LPG gas is basically propane and butane, and it is odorless in its natural state. The smell that you notice when there is a leak is actually the stench of an entirely different agent, called Ethyl Mercaptan. This substance is added to the gas when it leaves the main storage terminals.
Besides, why is mercaptan added to natural gas?
In its native state, natural gas is odorless, colorless and tasteless. Mercaptan, the harmless chemical that is added to natural gas, contains sulfur, which makes it smell. Many people describe the odor of mercaptan as similar to rotten eggs.
Why is a chemical odor added to natural gas?
Natural gas is an efficient, safe, colorless and odorless gas. For easy detection, we add a harmless chemical called mercaptan to give gas a distinctive odor. Most people describe the smell as rotten eggs or hydrogen sulfide like odor. It smells bad for a good reason - in case of a gas leak!
What mercaptan is used in natural gas?
2-Propanethiol, commonly known as isopropyl mercaptan (IPM) is used as an odorant for natural gas usually in mixtures containing tert-butylthiol. Ethanethiol (EM), commonly known as ethyl mercaptan is used in Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), and resembles odor of leeks, onions, durian, or cooked cabbage.