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Carrying white gas
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Glenn Roberts
(garkjr) - F

Locale: Southwestern Ohio
Carrying white gas on 11/17/2005 17:54:49 MST Print View

Does anyone have any experience carrying white gas in anything other than a metal fuel bottle? I'm toying with the idea of using a Platypus, but am worried that the gas might dissolve the material. I've had great ideas fizzle before, and learned to ask others before doing stupid things myself. (Well, mostly learned.)


Locale: South West US
Re: Carrying white gas on 11/17/2005 18:11:28 MST Print View

Hey Glenn,

I tested a similar idea a few months back. I filled a 20 oz. Coke bottle with some white gas to see if it would eat thru. After about three months the gas had NOT eaten thru the plastic, although at the bottom of the bottle there was a very small amount of a noticeable substance that can best be described as a clear syrup. I'm thinking it was some plastic that had been eaten away by the gas. I don't know how a platypus would hold up, but for a shorter trip a soda bottle will most likely be durable enough.


paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Carrying white gas on 11/18/2005 02:09:09 MST Print View


soda bottles work great. often landscapers and others working out of doors have some gasoline, not only in approved, red, containers, but in soda bottles. have seen this ever since i was a kid. ancecdotal, for sure. works, for sure.

sorry, i'm not willing to possibly sacrifice a Platy to find out. not sure what the diffs are in the plastics used in in soda bottles and Platys.

Glenn, i'm going to do a small test and let you know the results. I'm really interested in the rxn of the gas with the plastic and the rate at which it occurs. I've got a couple of decades old stiff plastic bottles. I think i'll try one of these and a newer one. One thing that should be kept in mind, even if short-term (several days) storage works, i think that there might be local laws that might be violated if the gas is stored or transported in non-approved containers.

Glenn, started the little test. i'll slosh it around a bit from time to time and check it for the sludge/gunk/gum others mentioned. just used a newer PETE Poland Spring Water bottle. just ~1oz of gas. figured no pt in using the older bottle as they prob. aren't avail anymore. oh...BTW...had some tree work done in the spring. was talking to the guy and looked in his truck. i recall he had several small soda bottles (they were "Coke" bottles) partially filled with gasoline. some might have been gas w/2cycle oil mixed in.?? wish i had questioned him more about that.

Glenn, while waiting, i decided to do a web search. came across the following statement fr/a college professor's web page on "Plastics and Polymers": "Polystyrene is the only polymer that is soluble in organic solvents". based on some of the other posts mentioning "gum", i'm wondering how true this quote is.? If it were true, then this would mean PETE (typically found in plastic soda bottles) would not be soluble in organic solvents. i'm assuming here gas, for these purposes, would be an organic solvent.

Edited by pj on 11/18/2005 14:57:50 MST.

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Re: Re: Carrying white gas on 11/18/2005 13:02:18 MST Print View

Depends on the plastic.

I haven't tried with platypus, but...

I've experienced that with the more flexible plastics, like LDPE (low density polypropylene) the gas eats it. Not a problem for the bottle. The bottle will last thru the hike fine. But, when you fire up the stove, you get this uncombustible gum in the jet (presumably from plastic compounds dissolved into the gasoline) and pffft: The stove output sllllooooowwwwwssssss. Learned this the hardway on a winter climb in the Tetons. "Check out my ultralight fuel bottle!" and then "dang, what's wrong with my stove?"

So, proceed cautiously. Contact the manufacturer of your bottles, find out what materials they use, and make your own informed decisions.

These plastics are pretty good for gasoline:

Delrin (acetal), Buna N (nitrile), fluorocarbon, PTFE, epoxy, hypalon, nylon, polycarbonate (including Lexan - the hard sided nalgene bottles), and pvdf (kynar).

These ones are bad:

CPVC, PVC, polypropylene (a lot of the soft sided bottles), PU, tygon, and ABS.

Mark Regalia
(markr) - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz
Re: Carrying white gas on 11/18/2005 13:12:43 MST Print View

Plastics have plasticizers in them. These can leach out. I would be very hesitant to risk my stove on gas that has been stored in anything that wasn't designed for gas. Besides a platypus can easily be punctured. Think of that happening in your pack.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Re: Re: Carrying white gas on 11/18/2005 13:18:19 MST Print View

Dr. J,

good point on gas in a stove, vs. gas in a small int. combustion engine.

is this "gum" on the bottom (meaning you can decant the fuel off w/o the "gum"), or mixed throughout?

also, have you found any particular type of soda bottle that does work? does PETE work for short periods? i've got a couple of decades old plastic bottles in the basement. not sure what they're made of. very stiff; not at all like some of the PETE 2L soda bottles sold today.

additionally, i think that there are laws/regulations against storing/transporting gas in non-approved containers.

Edited by pj on 11/18/2005 14:03:48 MST.

Al Clemens
(al) - F
HDPE on 11/18/2005 20:00:45 MST Print View

HDPE should do the trick. What plastic gas and diesel fuel containers are made of. Nalgene makes lab grade HDPE capped style and squirt type wash bottles that I've used with strong reagent solvents like MEK, Toluene, Xylene that eat other plastics. The capped versions range in size from about 4 oz to 1 gal. Not sure on how they'd compare to aluminum fuel bottles but they are definitely heavier than plastic pop bottles.

Drug store Isopropyl alcohol bottles are thin walled HDPE and should work fine, although I don't know what the cap material is.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
carrying gas in plastic on 11/22/2005 23:15:20 MST Print View


what's it been now, something like four and a half days? no visible evidence of this gum/gunk/sludge/whatever on the bottom or suspended in the gas. was looking fwd to seeing this. wonder what i'm doing wrong?

in case i didn't mention it, used a 24oz Poland Spring Water bottle & ~1oz of gas. it's made of PETE. did i not use enough gas? maybe that "plastics and polymers" college professor was correct??? i.e., gas won't harm PETE. or, maybe it's dissolved and will only be visible on the clogged jets when the gas is burned?

well, we'll give it more time. the other prev. respondents must know something i don't.

Edited by pj on 11/23/2005 03:26:14 MST.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Carrying white gas on 11/23/2005 02:10:53 MST Print View

> Plastics have plasticizers in them. These can leach out.

Correction: a few plastics, such as PVc, have plasticisers in them. But NOT all.

Plastics such as PET (rocket bottles) do NOT. I have stored and cached kero in PET bottles in the mountains with zero problems.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Re: Re: Carrying white gas on 11/23/2005 02:47:29 MST Print View

Dr. Caffin,

>>"rocket bottles"
unfamiliar with the term (i've lived a sheltered life)

is PET the same as PETE (Polyethylene Terephthalate)? PETE is on the bottom of many thin-walled, somewhat flexible, plastic water & soda bottles here in the States.

Edited by pj on 11/23/2005 03:27:10 MST.

brian stein
(steb5067) - MLife
Re: PET on 11/23/2005 04:08:07 MST Print View

PET in Oztralia, PETE in US I believe. My experience is similar to Rogers: have kept all sorts of potential solvents without any sign of gum, or problems burning in stove after.

Patrick Miron
msr plastic bottle on 11/23/2005 10:12:45 MST Print View

I have a hold MSR plastic bottle (red) specialy made to have gaz in here.

Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
PET Bottles on 11/29/2005 16:42:26 MST Print View

I used to work in the PET resin industry, and would get questions like this, but we were never interested in it enough to pursue. As others have stated, PET has good resistance to hydrocarbon solvents like white gas (it's mostly naphtha). Some people call it PETE because there is also a dairy called PET, so they want to avoid confusion.

If you store white gas long enough in any container you'll probably notice some change due to moisture, oxidation, and/or leaching of something from either the bottle or cap. The caps in most soda bottles are either polypropylene or HDPE, and often have liners made of EVA, all of which have more plasticizers and other processing aids that could leach out than PET does. Shelf stable juice bottles have a higher level of crystallinity, so they would be more resistant, but also heavier due to the vacuum requirements of hot-filling the juice.

My opinion is that PET soda bottles would be fine for short term storage (days-weeks) of white gas. I wouldn't use them for long term storage. I'd be more worried about dirt, grass, residual 7-Up, or other contaminates falling into the bottle than the PET dissolving or something leaching out within a few weeks. Replacing the bottle is probably necessary after a few weeks-months due to physical abuse. You can be sure that there's no problem in finding a replacement.

I would be less sure of using a polyethylene based Platypus.

If you do plan on using a beverage bottle or bladder to store your fuel, be sure to label it appropriately (e.g., wrap some duct tape around it since Sharpie would come off when exposed to the fuel).

Here is a link to a similar discussion on another forum.


Anatoly IVANOV
(aivanov) - F - M

Locale: Paris, FRANCE / Geneva, SWITZERLAND
White gas in Nalgene Cantene? on 12/01/2005 13:49:27 MST Print View

How about Nalgene Cantene for white gas transport? I have been using a 16oz bottle.

I filled a test Nalgene Cantene with white gas in march 2005. No residue or syrup at the bottom for the moment, 9 months and counting.

The only problem is that the bottle leaks when upside down, but I get leaks with the aluminum MSR bottles as well. I suppose it is due to white gas volatility or equivalent quality. So I wrap the white gas bottle in Aloksak.


Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: White gas in Nalgene Cantene? on 12/01/2005 14:47:30 MST Print View

If you are getting leaks from MSR bottles, something is seriously wrong with the seals. They should not leak even under pressure. Ever. Never had it happen, even when stored under pressure.

Question: Why us a Nalgene when the MSR bottles are lighter or comparable - depending on which Nalgene you are talking about.

Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Nalgene Cantene on 12/01/2005 17:35:49 MST Print View

The website only mentions is that the Nalgene Cantene is a multilayer structure. Possible that it's still a polyethylene on the inside for the sealing, so you might want to keep an eye on the seams over time when exposed to pressure (e.g., squeezed in your pack). If it's nylon, I would expect it to be better (as Ryan mentions above).

Fuel in your pack is a tough thing to take chances with. A commercial water or soda bottle should provide much more confidence if you want to play it safe.

Al Shaver
(Al_T.Tude) - F - M

Locale: High Sierra and CA Central Coast
Oil Bottle Fuel Storage on 12/02/2005 04:33:33 MST Print View

I use 2oz. auto engine oil 1 quart plastic bottles with graduated transparent strip on the side to guage fuel level. Wash oil out with white gas and you're good to go from sea level to 10,000 feet with no leaks. I use one small 11fl.oz. MSR aluminum fuel bottle (since they no longer sell titanium bottles)with the pump assembly as lid and refill it as necessary from oil bottle(s).

Anatoly IVANOV
(aivanov) - F - M

Locale: Paris, FRANCE / Geneva, SWITZERLAND
Nalgene Cantene leaks with white gas on 12/03/2005 13:55:25 MST Print View

> If you are getting leaks from MSR bottles, something is seriously wrong with
> the seals. They should not leak even under pressure. Ever. Never had it
> happen, even when stored under pressure.

Hmm... That's strange.

First of all, when I say "leak", I mean the area around the seals, around the bottle on the metal, as well as around the pump further up on the plastic, gets slightly moist with fuel. It's visible to my photographer's eyes: the texture is different and reflects more light. But it does not leak in a torrent-like way, with puddles all around.

When I noticed this years ago, it got me worried enough to replace the seals with new ones, check with a couple of different pumps including two new ones... three differently sized fuel bottles... I always get the same result. Fill the bottle, pressurize, everything ok, no trace of moisture. Leave it for a day... It gets slightly moist, especially if the bottle is upside down or even on its side.

To tell you the truth, I do not like this, but I guessed it's the way it is, so have been using the different bottles/pumps/stoves combos anyway. I give it a Kleenex wipe just in case before ignition. I switched to MSR Simmerlite from XGK last winter.

Do you think it's not normal and those solo ignitions in the middle of the Alps...?

> Question: Why us a Nalgene when the MSR bottles are lighter or comparable -
> depending on which Nalgene you are talking about.

The idea is, the biggest MSR bottle takes huge space that does not compress when empty. With a Nalgene, you can take enough fuel for days of hard backpacking (lots of hydration), plus a small MSR fuel bottle. As the fuel goes, you roll the Nalgene Cantene. Convenience: no sloshing, more space, better balance. Inconvenience: refilling.

The Cantene does leak, more than moisten, when kept upside down or on the side for half a day. I place the bottle vertically in my backpack and wrap it in Aloksak just in case.


Arthur Dickson
(browneider) - F
Gas in Former Food Containers on 12/07/2005 10:10:42 MST Print View

About 32 years ago as a college student I worked one summer in a sheltered workshop. One of the regular clients was a young man who had consumed gasoline from a coke bottle when he was a small child. His father put the gasoline in the bottle. Over the summer I learned that the gasoline had not impaired the man's ability to comprehend the world as much as it had impaired his ability to express himself. I wonder if the ounce or two savings from carrying gasoline in a food bottle is worth the risk of someone sometime mistaking the clear liquid for a consumable. I would not carry fuel in a food container.

Mart Goodman
(1goodpacker) - F
Nalgene Makes a Fuel Bottle on 12/09/2005 10:52:27 MST Print View

Nalgene makes a one quart plastic fuel bottle specifically rated for white gas. Not the lightest among all the options but significantly lighter than MSR metal bottles. They even come with a little funnel for pouring. It wouldn't want to risk my stove either. BTW, I've used MSR canisters successflly down into the low 20's by putting the canister in water--works great.