Propane tank for air compressor?

Can a large, say 100 gallon propane-lp tank be used with my air compressor? They seem to be cheap and available.


What is the pressure rating of the tank, Bruce?

If it's rated for the pressure you will exert with a compressed air system, then I can't see why not, as the tank doesn't care if it's liquid propane or compressed air inside.

On the other hand, if you can't identify the pressure range for the tank, don't take a chance.



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Jun 21, 2012
More on propane tank conversion...
by: Anonymous

A propane tank has to be made to withstand over 140 psi as propane becomes a liquid at 140 psi (at room temperature), any container with a mix of liquid and gaseous propane will be pressurized to 140 psi, regardless of the ratio of liquid to gas. The major problem associated with using a propane tank as an air tank is that the tanks is just welded steel so one should coat the inside of the tank with a rust preventative paint and the tank new plumbing should allow for the draining of water from the tank. ie the tank should be upside down with a drain valve at the lowest level. Removing the old propane valve is the most difficult part of the conversion. After removing the valve por in the rust preventative paint put the valve back on temporarily and roll the tank and turn it end over end several times so the whole insides of the tank gets coated with paint. Remove valve, drain out excess paint and let the tank dry for several days before adding new pipes and valves. Include a pressure relief valve.

The writer, who chooses to remain anonymous, but did actually sign in as DUH (unfortunate name that) makes some valid points.

Good that a propane tank is built to withstand 140 PSI. But... what is it rated for in terms of higher pressure. That you need to find out as your typical DIY type air compressor will discharge 150 PSI, and some of the more industrial types will send 200+ PSI into the tank.

If the propane tank is rated with a burst pressure exceeding twice the maximum pressure the compressor would put into it, then sure, use it, along with the PRV set to blow off way below the burst pressure of the tank, as the writer suggests. The thing is, if you don't know the burst pressure of the tank, don't use it! At least as far as I'm concerned.


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100 gallon propane tank for compressor tank?

by Jake
(lakemoor il)

Using 100 gallon propane tank to compressor?

I have an old champion compressor that sits on a horizontal 50Gallon?? tank, it easily pumps up to 175psi, but I have this 100 gallon empty propane tank. So how do i add the tank and more importantly, how do i get that awful sulfur smell out of the empty propane tank???????

Jake, first you have to make sure the propane tank is rated for the pressure.

Then, you visit the "add-a-tank" page linked from the site map for complete details.

Then, over time, the flow of air into the tank will deplete and ultimately eliminate the smell. However, make sure the concentration isn't high enough to have a fire or explosion hazard, will you?

Cheers, and please let us know how it turns out.


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Problem with portable air tank

by Jeff Lombardo
(Middletown N.J.)

I have a Campbell Hausfeld portable 5 gal. air tank. The maximum PSI is 125lbs.

The problem is that the tank will not take any charge LESS than 125PSI.

That means that unless my compressor is set at 125 PSI,the tank will not let the air in! Unfortunately, my compressor only goes up to 120PSI, so I have been taking the tank to a service station to fill it up. Do you think the tank or inlet valve is defective or is this the way these tanks work...thank you.
Hey Jeff, nice to hear from you.

It seems to me that your inlet valve is defective.

A storage tank is an empty vessel until you fill it. That means that the air pressure in the tank when it's empty is one atmosphere, or about 14.7 PSI.

So, as soon as you hook an air line to the tank that has a supply pressure greater than 14.7 then air should start to flow into the air tank.

When the air pressure in your tank reaches your desired pressure (the gauge should tell you this - check and make sure it's working) you stop filling your air tank.

If the pressure in the tank is greater than the discharge pressure of your compressor, then air cannot flow into the tank.

If your discharge pressure from your compressor is greater than the pressure that's inside the tank, then air should flow into the tank.

If it doesn't, something is stopping that from happening...and unless it's your gage telling you the tank is full when it's empty, then it has to be where your compressor hose connects to the portable air tank.



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Using a tank to fill inflatable pontoons near the water!

by Ron

I've been trying to work the math to calculate if I could use a air tank to fill my inflatable pontoon boat without using a foot pump or buying an expensive compressor. I have a home compressor and would like to find the right size tank to fill the pontoons.

Roughly...two pontoons, each with two chambers. Forgetting the chambers, each pontoon is 15' long and 18 inches in diameter. An online calculator tells me this is roughly 250 gallons for each pontoon.

250 gallons divided by 7.48 gal/cu ft gives 33.4 cu ft per pontoon. Or, the need for approximately 65 cu ft of air.

Looked at a 10 gal tank that can be filled to 135 psi.

10 gal divided by 7.48 gal/cu ft gives 1.337 cu ft of uncompressed air. Compressing to 135 psi yields the following (if I'm doing ok so far)...

135 psi / 14.7 = 9.19 atomspheres + the one in uncompressed tank = 10.19 atmospheres of compressed air.

1.337 cu ft in the tank times 10.19 atmospheres yields 13.63 cu ft of air.

With only 13.63 cu ft of compressed air in the tank, I'd be lucky to get one chamber filled....did I do this correctly? And does this mean I just need to spring for a portable air compressor?

Signed, bummed in Philly.

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Mar 06, 2016
Drain plug
by: Ben

I an converting propane tank for air storage.

No one talked about adding a drain plug after converting to air. I know air tanks have a drain so we can drain water from the tank.

Sep 05, 2013
by: Doug in

Sounds right to me.

You could probably use at least one air tank anyway, so if it were me, I'd buy (or borrow?) a tank and try it.

Even if you need four or five tanks, it might be worth it...

Keep us posted, will you please?

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