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How many BTU's in a gallon of LP

See the attached PDF re fuel BTU content and cost comparison calcs.

It was written in 1998 so the prices are outdated, however the new dollar numbers for today can be plugged in for comparison purposes and the BTU values don't change.

Edward A. (Ed) Carey

E.A. Carey HVAC


  • Toddid Goldsmith's
    Toddid Goldsmith's Member Posts: 77

    How many BTU's in a gallon of LP?
  • doe vs aga

    91,330 vs 91,600 via googling
  • scrook_2
    scrook_2 Member Posts: 610
    compare to...

    for those interested:

    ~140,000/gal for #2 oil

    ~134,000/gal for kerosene

    ~100,000 per 100 cu. ft. natural gas (exactly 100,000 per Therm of NG)

    ~12,000 BTU/lb for coal

    ~5,800 BTU/lb (~21,000,000/cord) for dry hardwood

    3413 BTU/kW-hr for electricity

    also, for motor vehicle fuels:

    ~140,000/gal for diesel

    ~125,000/gal for gasoline

    ~84,000/gal for ethanol
  • A simple cost comparison


  • Bob Harper
    Bob Harper Member Posts: 914

    The heat value of a hydrocarbon fuel is based upon the analysis of that fuel. For instance, the generally accepted value for propane is around 91,502 per gallon according to the national propane gas assn. based upon a Specific Gravity of 0.504 or a vapor density of 1.50 . That's pure propane. However, LP gas is a blend, often a witches brew of heavier hydrocarbons with vapor densities up to 1.58. With the heavier hydrocarbon content, the BTU content goes up. The better the grade, the lower the BTU content. Same goes for NG. Look at LNG, which typically runs about 23% heavier that your typical 1050 BTU/ cubic foot NG. Your gallon of LPG may run as much as 96,000 BTU/ gal. I have an LPG pipeline near me that delivers HD-5 grade good stuff that analyzes out at about 91,600 BTU/ gal. Burns very clean.

    If you have real issues with sooting, delayed ignition or burning too hot, try to get a copy of a Bill of Lading on their last shipment to see the analysis of what they are selling.

    FYI, on a kiln dried basis, all species of wood contain about 8,600 btu/lb.

  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,839
    Steve, YOUR natural gas may contain 100,000 btu's, but....

    The NG here in Denver and the front range is ALL over the place.

    Denver gas is around 830 btu/cu. ft.

    Funny thing, most all boiler manufacturers think we have 1,000 btu gas up here too :-)

    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • Barbarossa
    Barbarossa Member Posts: 89

    Also note the diff. between the net and gross values and the fact that the blend that can change based on the climate.
This discussion has been closed.