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theyland
12-30-2022, 14:00
Does anyone know where I can get ethanol or denatured alcohol for burning in spirit stoves? I bought 4L of methyl hydrate for ~$15 but since Iím testing in my basement Iím a little concerned about the fumes. The only ethanol product I can find is e-NRG Bioethanol for $40/4L at Home hardware.

Or do I just need to determine if the toxic affects of methanol are worth $25?

P.S. I installed a 50cfm fan about 30Ē above my test bench which exhausts out the basement window.


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Vryce
12-30-2022, 20:45
I'm not a chemist but I think that if you have a good fan venting above your test bench you should be ok with the Methyl Hydrate.

You could trying looking for a Solvable Shellac/Lacquer Thinner. They are typically made from Denatured Alcohol.

Raladd
12-30-2022, 21:21
My understanding is that HEET fuel antifreeze is basically alcohol ó itís what Iíve been using in my stove (the yellow package, as opposed to the red). Iíd be astonished if there wasnít the same or equivalent product in Canada. Itís methanol, but I know itís a popular stove fuel. If you have a strong preference or need for ethanol instead of methanol, I hope someone else can help you, and Iíll be curious to see the rest of the discussion (I only started using alcohol relatively recently).


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Jiblets
12-31-2022, 01:27
I didn't bother sourcing ethanol to burn. LCBO taxes it too heavily. :)

Methanol burns super clean and you have a exhaust fan. Just try to avoid spilling on your fingers while eating KFC. Don't drink it, bathe with it, and don't even consider using it as aftershave while smoking. :)

The blue liquid fondue fuel we used to be able to buy from dollar stores was methanol and was meant to be used near food. I think they disappeared from shelves for a while as there was a ban/recall because there wasn't a flame arrestor on the bottle and someone sued after setting a fire when "refilling" before the fuel burnt out. I hope Dollarama brings them back.

Note: there was a warning about using methanol contanimated hand sanitizer back in the early days of Covid.
Wikipedia's Methanol Toxicity page says ingesting 10ml is enough to go blind, so I label my Methyl Hydrate container as POISON!

...A possible fun experiment. Get a handful of pc fans in a circle around your alcohol stove and make a fire TORNADO... of course under the supervision of a responsible adult :)

theyland
12-31-2022, 09:46
Jibletís, thanks for the detailed response. Interestingly, I know someone who distils alcohol as a chemistry experiment. I asked them recently how much it would cost to make some ~95% ethanol. The answer was approximately $35 per gallon. Not much cheaper than the $40-45 in the stores and a lot more work as it takes 8 hours of distilling.

Approximately half of the cost comes from the sugar. If one had access to some sort of grain and had the time and equipment to make mash, then it could be done cheaper. But thatís a whole lot of work just for some camp stove fuel!

Maybe not surprising that the home made solution is not quite cheap enough to make it worth it.

Methanol it is then.

PS. I created a bit of a fume hood by extending the fan down to within a few inches of the bench by attaching some aluminum foil liners to the sides of the fan box. I can definitely feel the updraft so I feel better.


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Crazytown3
12-31-2022, 14:44
theyland just curious, are you testing alcohol stoves and making videos of it? If so, there are stove junkies around here (looking at me) that would be interested in that kind of stuff.

Heavyhiker
12-31-2022, 15:15
I actually use Everclear with my cat food can alcohol stove. I started using it after watching a video of someone carrying fuel in a water bottle and I figured knowing me, I would drink it by accident. Everclear won’t kill me if I accidentally drink it and burns clean and pretty hot so no problems when making/having coffee from the hammock (tied back to hammocking here :) )

theyland
01-01-2023, 10:49
theyland just curious, are you testing alcohol stoves and making videos of it? If so, there are stove junkies around here (looking at me) that would be interested in that kind of stuff.

Testing yes, videos ... just snipits that I share on Stoveholics (spelling?) fb group. Iíve discovered a web site called zenstove. Itís been quite helpful. Check it out.


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theyland
01-01-2023, 10:52
I actually use Everclear with my cat food can alcohol stove. I started using it after watching a video of someone carrying fuel in a water bottle and I figured knowing me, I would drink it by accident. Everclear wonít kill me if I accidentally drink it and burns clean and pretty hot so no problems when making/having coffee from the hammock (tied back to hammocking here :) )

Sounds expensive. How much does it cost and whatís the biggest volume you can buy?


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Heavyhiker
01-01-2023, 12:45
I honestly don’t remember and I just buy a bottle or 2 at a time because I only hike about once or twice a month so I don’t go through it that fast

gargoyle
01-02-2023, 08:30
DO NOT TEST INDOORS. PERIOD!

I’ve hade a few tests go awry in the garage and was fortunate enough to quickly extinguish the flame.
Do your tests in a safe outdoor spot, free of leaf litter or anything burnable.
Also have a safe way to snuff out the flames. Gloves are a good idea.

Alky stoves are safe. But they can get away from you if not experienced . Be safe!