Propane is a three-carbon alkane with the molecular formula C3H8, normally a gas, but compressible to a transportable liquid. A by-product of natural gas processing and petroleum refining, it is commonly used as a fuel for engines, oxy-gas torches, barbecues, portable stoves, and residential central heating. Propane is one of a group of liquefied petroleum gases. The others include butane, propylene, butadiene, butylene, isobutylene and mixtures thereof.
Propane containing too much propene (also called propylene) is not suited for most vehicle fuels. HD-5 is a specification which establishes a maximum concentration of 5% propene in propane. Propane and other LP gas specifications are established in ASTM D-1835. All propane fuels include an odorant, almost always ethanethiol, so that people can easily smell the gas in case of a leak. Propane as HD-5 was originally intended for use as vehicle fuel. HD-5 is currently being used in all propane applications.