Sciencemadness Discussion Board

Using bottled gas with a Bunsen burner

Fenir - 8-5-2013 at 18:55

I have been try to upgrade a modest home lab for some while now. I two bunsen burers but no gas tap to run them off of. One of the two burners states that it is supposed to run off of bottled butane gas. Would an adapter be required when using a bottle of butane normaly used to power camp stoves? Thanks for any help.

Finnnicus - 8-5-2013 at 20:23

Yes, I would suggest dismantling a gas stove. MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING

Mailinmypocket - 8-5-2013 at 20:37

What is actually easier is using a blowtorch tank attachment! Just remove the torch nozzle and keep the rest attached to the tank as is. Then you can simply slide the gas line onto the brass tube where the torch nozzle was and carefully turn on the gas and light the burner. Works like a charm :)

Finnnicus - 8-5-2013 at 20:48

Thats a different tank, at least for me here in australia.

These ones?

[Edited on 9-5-2013 by Finnnicus]

Mailinmypocket - 8-5-2013 at 21:00

Quote: Originally posted by Finnnicus  
Thats a different tank, at least for me here in australia.

These ones?

[Edited on 9-5-2013 by Finnnicus]

Hmm not quite those, we do have those here mind you- for stoves. But for blowtorches we have these :

To which I attach something similar to this:

With the burner tip removed to allow the easy attachment of tubing. It allows for very fine fuel control too. Do you have these types of propane tanks for torches?

Finnnicus - 8-5-2013 at 22:10

Oh right I see. OP which sort of can do you have?

paw_20 - 9-5-2013 at 00:57

should work with bernzomatic tanks, maybe camping fuel tanks as well (the big base camp grill type fuel tanks, not the expedition canisters...although it might work for those too)

You should be able to find a soldering/light-duty welding kit at a hardware store (I know bernzomatic makes one) for a blowtorch to macgyver

Mailinmypocket - 9-5-2013 at 07:58

Doing it up- MacGyver style! This thing has lasted me ... Pfff... Over 10 years if not more! I do hate the clear tubing though, just so happen to have no free latex tube at the moment

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zed - 9-5-2013 at 12:42

Yup! Have used propane myself. Works well.

Fenir - 9-5-2013 at 17:59

Thanks for the help, with any luck I will have my bunsen burner up and running by next Monday.

Endimion17 - 10-5-2013 at 01:20

Why don't you buy a regular propane-butane cylinder? You'll spend a fortune wasting money on these small disposable bottles.

DubaiAmateurRocketry - 11-5-2013 at 22:42

You can make some alcohol stoves out of soda cans which is every where, there are lot of types and tutorial present on youtube. I have few and alcohol burns over 400 degree.

Right now I have some oxygen filled ballons, and i can easily make more with h2o2 or electrolysis, so I wonder if i can make a oxy butane lighter because i need to weld a lot of stuff. Im worried that my steel for the butane lighter might melt ? any one ?

subsecret - 20-8-2013 at 13:07

The link to Avogadro's Lab Supply shows a surprisingly overpriced product.

You can make something that works just as well for less money.

I made my own adapter for a Bunsen burner from a blowtorch as recommended previously.

My propane setup is like Mailinmypocket's setup, except that I used a propane torch with a horizontal gas tube. Combined with soft tubing, this creates convenience and stability.

As the first step, I bought a cheap plumber's torch, it couldn't have costed more than 15 USD. The one I bought had a tube coming out the side of the valve assembly, to which a piezo-electric igniter assembly was mounted.

As the second step, the metal tube leading to the igniter assembly was cut about 2 centimeters away from the valve assembly. I salvaged the igniter for future use.

3) After cutting the metal tube, a pair of pliers was used to remove the piece of the metal tube from the "nipple" on the side of the valve assembly. The nipple had a groove going around it, into which a protrusion from the metal tube would fit. This groove allowed the curved metal tube and igniter assembly to rotate freely around the nipple, adding convenience.

4) An 1/8 inch drill (or similar) was used to enlarge the hole in the center of the nipple to allow for more gas flow. The internal components of the valve were preserved by not drilling too deep.

5) The nipple was lubricated with a small amount of household oil, and a section of rubber tubing was slipped on. A "cable tie" was then closed around the tube where it goes around the nipple. This cable tie presses the rubber into the groove around the nipple, and in conjunction with the oil, forms a gas-tight seal. This cable tie is important, as the nipple is only about 1 cm long. The end of the hose can be connected to any lab burner.

Since propane is a more carbon-rich gas, each mole of propane requires more oxygen to burn than each mole of methane, or natural gas. My Bunsen burner was made for natural gas, so the jet in the base is larger to provide more gas flow. When used with propane, the excess carbon creates soot, which is undesirable in the lab. Recently, after buying a new blowtorch, I noticed that its jet was smaller than that of my Bunsen burner. After removing the jet from the torch, I noticed that it was shaped the same way as the jet in my Bunsen burner, and I suspect that they could be exchanged. This would provide a better flame for lab purposes.

Also, if you choose to use individual propane bottles for operating this or a similar system, I recommend using the stout green bottles. They're more stable on a lab table. Buy them at any American camping store.

I hope this helps anyone who wishes to use a propane Bunsen burner. :D

[Edited on 20-8-2013 by Awesomeness]

[Edited on 20-8-2013 by Awesomeness]

Pyro - 23-8-2013 at 08:40

for about 50 eur you can get a total setup with 10kg's of propane.
20 for the gas
15 downpayment on the bottle (you get this back when you return the bottle, if you ever use this much. we cook every night with the same gas and a bottle like this lasts around 3 months)
10 for the regulator
6 for 2m of gas hose and hose clamps

[Edited on 23-8-2013 by Pyro]

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