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Why Does Ice Form on the Outside of My Propane Tank?

DOT CylindersWhy Does Ice Form on the Outside of My Propane Tank?

Even on a hot summer day you might notice ice forming on the outside of your propane tank!  Why?

First you need to know a few facts!

  • Propane in your tank is a liquid under pressure.
  • Propane boils (converts to vapor) at -44 degrees F and above.  That is right ...below zero!
  • When propane vapor pressure is reduced, then the liquid boils to replace vapor pressure
  • Propane liquid (when boiling) extracts heat from the steel of the propane tank.

So how does Ice form?

  • If the vapor pressure withdrawal exceeds the capacity of the steel's ability to provide heat, 
  • then ice forms on the outside of the steel propane tank.

 
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