What Are Some Uses of Butane?

Dennis van Zuijlekom/CC-BY-2.0

Butane is often used in cigarette lighters and portable cooking stoves. It is also used as a heating fuel, a coolant, and a propellant in aerosols.

Butane is a highly flammable gas, which makes it ideal to be used for heating; it is often sold bottled for use in outdoor grills or camping stoves. When it was determined that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) depleted the ozone layer, butane became a replacement material to act as a propellant in aerosol spray cans.

When butane is inhaled, it can cause a sense of euphoria and hallucinations. As a result, it is often abused through intentional inhalation, commonly known as ‘huffing.’ Butane is known to cause “sudden sniffer’s death,” an immediate and sudden fatal condition that is usually a result of asphyxiation or ventricular fibrillation.