I am interested in implications of using various gasses that are commonly packaged in small containers for household use, such as propane, butane and so forth. It is mostly for awareness purposes, and understanding. I am not particularly interested in lecture on unsustainability of using petroleum by-products (it is understood), just practical consideration of the energy source we are going to be using in the foreseeable future.
I want to see which kind is more energy dense: I am not too good with chemistry, and I am not sure if simple measure of energy content in J/kg is sufficient enough to make a comparison. There might be differences in efficiency of combustion processes (some reactions are simple, others are extremely complex multi-stepped affairs), and in efficiency of the actual methods by which we use them. Also different processes produce different amounts of pollutants of various degrees of toxicity which need to be considered.
There are other considerations. For instance, as far as I know (anecdotally), butane is more efficient for cooking than propane, but as butane used industrially to produce synthetic rubber, is it better to curb other, non-industrial uses for butane? On the other hand, propane with some butane and other gasses mixed in, is used as a cleaner alternative to petrol in the form of LPG. How do we balance these various uses?
Which fuels are better for cooking, and which are more efficient in small engines (such as Lehr)? Which fuels are better for refilling reusable containers (e.g. I know that propane is refillable, but I had only seen butane in small aerosol cans)? Which kinds of fuels can be more sustainably generated via capture of septic, agricultural by-products and so forth?
I hope I did not throw too much in one question, I just wanted a sort of overview, to set a starting point. I focused on propane and butane, because I often use both, and I am not aware if methane and other gasses are readily used in small-scale portable applications.