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LPG – or Liquid Petroleum Gas - can be used to fuel anything from a gas braai to your heaters at home. In fact, most people will, at some or other time, have used LPG whether in their homes, camping or at work.

LPG can be bought from distributors in metal cylinders. These cylinders are then subject to an exchange process whereby once you have finished the gas in your cylinder you can return it to the distributor in exchange for a full cylinder. The empty cylinder is then sent back to the LPG supplier who quality checks the cylinder and then refills, weighs and reseals it.  In recent years however, more and more unlicensed people are getting hold of empty cylinders, illegally refilling them with unverified gas and then reselling them. This poses a risk to unsuspecting customers as you cannot be sure whether the correct gas was used and if the cylinder was under or over-filled, which could result in a gas leak.

Here’s how you can identify whether or not the gas cylinder you are buying is genuine, so that you can avoid purchasing a hazardous, illegally refilled cylinder:

  • Firstly, check the seal on the cylinder for the official branding of the gas supplier. If the seal doesn’t contain the supplier’s official branding or match the logo that is printed on the cylinder – chances are the cylinder has been illegally refilled by an unlicensed third party.
  • Look for the supplier’s official stamp on the cylinder’s neck ring. This stamp should have the same company name as the seal, as well as other information like tank weight, minimum wall thickness, tank capacity, test pressure, serial number and country of manufacture.
  • Check that the supplier’s logo and name that is printed on the cylinder matches the name on the seal and neck ring.
  • If possible, check the weight of your cylinder to check that it has been filled correctly and matches the weight stamped on the neck ring.

By looking out for these specific features when buying a new gas cylinder, you can ensure that you do not purchase a cylinder that has been illegally refilled.

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How to host the perfect gas braai this festive season.How to host the perfect gas braai this festive season.

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With the festive season on the horizon and the weather warming up, there’s really no better way to spend the hot South African summer afternoons and evenings, than by enjoying a delicious braai.  

 

With so many delicious food options to choose from, hosting the perfect braai this festive season can become a bit overwhelming. In order to help you plan and prepare a memorable festive season braai, we’ve put together three amazing festive season-inspired dishes which are guaranteed to be enjoyed by family and friends alike. 

So, it’s time to fire up your gas braai and get cooking! 

 

Starters 

Braai grilled caprese bruschetta  

This light starter is simple to make but guaranteed to be a hit with guests, thanks to its mouth-watering combination of fragrant basil pesto, buffalo mozzarella and tomato on a crisp braai-grilled bruschetta base. 

 

Mains 

Lemon and honey glazed lamb chops grilled on the braai are an excellent choice for a festive season meal, as there really is nothing better than lamb that is cooked on the braai. Serve this meal with a light and fresh summer salad, like this delicious fig, rocket and walnut salad

 

Dessert 

Mandarin melktert 

Nothing says ‘South African’ quite like a good old melktert for dessert. This mandarin infused recipe adds a fruity and festive twist to the beloved dessert, making it the perfect way to end off your braai. 

 

So why not invite your friends and family around, set the table and get ready to enjoy a truly delicious festive season meal South African style – on the braai! 

How LPG fuels vehicles

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LPG or Liquid Petroleum Gas is a type of gas which is widely used as a source of energy throughout the world. Used for anything from cooking to heating, LPG is present in almost every home. A combination of the natural gases propane and butane, LPG is made as a by-product of the refining process of natural gases and crude oil. One of the more recent and interesting uses for LPG is as an alternative fuel source for vehicles, as opposed to traditional fuels such as petrol and diesel. In comparison to its traditional fuel counterparts, LPG is more environmentally friendly, produces fewer emissions and is more affordable.

  

So how exactly is LPG used to fuel vehicles? Well, in order for a vehicle to run on LPG autogas, it would need to be specially converted to have dual fuel capabilities. This includes having a specialised steel tank, made up of a fuel gauge, filling valve and the multivalve which is comprised of various valves including the excess flow and pressure relief valves. The reason that a vehicle has to be specially converted to run on LPG is because LPG, unlike traditional fuel, does not stay in liquid form unless it is kept cool; rather, it turns from a liquid to a gas as soon as it is exposed to room temperature. This means that in order to keep the LPG cool enough to stay in liquid form, it needs to be stored in specialised pressurised storage tanks or cylinders, both at the petrol station and in the vehicle itself. In order to fuel the vehicle, the LPG is converted from a liquid to a gas in the engine. Once the liquid LPG has been converted into a gas in the engine, it is then combined with specially filtered air. This gas and air mixture then enters the combustion chamber where it is ignited in order to create the energy to fuel the vehicle. 

 

Using LPG Autogas as an alternative fuel source is uncommon but not unheard of in South Africa as hybrid vehicles are not readily available in the country and therefore in order to pursue a more environmentally friendly path and give your vehicle dual fuel capabilities and you would have to convert your vehicle yourself.   

The difference between propane and LPG

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You have probably heard of both LPG and propane gas, but what exactly is the difference between the two? 

LPG and propane are essentially the same thing and difference between the two, if any, is dependent on what country you are in. Certain countries, such as the United States and Australia use LPG that is 100% propane gas, while other countries use an LPG that is made up of a mixture of propane and butane gases, usually at a ratio of 60:40.

The LPG, or liquified petroleum gas, which we use in our gas cylinders in South Africa, is a mixture of propane and butane, rather than the 100% propane LPG used in the United States. Propane gas is classified as liquid petroleum gas, along with butane, however it is important to note that while propane is an LPG, not all LPG is propane. 

Butane and propane are similar in that they are both flammable hydrocarbon gases. LPG and, by extension, propane and butane, are all by-products of natural gas processing and the crude oil refining process and are then pressurised into a liquid form, after which they are stored in gas cylinders. 

LPG mixture and 100% propane are liquids at a cold temperature, however they both become vapour (gas) once exposed to room temperature air. Propane has the highest vapour pressure and therefore has a lower boiling point (-42°c) and is better in colder weather. Butane on the other hand has the lowest vapour pressure and therefore a higher boiling point (-0.4°c), this means that the mixed LPG that we use in South Africa has a lower boiling point than pure propane.

Both LPG and propane are used as thermal fuel in various applications, including in the refineries themselves; as well as for heating water and rooms, cooking and as fuel for certain vehicles.

Why it is so important to check for a branded company seal on your gas cylinders.

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When you purchase a new gas cylinder there are certain things which you always have to look out for, to ensure your safety. This includes checking whether or not your gas cylinder has a seal with the gas company’s name on it and which matches the name printed on the cylinder itself. 

It is crucial that you ensure that the gas cylinder you purchase has a seal with the company’s name or logo on it, as this proves that the cylinder was filled by the gas company in question. You should always purchase your gas cylinders from a reputable company so that you can be sure that the cylinders have been legally filled to meet the requirements set out by the Occupational Health and Safety Act’s pressure equipment regulations. 

It has become more and more commonplace for unauthorised people to take and illegally fill gas cylinders that belong to a reputable brand and then sell these cylinders to unsuspecting people. Illegally filled cylinders pose a huge risk to you and your family, as you cannot be sure that they have been filled according to safety guidelines, or that the cylinder and its valves and pipes are properly connected and in good condition, which could ultimately lead to a gas leak in your home. People who fill gas cylinders illegally are unlikely to use the correct equipment, which may lead to the cylinder being over or underfilled. Gas cylinders should be filled to 80% capacity and without the correct equipment, this cannot be assured.

In closing, it is important that you do your due diligence when purchasing a gas cylinder by ensuring that there is a seal with the company’s name or logo. You should also check the inner side of the cylinder stay plate for the due date of test and ensure that the date has not passed. If either of these safety measures are not up to standard, you should take care not to purchase the cylinder.

How to detect a gas leak in your home.

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