The Proud Origin Of Propane

Propane is a versatile, clean-burning fuel that is used in homes across the country and across the world as a source of energy. At Tri Gas & Oil, we are pleased to be your local source for propane because we believe in the true value and efficiency of this fuel. But where exactly does this powerful fuel come from? And how has it become one of the most popular energy sources in the world today? Propane has been around since the early 1900s. Propane has such a rich and interesting back story!

The Discovery Of Propane And Its Success

The early findings of propane were first discovered in the late 1800s by French Chemist Marcellin Bertholet. But its potential as a reliable energy source wasn’t discovered until the early 1900s by  Washington, D.C. Chemist Dr. Walter O. Snelling. He determined that several of the evaporating gases from gasoline could be converted to liquid and stored at a moderate pressure. The most capable of these gases was propane. Propane was discovered accidentally, as a byproduct, not on purpose. What a win!

Propane is derived from 2 different sources – separated from crude oil during the refining process, and extracted from natural gas or petroleum wells at a processing plant.

local propane

Propane is naturally odorless, so to ensure the safety of users, a reliable method of alerting to potentially hazardous leaks was needed. Ethyl mercaptan (which produces the infamous “rotten egg” smell) was introduced in the 1930s to warn consumers and rail workers in the case of a gas leak. Propane would go on to power equipment, residential appliances, and even railroad tank transit. By 1947, more than 60 percent of American households were equipped with either propane or natural gas. The Chicago Transit Authority was the first to use propane as a transportation fuel when it ordered the first-ever propane-powered buses. In 2004, it was estimated that the number of gallons used in the U.S. annually was nearly 15 billion. In 2019 and beyond, the usage of this versatile and resourceful fuel is only going to grow, allowing homes to become more efficient.

That is why Tri Gas & Oil focuses on providing you with propane of the highest quality to meet your residential and commercial needs. We want to be there for your family and business needs, helping you to grow and make memories over the years.  We have offices across the Delmarva Peninsula to serve you wherever you are located. Contact your local Tri Gas & Oil office and discover how propane can become part of your home or business.


  • TriGas & Oil Co, Fuel Oil, Federalsburg, MD