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Refilling propane tanks


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Anhydrous Ammonia and Propane Cylinders

It has come to the attention of the National Propane Gas Association that propane cylinders are being used in the manufacturing of Methamphetamines. This drug is commonly referred to as 'crank'. Manufacturers of this illegal substance are using propane cylinders for the storage and the use of anhydrous ammonia. These cylinders have been found in many states at cylinder exchange and refilling locations as well as in hotel rooms and mobile laboratories, where the manufacturing of this illegal substance takes place.

As observed in the illustrations, a blue-green stain on any brass portion of a service valve is evidence that it may have been in contact with anhydrous ammonia*. The pungent odor of ammonia on or near the cylinder is also an indication. If you suspect that a propane cylinder contains or has contained anhydrous ammonia, exercise extreme caution and restrict access to the area.

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It can be dangerous to move the cylinder due to the unknown integrity of the cylinder's service valve.

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Good article and advice to post on this forum, Glenn, as many smiths are using these tanks for their gassers.

The anhydrous ammonia is used in one of the processes used to illegally make methamphetamines, actually the process is the most dangerous of these processes. The use of the tanks are very prevalent in the midwest where there are large bulk tanks from which the "cookers" steal it from farmers. What's more, they usually transport it in the trunks of cars, or bed of a truck, unsecured. They use the tanks as a means to avoid detection by the authorities. Disaster waiting to happen. Use in this way is a matter of WHEN will the valve fail, Not IF.

At least this is what I have heard at a few seminars I've attended.

-aaron c.

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I agree that we all need to be aware of dangers involved in propane usage and transportation. I received this very warning in an email and promptly forwarded to many of my friends. One person responded with this link to Snopes.com, the urban legend site. snopes.com: Methamphetamine and Propane Tanks
It basically says, while the danger is real, the chance that a meth cook is going to take a propane tank back to Walmart, or any other place of exchange, for that matter, when he is done, is pretty far fetched. These tanks are under pretty scrutinized federal guidelines. Even if a crackhead did steal a propane tank, he is not interested in a tank full of propane. He wants the anhydrous ammonia he can fill it with. Even if he did take it back to Walmart, the chance it would get back into circulation is not real high. The crackhead has a better chance of blowing himself up first LOL. Bottom line is, We all need to be wary, and if you suspect illicit use of a propane tank, report it to the authorities. If you have you own tank refilled rather than do the exchange deal, you have nothing to worry about. :) That'll be 2 cents please!

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