Does Butane Go Bad?

Sealable butane canisters, in general, do not go bad; in fact, experts agree that they can last up to ten years, perhaps even longer. Butane canisters that have been opened but have not been used for a while are still flammable and will operate in your camping stove, although the quality of the gas may diminish over time.

Do butane fuel canisters 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 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.

Do butane cans 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 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.

Where do you store butane canisters?

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.

How do you store butane canisters at home?

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.

Why does butane gas freeze?

Have you ever noticed how your canister gets chilly as your burner heats up? This is caused by a phenomena that occurs inside the canister as it transports fuel to your stove. These canisters contain highly compressed fuel. As a result, the vast majority of it is liquid, with only a little quantity remaining as gas floating above the liquid. You may shake the can and feel the petroleum splashing around inside before turning on your stove.

When you turn on the stove, a small amount of this gas escapes. As it does so, the space it previously occupied gets filled with additional. The gas must be extracted from the liquid, which necessitates the use of a lot of heat. This heat must originate someplace. When you operate your stove slowly enough, like when you’re simmering, heat from the outside air passes through the edges of your canister, and the canister does not cool down considerably. When you run your stove at maximum power, though, the heat can’t get through the canister quickly enough, so it has to come from chilling the liquid. As a result, the canister becomes cooler. In some cases, this can result in frost forming on the outside.

That’s it: the basic explanation for why your canister becomes chilly when you use your stove.

What is safer butane or propane?

So you’ve undoubtedly read or been told that propane and butane are both types of LPG gas, but what exactly does that mean and what are the distinctions and similarities between the two?

Let’s take a look at LPG and what it is before we get into it. The phrase “liquefied petroleum gas” (LPG) refers to a group of light hydrocarbon gases. Propane and butane are the two most well-known gases in this class.

Because both of these gases have commercial and household applications as well as comparable properties, they are frequently misunderstood. Both gases can be used as fuel for heating, cooking, hot water, cars, refrigerants, and a variety of other applications.

What is propane and what is butane?

Propane is a flammable hydrocarbon gas that is liquefied through pressurization and is obtained from natural gas processing and oil refining. It is usually used for heating and cooking, but it may also be utilized for a variety of other domestic and commercial applications, ranging from home water heaters to powering a restaurant kitchen.

Butane, on the other hand, is a combustible hydrocarbon gas produced by natural gas processing and oil refining. Butane, on the other hand, is utilized as a fuel, propellant, and refrigerant more frequently.

Why should their differences matter if they are so similar? Despite their comparable characteristics, propane and butane have several variances that may be advantageous or unfavorable depending on how you intend to utilize them.

What are the differences between the two?

When comparing propane with butane, the boiling point of the gases is the most significant difference. The boiling point of propane is -42°C, while the boiling point of butane is -2°C.

This implies that in colder climates, propane will continue to evaporate and transform to gas, which is ideal for the cold winters we have in Ontario and for outdoor use. Propane exerts more pressure than butane when held as a liquid in a tank at the same temperature. As a result, it’s better suited for outdoor storage and use.

Are there any similarities?

Propane and butane are both derived from the same sources and belong to the same LPG family, which means they share a number of characteristics, the most important of which is their environmental friendliness.

While propane produces more heat and is more efficient in burning, butane has an environmentally friendly feature in that it liquefies rapidly, making containment simple.

There are no long-term harmful consequences on the ecosystem from either gas. Propane and butane are both clean-burning, non-toxic fuels that provide a lot of energy.

Propane and butane gas emit much fewer greenhouse gases per productivity unit than oil, gasoline, diesel, kerosene, and ethanol because to their reduced carbon content.

Do you want to learn more about propane’s environmental benefits? For more information, read our latest blog, ‘Can Propane Help Me Live a Greener and More Environmentally Friendly Lifestyle?’ or contact our team of specialists now.