Why Is Propane Gas Not Soluble In Water?

Propane gas is not soluble in water  due to its chemical nature. It is a hydrocarbon gas with nonpolar bonds, unlike water that has polar bonds. This generates affinity between the bonds of the same type and a repulsion between the different ones.

Propane gas (C3H8) is colorless and odorless. Its chemical composition consists of a chain of three carbon atoms with eight hydrogen atoms, thus having simple and stable bonds.

Propane Gas Tanker Truck

What is polarity?

In chemistry the polarity of a molecule refers to the distribution of charges in a molecule, and this depends on how the atoms are arranged and how their bonds are formed.

Water is a polar molecule by nature. The oxygen atom that makes it up has a larger volume compared to hydrogen atoms, and has a negative charge.

Hydrogen atoms, being two and smaller, move in the same direction. Since they are positively charged, the water molecule is left negatively charged on one side and positive on the other.

On the other hand, propane gas has a structure in which the atoms that give it its structure are carbon.

Carbon does not have a well-defined charge, so the bonds between the carbons are neutral.

Importance of knowing about the solubility of propane

Propane, along with other hydrocarbons, has been of great importance to civilization in the last century.

Knowing the chemical properties of this compound is key to its extraction, purification, treatment and transport, among other operations.

Large applications for propane gas can be seen in many homes, where it is used as fuel for stoves and for heating water.

In transportation, a great impact can also be noticed because several organizations have chosen to invest in vehicles that run on propane gas.

When using propane gas it is essential to take into account that it is a volatile product, so it must be contained in safe areas, with a moderate temperature and away from something that could generate a short circuit.

Propane gas is odorless, making it difficult to detect in case of leaks. Sometimes an additive is added so that the human nose can recognize it, but it is important to keep in mind that it does not have an odor.

It is recommended to have gas detectors in places where materials like this are handled.


  1. Podsiadło, M., Olejniczak, A., & Katrusiak, A. (2013). Why propane? Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 117 (9), 4759-4763. DOI: 10.1021 / jp311747m
  2. Chang, R. (2014). chemistry (International; Eleventh; ed.). Singapore: McGraw Hill.
  3. Fasan, R., Meharenna, YT, Snow, CD, Poulos, TL, & Arnold, FH (2008). Evolutionary history of a specialized P450 propane monooxygenase. Journal of Molecular Biology, 383 (5), 1069-1080. DOI: 10.1016 / j.jmb.2008.06.060
  4.  Warning – don’t use propane in home air conditioning. (2013). JJ Keller’s Environmental Alert, 23 (8), 7.
  5. Lemoff, TC, & National Fire Protection Association. (2004). LP-gas code handbook (7th ed.). Quincy, MA: National Fire Protection Association.
  6. Douglas, H. (2017). The discriminating Buyer’s guide to PROPANE VEHICLES. Propane Canada, 49 (4), 16.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button