Does Butane Gas 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.

How long do butane gas cylinders 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.

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.

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.

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.

Is butane gas safe for BBQ?

Butane gas is a fantastic option if you only want to use your grill while it’s warm outside. Because butane gas may be utilized at temperatures as low as 0 degrees Celsius, it can be used in the fall and spring as well. Do you have a butane-fueled barbeque or heater that can also be used with propane? By the time winter arrives, you may easily switch to a propane gas supply by replacing the gas pressure regulator.

Where should I store butane?

Butane cartridges are normally safe to store, but any time you’re dealing with compressed fuel in a can, you must exercise caution. This is especially true if you’re storing significant quantities of solvents. Cans can disintegrate, releasing solvents into the atmosphere.

  • Canisters should be kept in a cool, dry place where the temperature does not exceed 122°F (50°C). Excessive heat can cause an explosion.
  • Avoid storing canisters in low-level areas like basements and keep them in a well-ventilated space.

Sealable solvent cans can be safely stored in garages, storerooms, and large drawers, among other places. Simply ensure that the setting is indoors, cool, dry, and away from any sources of heat.

Can you put a can of butane in the freezer?

Although butane rarely freezes in the winter, it is more likely to lose its function as a result of the cold. Its freezing point ranges from 68 degrees Fahrenheit to 3.2 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius to -16 degrees Celsius) in the winter. Butane cans are unlikely to freeze unless they are placed in a controlled environment to reach their freezing point.

Although butane does not freeze in cold weather, it is sensitive to it. Butane may be problematic in areas where winter temperatures are frequently below freezing. Because of the reduced vaporization levels caused by the cold, the gas becomes useless. This means that even if a can of butane is brand new, it will be unusable in the winter.