Liquefied petroleum gas or liquid petroleum gas (LPG or LP gas), also referred to as simply propane or butane, are flammable mixtures of hydrocarbon gases used as fuel in heating appliances, cooking equipment, and vehicles.
LPG is prepared by refining petroleum or "wet" natural gas, and is almost entirely derived from fossil fuel sources, being manufactured during the refining of petroleum (crude oil), or extracted from petroleum or natural gas streams as they emerge from the ground.
LPG has a very wide variety of uses, mainly used for cylinders across many different markets as an efficient fuel container in the agricultural, recreation, hospitality, calefaction, construction, sailing and fishing sectors. It can serve as fuel for cooking, central heating and to water heating and is a particularly cost-effective and efficient way to heat off-grid homes.
Benefits of LPG
LPG has become an increasing popular source of fuel in West African homes, hospitality sector, commercial establishments and other public cooking services for the following reasons:
- It is a cleaner fuel (compared to fossil fuels)
- It has a very clean nature of burning
- It has lower greenhouse gas emissions (compared to other fossil fuels)
- It is a cheaper and sustainable source of energy which is available in West Africa
- Its usage is widely supported by the current Governments of West Africa
Based on a mandate put forward by the President of Nigeria, most of the affected government bodies and associations in Nigeria are currently creating awareness on LPG usage.
They are encouraging people in the rural areas to focus more on using LPG for cooking instead of the other alternatives such as Kerosene which is either not available or too expensive and firewood usage which is the major cause of deforestation and poses a serious danger to individual users health and the environment (emission of greenhouse gases).
Safe Use Of LPG
It is important for LPG operators and end users to be fully aware of the hazards associated with LPG handling (i.e fire, explosion, poisoning, musculo-skeletal disorder, chemical burns etc) when there is an accidental escape of gas, majorly due to mishandling of LPG, use of sub-standard LPG equipment and lack of knowledge.
General Safety Precautions for LPG includes and not limited to;
i) Provision of adequate instruction, information, training and supervision for the employees to safely carryout operations
ii) Smoking, the use of cell phones, cameras with flash should be completely banned in the area where LPG filling operations are taking place
iii) Appropriate personal protective equipment should be provided for the entire workforce in a LPG outlet
iv) The use of sub-standard or damaged equipment should be avoided completely
v) Highly visible safety warning signs, should be pasted around LPG facility premises to make people aware of potential hazards at every point in time
vi) Ensure fire safety processes and other emergency procedures are communicated to parties concerned
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