Butane Source Blog
Informative butane articles and related industry information.

Butane is a type of gas that is derived through the refinement of natural gas or petroleum. It is a flammable hydrocarbon that has many uses, including as a fuel source for disposable lighters, for a torch lighter, portable stoves, and many other applications. When burned, its flame can achieve a temperature of about 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit. The most common form of exposure for many consumers though is simply when they use a lighter. Here are a few questions that often come up:

What is butane?

It was discovered in the early 1900s and is what is known as refined butane, made through the process of refining natural gas or petroleum. Butane is colorless, odorless, and shapeless in its natural form. It is very flammable and inexpensive to produce. The gas has many different uses, such as in refillable or disposable cigarette lighters, camping stoves, torches, and refrigerant. It also serves as a fuel in industrial and commercial settings, primarily for high powered torches used to cut steel and other high strength metals.

How is it refined?

Whip-it! Butane is refined in a four step process once it has been extracted from natural gas or petroleum. The four steps are: Removal of oil and condensate; Remove the water; Glycol Dehydration; and Solid-desiccant dehydration.

How can I determine its quality?

One common method of determining the quality of butane you have purchased is to spray a small quantity at a mirror. Nearly all refined butane contains a small amount of paraffin wax to ensure operation of the lighter or torch; butane that leaves too much paraffin residue may be of questionable quality. Of course, quality is subjective. If butane lasts as long as you expect, or the flame burns as hot as advertised, then you may well be personally satisfied with its overall quality.

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Looking back, it is hard to believe that our ancestors used pieces of rock — flint — to create sparks that led to fire. What is equally amazing is how long it took for human ingenuity to create flint-based lighters, the forerunner to today’s piezoelectric torch lighters and other refillable butane powered devices. In fact, flint lighters, those archaic “rock” lighters, were only invented in 1823.

A Lucienne History Lesson

Most people don’t know this interesting little fact: Lucienne butane is a private label brand made by United Kingdom-based Keen-Newport and distributed throughout the world by Chicago, IL-based East West Trading Corporation. Keen-Newport’s history dates back to 1963, when industry veterans and close friends Geoff Keen and Ron Gibbons joined forces to design a high quality but inexpensive refillable lighter that would perform under the most stressful conditions.

East West Trading Corporation also markets Lucienne butane in refill canisters and with lighters, and while we currently only carry the butane we may also start to sell the lighters. The company also sells butane refill torch lighters and other devices such as lamps and outdoor cooking grills.

MSDS Information

Like other reputable butane brands, Lucienne produces a comprehensive Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) which lists information in several categories:

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When you think of high quality butane, what comes to mind? If you answered characteristics like a long lasting burn, safe to use, and butane refill cartridges with a truly universal design, then let’s talk about Newport butane from UK-based Keen-Newport. With an unsurpassed history of innovation, by way of example their ground-breaking torch lighter refill canister, Keen-Newport has been setting the standards in the refined butane market for over 50 years. Whether you are refilling a cigarette lighter, a culinary torch for crème Brule, or looking for extended life butane for your camp stove, Keen-Newport has all your needs covered.

A Quick History of Newport

In 1963, tobacco industry veterans Geoff Keen and Ron Gibbons got together one evening to share a smoke and talk shop. Eventually, conversation meandered its way to a popular topic: How to design, build, and market a reliable, innovative, and inexpensive lighter refill system when competitors like Colibri had already established a foothold in the industry. Soon afterward, the men settled on a design for "a fully destenched aerosol butane lighter refill with 5 separate adaptors to refill all existing butane lighters in the UK market place" and the rest is history.

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Maybe your parents never told you this day would come, but it has. You need Colibri butane, Stok butane, or some other brand of butane in your life. The reasons are many. The next time you go camping for the weekend and it pours, making a camp fire impossible to start for cooking or heat, you will be happy to know your butane powered stove is available, rain or shine. The next time you use an inexpensive but reliable cigarette lighter, chances are better than average it is powered by refined butane.

Colibri Butane: An Icon Since 1928

In 1928, Julius Lowenthal founded Colibri after he had an epiphany of sorts: An idea for a semi automatic butane lighter that would replace clunkier models that were less efficient and dangerous to use. The rest is history, and Colibri Group hit the ground running, quickly establishing itself as a premier supplier of high quality and affordable lighters and smoking accessories known worldwide.

Today, the company produces and distributes more than two dozen unique lighters across three brands, the C-Series (Classic), D-Series (Design), and the T-Series(Tech). Known for their outstanding craftsmanship and reliability, Colibri’s lighters are the definition of confidence.

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Nothing lasts forever, and while the future of traditional fossil fuels is in doubt, one thing is certain — the demand for energy grows. Technology has made it possible to extract natural gas in many ways never imagined, while the development of alternative fuels marches on at an ever increasing pace. At Butane Source, we promote a complete line of refined butane powered products. We also want to educate people about natural gas and how it can be utilized responsibly.

The Difference Between Natural Gas, Propane, N-Butane, and Isobutane

Part of that education process is helping people understand the differences between natural gas and its many derivatives, what their applications are, and safety tips to keep in mind when using each of them in different settings. Knowledge will not only help you select the proper refined butane for the task at hand, but also will create a sense of limitations and possibilities.

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Butane has a wide range of uses, such as powering consumer and industrial grade lighters, torches, and outdoor personal heating equipment. In order to ensure the highest level of quality, owners of any butane-powered gear should carefully consider the quality of the butane they’re using. One of the most trusted suppliers of refined butane and related products is Vector KGM. One of the reasons Vector KGM is held in such high regard is not only the quality of their products, but their willingness to share information through a comprehensive Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) that is updated regularly.


About the Company

Vector KGM is a California-based company that sells a wide range of products that require a butane refill, including torches, lighters, portable stoves and micro-burners. The company also markets several niche items and collectibles. Its full product lineup includes:

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