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Re: Propane vs Butane

Postby slowcowboy » Tue Dec 26, 2017 4:13 am

on torches or lighters butane will light in colder temps than propane. doest take much cold wether to shut propane down. but below zero your then dead on butane but normaly to light stuff in the winter time I can still use a butane micro torch to light my coleman propane plumbers like torch down to zero. might have a full can of propane but It hardly will burn or even light. slow
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Re: Propane vs Butane

Postby John61CT » Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:22 am

Actually when all other factors are equal it is competely the opposite.

> Propane has a lower boiling point than butane,  so it will continue to convert from a liquid to a gas even in very cold conditions, down to -45ºC. When stored as a liquid in a tank, it exerts a greater pressure than Butane at the same temperature.

Now I'm not saying your experience with your gear is not valid, but there is another factor at play, e.g. a small light butane canister warming up more quickly or something.

But mountain-climbers snow camping increase the propane proportions in their gas mix, while summertime pure butane is fine.
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Re: Propane vs Butane

Postby KTM_Guy » Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:09 pm

Once Colman stopped making the Peak1 fuel for my backpacking stove which I still have 3 left. I didn't want to use them for car camping. So I ordered one of the one burner butane catering stoves. It was around $14 and worked great in good conditions. If you a fair weather campers it is great.

The cons for us we noticed on two trips. Camping 10-11,000 feet it really struggled, it takes longer to boil water at that elevation to begin with. Add in the cold 38 degree morning and it took a long before we had our tea. The next trip was at Death Valley and most of that trip was ideal for the stove. We had some good winds and I had to setup windbreaks but were able to cook dinner. One morning was 26 degrees and we had Luke warm tea. We got our tent at sleeping bags packed up and were still waiting for the water to boil. Another meal it was so windy I couldn't find anything to make an effect windbreak. PB&Js that night.

I would say above 50 degrees and a good wind stop you'll be fine.

I even use ours at home outside by the grill and once in the kitchen when the power was out.

And we get the fuel at the Asian market. They even have the stoves there cheap.

Todd


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Re: Propane vs Butane

Postby John61CT » Tue Dec 26, 2017 6:49 pm

Just get a propane adapter for the Iwatani-style and it will work fine at even very cold temps.
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Re: Propane vs Butane

Postby bdosborn » Tue Dec 26, 2017 8:39 pm

I always run out of stuff when I'm out in the middle of nowhere. They sell those 1 lb propane canisters everywhere, so the odds are a lot better you'll find one as compared to butane.

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Re: Propane vs Butane

Postby John61CT » Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:25 pm

And the ability to hook up to a 20# BBQ tank can save 80% on the fuel cost and gives lots of flexibility.
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Re: Propane vs Butane

Postby NorthEGPhoto » Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:35 am

I have a small brunton fold-out stove which just screws in to the top of a butane canister. small enough to fit in your back pocket.. puts out lots of heat. keep it in my emergency kit, but end up using it pretty much all the time when I want a hot meal on a long hike, or when I don't want to turn on the electric stove inside when its hot out.. just step out onto the balcony and fire it up and I have a hot meal in a few minutes. Doesn't get much more portable than that.
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Re: Propane vs Butane

Postby QueticoBill » Thu Jul 05, 2018 6:21 pm

Dinosaur here. White gas.
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