Are you one of those who are using butane camping stoves? You know, those portable ones that are meant to be used during outdoor campings? Like this:
These stoves are fast becoming popular in households across the region. It’s small and portable, easy to use, and cooking on it is a breeze. Plus it runs on butane fuel which are sold in canisters that you can buy in any hardware store or gasoline stations.
However, the Department of Energy (DOE) has raised an alarm over the use of these camping stoves. The stoves are safe to use, but DOE said it’s when you start using using LPG-refilled canisters to fuel them up that it becomes dangerous.
According to DOE Regional Dir. Antonio Labios, the butane camping stoves use butane gas as fuel, which are sold in 250-grams net capacity. The butane gas is sold in canisters made of tin metal sheet with no welded joints. Pure butane gas is similar to that of the gas content that you can find in disposable lighters.
But DOE-7 Regional Dir. Antonio Labios explained that butane canisters refilled with LPG, or liquified petroleum gas, are in danger of causing an explosion because LPG does not have the same characteristics with that of butane.
However, DOE has received reports that there are users who – instead of buying a new butane canister when they run out of butane fuel – has resorted to refilling their empty canisters with LPG. This is for economic reasons, because it LPG-refilled canisters are cheaper compare to buying a new butane canister.
Dir. Labios warned that butane canisters are not designed, and therefore not suited, to the gas pressures emitted by LPG. In closed canisters, butane gas produces pressures lower than that of LPG. So those butane canisters are not built to withstand the pressures of LPG, because LPG is a combination of butane and propane and has a higher pressure than that of pure butane. It needs a much stronger type of material to contain it.
So when users opt to have their empty, used butane canisters refilled with LPG, it puts them at risk of explosions. What they’re doing is like cramming The Hulk inside a tank built for Superman, or Batman. Not that I’m saying that Superman and Batman are inferior to The Hulk, but you got to admit, The Hulk is built like Mt. Everest on steroids. Imagine putting The Hulk inside the Batmobile. That’s what you’re doing when you’re refilling those butane canisters with LPG. Massive explosion waiting to happen.
So really, why risk your and your families’ lives over a couple of saved bucks? It’s not worth the couple of pesos you save if you’re putting your the safety of your loved ones on the line. Don’t opt for a refill. Go out and buy a new butane canister each time.
Also, help DOE put a stop on the mushrooming, fly-by-night LPG-refilling operations. Most of these operate in backyards and under the radar of the authorities because they’re illegal. If you know of anyone doing this in your neighborhood, call DOE and report them so the authorities can go over and investigate. Your vigilance will help save lives.