Forum Index » Make Your Own Gear » Relative heat of combustion: Alcohol and Olive oil


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Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Relative heat of combustion: Alcohol and Olive oil on 04/02/2010 15:04:34 MDT Print View

Weight for weight, at 9564.6cal/g, olive oil has around 2.7 times the heat of combustion of alcohol.

Given that one of the major complaints about alcohol as a fuel for UL backpacking is the amount you have to carry to get the heat to eat, and olive oil is good to eat too, it's worth investigating it as a stove fuel.

I've made a prototype.

:-)

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Relative heat of combustion: Alcohol and Olive oil on 04/02/2010 15:50:26 MDT Print View

Ok, found the camera.

Oil/alc-stove

It's just a rough prototype, but works fine. Weighs 3/4oz.

Uses 10g alcohol to bring the water up to the boil and pre-heat the 10g olive oil in the centre pod which then takes over to maintain a simmer for 15 mins.

Jan Rezac
(zkoumal) - MLife

Locale: Prague, CZ
RE: Relative heat of combustion: Alcohol and Olive oil on 04/05/2010 15:20:26 MDT Print View

Good idea to combine the fuels! Does it produce less soot that burning the oil alone? (I've experimented with beeswax stove some years ago and it produced too much soot to be usable.)

Could you post some pictures of the stove in action?

Alan Bradley
(ahbradley)
Is this an april fool? on 04/06/2010 06:36:43 MDT Print View

Is this an april fool?

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Is this an april fool? on 04/06/2010 07:28:27 MDT Print View

Rog doesn't fool around when it comes to heat - around the globe, in the tent, or under a stove.

Fred eric
(Fre49) - MLife

Locale: France, vallée de la Loire
olive oil cooking on 04/06/2010 07:32:21 MDT Print View

it was a 5 days trip, in a national park , fire stove accepted but open fire forbidden.
my wife lost our bushbuddy the first day.
as it was winter i had some olive oil to add calories to our meals, it ended as combustible in a candle lantern cup with scraps of clothes as wick :

oil stove

problem in winter is you need to get the bottle of oil in your clothes first to warm it so you can poor it and light it.

Edited by Fre49 on 04/06/2010 07:34:03 MDT.

John Addleman
(Jaddleman) - F

Locale: Boulder
Soot on 04/06/2010 12:37:47 MDT Print View

Is it sooty? I would think it would be sooty. Great idea!

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: olive oil cooking on 04/06/2010 12:48:57 MDT Print View

Fred, good improvisation.

John and Jan, not very sooty because the alcohol gets the oil nice and hot before it takes over the simmering. It does blacken the pot, and is a bit stinky for vestibule cooking though.

Fine for calm nights outdoors, and saves a bit of fuel weight, or ekes out your alcohol supply.

I'll do a burn and post a couple of pics...

Edited by tallbloke on 04/06/2010 13:18:35 MDT.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Re: olive oil cooking on 04/06/2010 13:11:10 MDT Print View

OK, it's busy making our after dinner coffee:

oilstove 3

Now running oil only, maintaining a simmer just under a full boil. Perfect for coffee :-):

oilstove 4

The blue edging round the flame is a camera artifact.
There is no visible smoke.

oilstove 5

The stove just before I snuffed it out. Coffee's done.

Oops, I spilt some alcohol in it. :-)

Edited by tallbloke on 04/06/2010 13:26:50 MDT.

. .
(biointegra) - MLife

Locale: Puget Sound
Re: Relative heat of combustion: Alcohol and Olive oil on 04/06/2010 13:23:51 MDT Print View

@ Rog - that's awesome. I've been wanting to play around with this and I'm glad to see there are others also. I am also planning on trying some biodiesel in my XGK, but that for another time.

In researching this before, one thing I noted was that when using olive oil as a fuel, use the most refined oil that you can find for the cleanest, most efficient burn (Not Extra Virgin). A bummer for the foodie in me, but the compromise for multi-use is worth it.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Re: Relative heat of combustion: Alcohol and Olive oil on 04/06/2010 13:29:26 MDT Print View

Aaron, that's interesting. I always assumed extra virgin would be as pure as it came. Thanks for the tip, I'll investigate.

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: Relative heat of combustion: Alcohol and Olive oil on 04/06/2010 13:47:35 MDT Print View

use the most refined oil that you can find for the cleanest, most efficient burn (Not Extra Virgin). A bummer for the foodie in me, but the compromise for multi-use is worth it.

OK ... I ration myself to biting my tongue at least 9 times for every time I respond to this ... I think I'm overdue, he-he.

The described practice is most definitely NOT multi-use. Multi-use is the same pound/ounce/gram of carry weight delivering more than one function/benefit. It is more or less impossible for consumables to be multi-use ... after consuming an ounce of olive oil for one purpose it is no longer available for any use to fulfill any other purpose.

So, you may want to call it multi-purpose and you may find benefit in multi-purpose items but they have little or no pack weight reduction benefit (which is what multi-use is all about)

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Re: Relative heat of combustion: Alcohol and Olive oil on 04/06/2010 13:57:26 MDT Print View

Jim: Unless you carry a bit less alcohol safe in the knowledge you can use some of your cooking supplies in a pinch?

. .
(biointegra) - MLife

Locale: Puget Sound
Re: Re: Re: Relative heat of combustion: Alcohol and Olive oil on 04/06/2010 17:26:51 MDT Print View

@Jim, thank you for the terminology clarification. I think I have been using the terms interchangeably and obviously a bit loosely.

"It is more or less impossible for consumables to be multi-use ... after consuming an ounce of olive oil for one purpose it is no longer available for any use to fulfill any other purpose."

But haven't you heard of composting? :)

My way of using multi-use was rather strict, in the sense that it has two or more potential uses. Alcohol is multi-use, so is leukotape and Duct-tape, but they are arguably consumables. I am willing to concede the term multi-purpose, however as superior, if that is the etymological consensus here.

To be proper, Rog did post in MYOG, although it's doubtful that he pressed the olives himself :)

I have a hurricane lamp that I have been wanting to try with olive oil. I'll post after the first burn.

Edited by biointegra on 04/06/2010 17:28:56 MDT.

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: Relative heat of combustion: Alcohol and Olive oil on 04/06/2010 19:58:25 MDT Print View

@Rog: That does not meet my own personal backpacking style (if I pack a food I'll want to eat it) but that surely is an HYOH thing so I can concede it as a potential weight saver.

@Aaron: Composting, eh? Now that you mention it, swallowed olive oil might well be multi-use ... 1) flavor/energy 2)stool softener. That's as far as I'm willing to take that particular line of thought:-)

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Olive oil as fuel : Why bother? on 04/07/2010 00:22:10 MDT Print View

Jim:

Planning food for our trips is often compromised by airport limitations on liquids and tight pack room (we fly handbaggage only). I hate wasting what I buy, so if the only bottle of olive oil available is bigger than we are going to use in our food, using some as fuel is an option. The quality of alcohol available in small village stores in Spain (for example) is variable too, so a backup fuel is useful.

I made the stove with my small Gerber knife to cut the beer can, a tent peg to pierce the jet holes, two tealight cups pressed together for the oil reservoir, a needle to pierce out the wick hole and air holes, and a 2g piece of wick. I'll be giving pack room to some wick on our trips from now on, as the proper stuff works a lot more efficiently than Fred's torn strips of cloth.

I agree we all hike differently, I'm just offering an idea for an emergency stove that's easy to make in the field if yours gets stepped on, lost, or you're running out of fuel.

Andrew Dolman
(andydolman) - M
thread hijack: flying hand luggage only on 04/07/2010 04:15:07 MDT Print View

Hi Rog

How do you get on flying hand luggage only? I've just booked flights to Scotland and decided to pay for hold luggage because I can't imagine tent pegs and walking poles getting through security these days.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: thread hijack: flying hand luggage only on 04/07/2010 04:27:04 MDT Print View

Hi Andrew,
I did get some Ti stakes confiscated a couple of years ago, the security guy told me he would have let them through if the ends had been cut flat rather then pointed, and I've been OK with that advice since.

I use a hollow carbon fibre golf club shaft with corks glued on as walking pole/tent pole and have got away with that so far. I suggest taking the pole tips off and packing them seperately. They are not sharp as such, and detached from the poles look pretty harmless.

I don't know how zealous German outbound security is though, so take cheap pegs and poles!

Edited by tallbloke on 04/07/2010 04:30:06 MDT.

Kevin Beeden
(captain_paranoia) - F

Locale: UK
re: thread hijack on 04/08/2010 12:47:08 MDT Print View

> I can't imagine tent pegs and walking poles getting through security these days.

Flew EasyJet to and from Geneva last week with my mum. She had two walking poles as cabin luggage. No queries at either airport. Just hobble a bit when you get to check-in...

YMMV...

Edited by captain_paranoia on 04/08/2010 12:47:44 MDT.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: thread hijack: flying hand luggage only on 04/08/2010 12:57:54 MDT Print View

If your pack qualifies for carry on size and weight wise, then you should carry it on. Imagine losing a pack and ruining your entire trip!

So what to do with hiking poles, blades, and stakes? Easy! Pack them in a postal tube (available in Wally World as well as P.O.'s) and check it. And if this gets lost, it would be more of an annoyance than actual show stopper.

Edited by ben2world on 04/08/2010 12:58:37 MDT.