Why LPG Gas Tanks Have Different Pressures

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Why do LPG gas tanks from different brands have different pressures? Is it because some brands are cheating us?

A viral video suggests that, demonstrating how LPG gas tanks from various brands have different pressures.

Take a look at the video for yourself, and find out why LPG gas tanks have different pressures!

Why LPG Gas Tanks Have Different Pressures


Viral Video : LPG Gas Tanks Have Different Pressures!

In the viral video, a man demonstrates how gas tanks from six different brands – MyGaz, Mira Gas, Petron, Petronas, BHP and Solar Gas – have different pressures.

He tested the gas tanks – all with their seals intact – with a pressure gauge, noting how different LPG gas tanks have different tank pressures.

Although he never outright says that there was fraud, he suggests that by pointing out the pressure differences.


Why LPG Gas Tanks Have Different Pressures : The Facts

While the video is genuine, it is MISLEADING. The amount of LPG in each gas tank is determined by WEIGHT, not pressure.

It is true that LPG gas tanks from different brands have different pressures  but that is NOT an indicator of how much liquefied gas is inside each tank.

Fact #1 : LPG Gas Is Sold By Weight, NOT Pressure

LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) is sold by weight, and not by pressure. That’s why the tanks are labelled and sold in different sizes based on WEIGHT :

LPG Gas Bottle Sizes

Naturally, the weight listed above is the weight of the liquefied gas , and not the tank itself which is considerably heavier.

For example, a 45 kg LPG gas tank weighs 78 kg fully loaded, while a 90 kg tank weighs 155 kg.

This infographic by The Hindu is useful in demonstrating how to determine how much LPG gas is in each tank.

LPG Gas Tank Weight Calculation

Fact #2 : LPG Gas Pressure Depends On Mixture, Temperature + Motion

The pressure in every LPG tank varies according to the gas mixture, temperature and even motion.

LPG is actually made up of a mixture of liquefied petroleum gases, mainly propane and butane. Here in Malaysia, the mix is approximately 70% propane and 30% butane.

LPG Gas Composition for Malaysia

Propane vaporises much easier and at a lower temperature than butane, so a higher propane mix will increase the pressure inside the tank.

A higher tank temperature, which can happen if you leave it in the sun or accidentally pour hot water on it, will increase pressure in the tank.

Even shaking the tank will increase the tank pressure because more propane will vaporise.

Assuming they were not shaken or placed in the sun earlier, the LPG gas tanks in the video have different pressures because they have different LPG gas mixes.

Fact #3 : LPG Gas Regulators Reduce Pressure By 150X ~ 250X

No matter what the gas pressure is inside each LPG tank, the gas regulator you attach to it will reduce it to a low pressure of just 2.75 kPA (0.4 psi or 0.0275 bar)

So it really doesn’t matter how high the pressure is in the gas tank from your favourite LPG brand. It’s going to get reduced to just 0.4 psi.

Gas stove flames

Fact #4 : High Pressure = Dangerous + Incomplete Combustion

The reason why LPG gas regulators are necessary is because gas stoves are designed to work properly and efficiently at low gas pressures.

If you bypass the gas regulator, the 150X to 250X higher gas pressure will create extremely large flames that are dangerous, if not impossible, to cook with.

High pressure will also prevent gas from properly mixing with the air, resulting in complete combustion of the gas.


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