If you have ever taken more than a passing glance at a disposable cigarette lighter and wondered what powers its mesmerizing little blue flame, the answer is clear: Liquid butane, a refined raw gas whose history dates back to the early 20th century. Whether in a liquid or gaseous state, refined butane is a key component in a variety of commercial and residential products that would not operate as efficiently without it, including outdoor gas powered barbecue grills. Butane and the Role of MSDS Though widely used, butane is still a volatile, flammable gas that must be treated with care and respect, lest a disaster results from it being mishandled — thus the importance of a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) in regards to how it is manufactured, stored, transported, and used. At Butane Source, our knowledgeable and experienced industry specialists can answer all of your questions related to a particular MSDS. All About MSDS – Top Questions When it comes to uses for butane, an MSDS plays a key role in disseminating information that can make a big difference in safety. As a result, we often field numerous MSDS and butane related questions, among them:
Refined butane has an incredible range of uses but, like many other products derived from natural resources — in this case, gas — it is often taken for granted. Most people never think twice about butane, until the lighter they use to light a birthday candle fails, or their natural gas powered barbecue grill peters out midway through cooking dinner. What is Butane? Discovered in the early 20th century, refined butane is a byproduct of natural gas processing. It is highly flammable and low cost to produce, and is used in many different applications at consumer and industrial level. For the average person, butane is most recognizable because of its widespread use in refillable or disposable cigarette lighters, outdoor cooking and Tiki torches, among other uses. Commercially, butane serves as a fuel source for a wide variety of high powered torches used to cut steel, for instance. Why Refined Butane is Better for Jet Torches Advanced technology has created a number of competitors when it comes to butane-powered jet torches.
There is a lot of debate about the future of natural resources in regards to supplying the world’s energy needs, but one thing is certain — it does not appear the demand for petroleum and natural gas will decrease any time soon. Much progress has been made in fostering the development of alternative fuel sources, but few offer the immense amount of energy created through the burning of natural gas at the same price point. One derivative of natural gas that stays under the radar, but is growing in popularity, is butane and, as a result, refined butane. What is Butane? As already mentioned, butane or refined butane is a natural gas derivative. It is an extremely flammable hydrocarbon which is highly sought after for many different applications. Handheld lighters that require a butane refill as a power source have been around for about 100 years. Butane also is used to make propane, which powers outdoor barbecue grills, heaters, and many other consumer goods — including kitchen torches used to make crème brûlée. This natural gas, because it can achieve a temperature of 1,700 degrees Kelvin when burned, is an ideal power source for industrial and commercial grade torches.