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Author: Subject: Alchohol in alchohol burner?
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[*] posted on 24-9-2008 at 13:15
Alchohol in alchohol burner?

This may be a retarded question, but if I ask I don't break something. Just got an alchohol burner in the mail.

I have three sources of alchohol:

1. Rubbing alcohol.
2. A old bottle of Stoli that, said to say, I'm just going to accept I'm never going to drink. My concern is that this has water in it and may mess up the wick or something.
3. Home Depot grade ethanol. My concern with this is that I KNOW they add poisons to that to be sure teenagers don't drink it. What I don't know is if that stuff burns to a poison gas as the alcohol burns.
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[*] posted on 24-9-2008 at 14:00

I would go with the denaturated ethanol, as it is produced mainly for combustion... It doesn't smell very nice, but will not be a problem in a burner.

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[*] posted on 24-9-2008 at 14:06

The best thing to go for is your equivalent of methylated spirit.

Use it in a well ventilated place and it should be fine.

I use a cook's blowtorch for chemistry on the move.
It has an adjustable air feed so can produce a very hot flame or a more gentle one for heating test tubes etc.

It is rechargable from standard butane refills.

If they made one with a vertical burner head it would be bloody perfect!
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[*] posted on 24-9-2008 at 14:13

The best alcohol for you is isopropyl (99%). It's cheap and has a higher buring temp than ethyl or methyl.

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[*] posted on 24-9-2008 at 15:22

Buy the Home Depot ethanol. If it is what I think, then it is the blue can of SLX denatured alcohol, which I have used for fuel before. This is nothing but methanol, ethanol, and a small amount of methyl isobutyl ketone. It does not smell and all components are good fuels in their own right. It will also be cheaper than buying smaller quantities of isopropyl. If you need higher temp than a methyl/ethyl blend can offer, go to a different heat source.

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[*] posted on 25-9-2008 at 10:09

I have never heard of a dentured alcohol that releases 'posionous gasses' when burnt and i doubt they will ever use something like that.
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[*] posted on 25-9-2008 at 10:47

Methanol burns nicely in a spirit burner, methylated spirit is a little messier, denatured ethanol is great, isopropyl will burn hotter but rubbing alcohol is 70% whereas isopropanol is 99% (ask the chemist in the pharmacy to clarify which product you have (they often stock both)) higher alcohols do not burn completely in spirit burners. Ideally get yourself a little blowtorch they burn hotter and cleaner. Must admit though that blowtorches scare me when they roar and go yellow if you tilt them before the nozzle heats up, made that mistake once or twice (many years in between tho).

I prefer electrical heaters now, be it my water bath, reaction blocks, or mantles (i feel safer when using them)

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[*] posted on 29-9-2008 at 19:47

Go with the hardware store ethanol. It burns nice and clean, and most alcohol lamps are intended to be used with ethanol. Plus it's the cheapest.

Isopropanol might be a bit dangerous as the lamp could crack from the heat, this happened to me once using ethanol (read the post near this one entitled "Near Disaster with Alchohol Lamp!!!")

The things they denature the alcohol with are only toxic if you drink them. Hardware store ethanol is manufactured knowing some people are going to be using it in alcohol lamps.
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[*] posted on 30-9-2008 at 13:41

Isopropanol is far to expensive in my opinion. I can buy up to 90% isopropanol for about 7$ per maybe 750mL but i still have to salt it out to get it more concentrated. Denatured ethanol is much easier.

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