Does Butane Expire?

I discovered a can of stove fuel while rummaging through my cellar. Is this the same as conventional gasoline in terms of deterioration? —Don Turcotte of Dayville, Connecticut

They won’t go bad if you’re talking about sealed butane-mix canisters. It’s a different matter if you’re talking about a jug of white gas. White gas should be used within a few months of being opened.

We need to talk about chemistry to understand why. (Don’t worry; we’ll keep things straightforward.) White gas, like the gasoline you put in your automobile, is mostly made up of a variety of hydrocarbons—compounds made up of the atoms carbon and hydrogen. Because these hydrocarbons are so combustible, they’re perfect for fueling your stove. Unfortunately, many of them rapidly react with oxygen when exposed to air, leaving behind stale, thicker fuel that might block your stove’s lines and burners. So, while an unopened can of gasoline can be stored for years, once the seal is broken, its shelf life is drastically reduced.

On more than one occasion, I’ve used the extremely old dregs of rusty cans left in my garage. It works, but it clogs up your stove considerably more quickly, necessitating more frequent cleaning and upkeep. Bottom line: if you respect your stove and your time (since dissecting and cleaning your stove takes time), get rid of the old bottle and invest in a new one (you can get a gallon for about 5 bucks at discount chains).

However, it raises the question of what to do with the old items. It’s very combustible and hazardous, and it’s not something you want to pour down your drains, into your bed of pansies, or into the Grand Canyon. I know a lot of people who just pour it into their car’s gasoline tank. It shouldn’t cause any problems as long as there’s plenty of gas in the tank to mix it with. (I’m not advising you to do this, so don’t blame me if your car breaks down.) Bring it to a gas station or your local department of public works, both of which should have tanks into which you can empty your can.

It’s much easier to get rid of a number of old, almost-empty canisters—the green Coleman ones or the lightweight ones made for us on hiking trips—if your problem is that you have a bunch of them. Simply repurpose them: The majority of fuel canisters are made of steel and can be recycled alongside Dr. Pepper cans. Before recycling, burn up any remaining fuel (now is a great time to test that difficult camp recipe you’ve been dying to try) and puncture the empty canisters. (We use a heavy rock to crush the spent canisters.) You may just dump empty, punctured canisters into your recycle bin in Boulder, Burlington, and other environmentally concerned cities. Inquire about the rules in your area by calling your local Public Works Department.

Can butane canisters explode?

Butane gas canisters are a fantastic way to fuel a stove or heating equipment while camping because they are inexpensive, easy to use, and lightweight. Gas canisters can build up pressure and explode if handled or stored incorrectly.

How long can you use butane?

A canister is supposed to last three uses, whereas an LPG cylinder might last up to a month depending on consumption.

Portable butane stoves are intended for outside use, such as camping, rather than interior cooking.

Local hardware stores sell a portable gas burner for as little as P600. Some stores will give you three butane gas canisters for free.

Metodia Aranas, a seamstress from Cebu City’s barrio Lahug, uses refillable gas canisters at home because they are less expensive.

“Koy kwarta ikapalit ug Shellane wala man koy kwarta ikapalit ug Shellane wala man koy kwarta ikapalit ug Shellane wala man koy kwarta ikapalit ug Shellane wala man koy kwarta ikapalit ug Shellane wal

(Because I don’t have the funds to purchase an LPG cylinder, I make due with butane gas refills.)

You can’t blame low-income families for using refills, according to Eli, a Mandaue City-based NGO worker.

“What will you do if you run out of petrol in the middle of preparing a meal? “An LPG vendor can’t provide a new LPG cylinder unless you spend P900, but you can buy a refilled canister for P28,” he stated in Cebuano.

The DOE policy attempted to stop some LPG sector operators from engaging in illegal and dangerous actions.

“We haven’t done a detailed analysis of the increased use of butane refills, but it was brought up last year. We want to cooperate with LGUs to help us capture, especially in the barangays, because we now have a policy forbidding the refilling of butane canisters,” said Labios.

According to Rey Maleza, Energy Industry Management Division supervisor at the DOE regional office, the practice of refilling butane canisters with LPG began in Mindanao last year and spread to larger cities in the Visayas last year.

Portable butane stoves are designed for outside use, such as camping, but because of their convenience, they are increasingly being utilized in homes, particularly in boarding houses where cooking is difficult, he said.

“We’re not out to be anti-poverty. We are pro-safety advocates. We don’t want to wait for actual examples of explosions, even if we haven’t seen any yet,” he said.

LPG has a higher pressure than butane, ranging from 480 to 1050 kilopascals (kPa), while butane has a maximum pressure of 485 kPa, according to Maleza.

There is no pressure relief valve on butane gas canisters. The valve is composed entirely of plastic.

An LPG cylinder’s valve is composed of a stronger material and has a pressure relief valve.

Butane gas canisters are generally made of tin, with soldered joints, as opposed to LPG cylinders, which have welded joints.

Rogelio Bongabong Jr., Cebu City’s fire marshal, echoed the DOE official’s reasoning.

Despite the fact that the fire service has yet to record a fire caused by an exploding butane gas canister, he advises the public not to take any chances.

Because these canisters are designed to be thrown away, users who run out of butane gas should replace them.

At the press conference, DOE officials displayed samples of refilled canisters seized from a delivery boy last week by Cebu city traffic cops.

The canisters appeared to be rusted and worn out. There were no safety caps or covers on them. The canisters had labels on them “This is a one-time use item that should never be replenished.”

“The Citom board has observed the dangers that these pose to motorists and the general public when they are delivered on the road. At the news conference, Citom operations Joy Tumulak remarked, “We are extremely willing to engage with the DOE.” Michelle Joy Padayhag contributed to this story.

How long does an 8 oz butane canister last?

When employing a range of heat settings, an 8 ounce canister of fuel can burn for around three hours, according to Eastern Slopes. If you plan on boiling water on high all of the time, the fuel canister will not last nearly as long. This might give you an indication of how long your canister fuel will last as a camp cook, depending on how long you expect to cook each day each meal.

Do gas canisters have a use by date?

  • Do not use an out-of-date cylinder; the testdate, which is stamped on the base or neck of the cylinder, is only valid for ten years.
  • Use a regulator to manage the pressure if you’re using the cylinder with a low-pressure gas device—ask your gas supplier or the manufacturer for instructions.
  • While the gas device is still running, turn off the cylinder valve. The gas device valve should then be turned off.

Can butane be frozen?

Portable stoves make cooking outside during the winter months much easier. This would need the usage of butane, but will it freeze in the winter? And, if it does, how will it be dealt with? We investigated what happens when butane is exposed to low temperatures and described our findings below.

Butane has a freezing point of -216.4 degrees Fahrenheit (-138 degrees Celsius), which means it will not freeze in normal cold temperatures. However, butane’s performance as a fuel can be harmed by the cold. Internal pressure retains it in a liquid condition, but vaporization when connected to a burner turns it into a gas. It has a hard time vaporizing when the temperature approaches the freezing point. As a result, the liquid does not convert into gas, resulting in a waste of heat.

Butane can be used in the winter as long as the temperature does not drop below freezing. In this piece, we’ll talk about how cold the temperature has to be for butane to freeze, as well as what you can do to avoid it. What should you do to keep butane in usable condition? Continue reading to learn more about these topics.

Can I store butane in my garage?

Butane should always be kept indoors. If applicable, it should be locked up and kept out of reach of small children and pets. Butane canisters can be stored in large drawers, cupboards, garages, closets, and utility storerooms due to their reduced size. Because butane cannot be stored in direct sunlight for long periods of time, the storage room should be dark and well shielded from the sun’s rays. Furthermore, the storage place should not be near an electrical outlet, a hot bulb, a stove, a toaster, or any other source of heat. Butane should never be kept in an automobile.

Where is the best place to store butane?

We provide emergency preparedness training to a wide range of people. “Where is the safest place to keep gasoline (or diesel, kerosene, Coleman fuel, butane, propane, or alcohol) for an emergency?” is one of the most often requested questions. The answer is… it is debatable. The answer varies depending on the type of fuel used and where you live.

You have a lot more possibilities if you live on a 10-acre farm than if you live in a one-bedroom apartment. The issue is that gasoline is essential for everyone’s survival. You’ll need it to boil water, cook your food, maintain communications, and avoid dying from frostbite. Let’s take each of these sources of energy one by one.

When it comes to carefully storing fuel, don’t believe everything you read on the internet. Make sure you do your own research to make sure your knowledge is correct. Improper fuel storage could lead to poor fuel performance at best, and death and property loss at worst. Don’t take a chance!

Safety Data Sheets Provide Accurate Information

Studying the Safety Data Sheet for each fuel is one of the greatest ways to find correct information on it. This is the most up-to-date information available, as it comes directly from the manufacturer. For each of the fuels we discuss, I’ve included a link to an SDS sheet.

A detached shed is the safest place to store gasoline in general. Let’s look at the exact storage needs and circumstances for each of these fuels, as well as some potential storage places.

Best Way to Store Gasoline

The safest location to keep fuel is in your car’s tank. We recommend that you keep your tank at least halfway full at all times. One-half tank of gasoline should be enough to get you out of immediate danger if you need to flee.

Gasoline is a hazardous fuel to keep on hand. It should be kept in an appropriate red container in a cold, well-ventilated environment. Unapproved containers may disintegrate, releasing volatile gasoline liquid and fumes. It is critical to utilize only certified gasoline canisters. Make sure the containers are securely closed and labeled.

Our prepper friend allowed us to look into his fuel storage system and has given us permission to share it with you as long as we don’t expose his name or location. It’s simple to accomplish. Let’s refer to him as Bob.

Bob wishes to stockpile enough gasoline to be able to flee to a location 800 miles away in the event of a disaster. He has a gasoline generator that must be capable of running for at least 48 hours. His goal is to always keep 50 gallons of gasoline on hand.

Bob is well aware that storing this much gasoline in his garage or anyplace near his house is exceedingly hazardous. He makes the conscious decision not to do stupid things. When gasoline is not exposed to extremes of temperature, it stores well. He found a secondhand chest freezer and buried it in a shady spot distant from his house to solve his gasoline storage problem.

The next issue that needed to be solved was ventilation. To enable cross ventilation through the freezer, he drilled two holes to fit 2-inch vent pipes (lower front on one end and upper back on the other). To keep the vents dry and prevent vermin from getting in, they are screened and elbowed down.

The gas cans are kept off the freezer floor on custom pallets, which allows for better ventilation. The gasoline is kept in certified 5-gallon gas cans in an underground freezer. To assist insulate the contents from temperature variations and provide some operational security, the freezer is maintained covered.

An above-ground gasoline storage tank is a safe choice for storing bigger amounts of gasoline. These tanks are used to refill equipment on-site in farming and commercial operations. If this alternative appeals to you, look into the rules and laws in your area.

To preserve quality, gasoline should be rotated or stabilized every 9-12 months. To extend the life of the gasoline for several years, a good fuel stabilizer should be used at least once a year. Gasoline accounts for a significant portion of the energy we consume in our daily lives. For many people, storing a fair supply of gasoline makes sense.

Best Way to Store Diesel

Many of the same storage requirements apply to diesel as they do to unleaded gasoline. It’s a flammable liquid, so keep it away from open flames, heat, ignition sources, and direct sunlight. Static discharge protection is required. Diesel can build up a static charge, which can generate a spark and serve as an ignition source.

Diesel must be kept in a cool environment. The pressure in sealed containers rises when diesel is stored in a heated atmosphere. Make sure you only keep it in certified containers, the majority of which are yellow. Close the container tightly and store it in a well-ventilated area.

When used for construction or farming, diesel is usually stored in above-ground tanks. When storing in lesser quantities, keep it in the same places you’d keep gasoline, but make sure it’s in containers that are certified for diesel fuel.

Best Way to Store Kerosene

K-1, K-2, and Klean Heat kerosene are available for purchase. Some kinds can be purchased in containers or poured similarly to gasoline.

Kerosene should be kept in a cool, well-ventilated area when not in use. It should be kept in its original containers or in blue, vented containers that have been certified. Store away from strong oxidizers. It is less fickle when it comes to storage than gasoline and diesel.

Best Way to Store Coleman Fuel or White Gas

Coleman fuel should be stored similarly to unleaded gasoline, with the exception that it should be kept in the original bottle. Keep the original containers away from heat, sparks, open flames, and oxidizing materials in a cool, well-ventilated environment.

Best Way to Store Butane Cartridges

Preppers often use butane cartridges as a source of fuel. Compressed fuel in a can could be hazardous to keep in big quantities. Over time, the can will degrade and the butane may escape. We recommend keeping the amount of canisters you have on hand to a minimum and rotating them.

The can must be kept cool and not exposed to temperatures more than 50°C/122°F. Heat, sparks, an open flame, oxidizers, and direct sunshine should all be avoided. It’s best to keep the container in a well-ventilated environment. Because butane is heavier than air, it should never be kept in basements, cellars, or other low-lying areas where vapors can collect. Do not keep in automobiles or other similar settings where excessive heat could result in an explosion.

Following one of our seminars, a woman contacted us and revealed that she had a large number of these canisters sealed in 5-gallon buckets in her garage. According to the manufacturer’s safety guidelines in the Safety Data Sheet, this strategy has two major flaws.

  • The butane canisters are not well ventilated in sealed 5-gallon buckets.
  • The temperature in most garages may fluctuate significantly, and it may go dangerously close to 50°C/122°F.

Butane canisters are similar to little bombs that are waiting for the ideal conditions to detonate. I’d keep the amount of canisters I store to no more than 8-12 and keep them in my pantry where the temperature can be controlled. While not ideal, a limited number of people in this regulated area would not make me feel uneasy.

Remember that butane canisters are not suitable for storage in basements, therefore don’t keep them in a basement food storage room.

I fell in love with our little butane stove during our 90-day Grid Down Cooking Challenge. You can learn more about these useful stoves by visiting Butane Stove: Cooking for Power Outages in a Portable and Convenient Way

Best Way to Store Propane

One of my favorite fuels for emergency preparedness is propane. We make a concerted effort to keep all of our gas tanks topped off. Propane tanks are much safer to store than liquid fuels, which is a big plus.

One-pound disposable propane containers are convenient for emergency situations, but they are not as safe to store for longer periods of time as bigger propane tanks. I would not recommend storing big quantities of disposable propane bottles. The container’s seal may deteriorate with time, allowing propane to escape into the atmosphere.

Leaks in these containers should be examined on a regular basis. Propane, like butane, will not evaporate but will concentrate in a low-lying location, posing an explosive threat.

Propane should be kept away from flames, sparks, heat, strong oxidizers, and extreme temperatures in a well-ventilated environment. When chlorine dioxide is present near propane, it can cause an explosion. Only store in approved containers, and keep the valve closed. Explosive vapors may be present in empty propane containers. Whether your propane containers are full or empty, be careful where you keep them.

Our 20-pound propane tanks are kept in a popup tent trailer away from our house. This keeps them out of the sun and protects them from the elements. Not the best option, but we’re doing the best we can with what we’ve got.

One of our students proposed keeping the 20-pound propane bottles in a 150-gallon deck box, which is commonly used for garden equipment storage. The deck box should be kept out of direct sunlight in a shaded location. Cross ventilation would be required in the deck box (large holes drilled on both sides of the box). It may be a terrific method to keep 20-pound gas bottles out of the house and protected from the elements.

Propane, rather than gasoline or diesel fuel, is a superior alternative for garage storage. However, keeping huge volumes of fuel in a garage should always be avoided.

Best Way to Store Alcohol

Because it is not explosive like many other fuels, alcohol is an excellent storing fuel. Simple storage precautions are recommended. Keep the container well covered and away from sparks, open flames, and strong oxidizing agents. It’s best to keep alcohol in its original container.

The shelf life of alcohol is limitless. In our basement storage area with our food storage, we keep a reasonable amount of Everclear, SafeHeat, and denatured alcohol. That way, it’ll be ready to use whenever we need it. Only alcohol is a fuel I’d feel safe storing in my basement alongside food. When utilized as a prepper fuel, the fact that it never goes bad is a huge plus. Always keep the amount of fuel you store indoors or in your garage, including alcohol, to a minimum.

Unless you reside in a climate with extreme temperature variations, you may be able to securely keep denatured alcohol in your garage, according to the Safety Data Sheet. Storage requirements for alcohol are far more flexible than those for other fuels.

Because it creates very little, if any, carbon monoxide when burned, alcohol is an excellent choice for cooking and heating indoors. Learn more about alcohol as a fuel source in our piece, Best Alcohol Cooking Fuels for Campers and Preppers.

Best Storage Locations for Fuels

Any fuel should be stored in a detached, insulated shed that is sheltered from direct sunlight and temperature extremes on both ends. Stability of temperature is ideal. Never store gasoline in a structure you can’t afford to lose if it burns down.

Fuel is essential for survival, yet most of us must make do with what we have because we do not live in an optimum climate for fuel storage. When storing fuel, safety must be a major priority. If you store fuel incorrectly, your homeowner’s insurance policy may be voided if you have a fire. Check with your insurance agent to be sure you’re adhering to your policy’s restrictions.

In the event of a fire, a flammable storage cabinet is an excellent way to store fuel and keep it confined. The storage cabinets have self-closing hinges and are ventilated. These metal cabinets are costly, but they allow you to properly store fuels in your garage. To avoid static build-up, it’s critical to ground storage cabinets.

Always store fuel in containers intended particularly for that fuel and follow all storage recommendations on the Safety Data Sheet from the manufacturer.

Legal Restrictions and Common-Sense Practices

We highly advise you to observe all applicable legal standards and use common sense when storing your fuel. Depending on where you live, there will be different legal restrictions on gasoline storage. Your local fire department will be the finest source of factual information for your area. Our post Safe Emergency Fuel Storage Guidelines contains an example of legal guidelines.

Fuels are hazardous and must be treated with caution. Always keep in mind the people who may be affected by the fuels you store. Make them the most important thing in your life.

How Much Fuel Do I Need to Store for Emergencies?

How much fuel do you need to keep on hand in case of an emergency? That is debatable. What are you getting ready for? How long do you think you’ll be without access to public services?

The photo depicts a large backup generator for a local public utility, complete with diesel fuel tanks. In most cases, you won’t require something that outstanding to meet your demands in an emergency. If money isn’t an issue, you may put in fantastic backup solutions for your home. The majority of us are just concerned with stockpiling enough fuel to last till things return to normal.

Check out this Action Plan – Fuel Safety and Storage to get you started calculating how much food, water, and other supplies your family will require to get through a catastrophe. Spending a little effort and money now could go a long way toward ensuring that you have the fuel you need to cook your food and remain warm if you lose power or natural gas.

Conclusion

Water, food, air, and fuel are the four essential necessities for survival. This puts fuel at the top of the priority list. Storing fuels is far riskier than storing grains or water. Make sure you set up some extra time.

in learning about the fuels you keep on hand and the best procedures for keeping them securely. For more information on a variety of fuels, check see our post How to Safely Store Fuel for Emergencies.

How long do Gasmate cans last?

Although convenient, improper storage, transportation, usage, and maintenance of gas bottles and butane cartridges can be deadly, therefore it’s critical to learn how to handle them properly.

Safe Gas Bottle Usage:

  • When connecting a stove, heater, or gas light, make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Indoors or in restricted settings, portable gas bottles and butane gas burners should not be utilized.

What can I do with old butane cans?

Returning butane cans to the shop who sold them to you is the simplest method to get rid of them. Some stores may recycle old butane cans on behalf of their customers, but keep in mind that this isn’t always possible and can be costly.

Butane should be disposed of by emptying the can and recycling it. The procedure is as follows:

  • Light the canister and allow it to burn until the gas is completely gone. You should never dispose of a butane can that still has gas inside, but presumably it’s virtually empty by now. You can move on to the following stage once the flames have died out.
  • To remove the remaining gas, puncture the canister’s sidewall. You can use a screwdriver or a puncturing tool from a sports goods store to do this. If the tool slips, wear gloves to protect your hands. The canister will not explode as long as you are not standing near an open flame or other heat source.
  • Take your nearly-empty or empty can to a hazardous waste recycling center in your area. There’s a risk your local recycling center won’t accept the can if it’s leaking, broken, or greater than 25 gallons. Take it to a hazardous waste disposal site if this is the case.

Butane cans, even empty ones, should not be thrown away. This is not only potentially harmful, but it might also result in fines or other consequences.