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a multi fuel alcohol stove?
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Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
a multi fuel alcohol stove? on 01/16/2012 15:55:10 MST Print View

I was wondering if there was a good, cheap manufactured alcohol stove out there that will last quite a few years without breaking down or rusting out and that might be able to use other flammable fuels? Thanks.

Theron Rohr
(theronr) - F

Locale: Los Angeles, California
Re: a multi fuel alcohol stove? on 01/16/2012 17:49:33 MST Print View

I'll go out on a limb and say Nope!

I'm pretty sure there's no stove that can burn both alcohol and petroleum based liquid fuels because they're so different.

There are some super simple open dish like alcohol "stoves" like the tealight and the British army canteen cup burner that might count because you could burn esbit in them but I'd guess that's not what you mean by multi-fuel...

David Maxwell

Locale: eastern, tn
multifuel stove on 01/16/2012 18:03:20 MST Print View

Yes there is. Zelph has them. Its his Super Stove I think. I would also ask him exactly which fuels you can burn in it since I'm sure he has tried them all. I know for some fuels you have to trim the can down to the scribe mark he put on the inside.

Walter Carrington
(Snowleopard) - M

Locale: Mass.
Optimus Explorer? on 01/16/2012 18:12:01 MST Print View

Optimus used to make a multifuel stove that burned kerosene, gasoline, coleman fuel, jet fuel and alcohol. You needed to change the jets for some fuels. I had one but never used alcohol in it. It was very similar to the Optimus Nova. Being able to use alcohol wasn't very useful.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Optimus Explorer? on 01/16/2012 19:09:31 MST Print View

Primus P-328985 OmniFuel Stove
"When it comes to fuel varieties, the OmniFuel does pretty well anything from white gas, automobile fuel, diesel, kerosene/paraffin or even aviation fuel. One of the true beauties of the OmniFuel is that you can even use compressed propane/butane canisters thanks to the inovative bottle connection Primus employs."

Not sure if it is still available.

Optimus Plus Multi-Fuel Stove
This does not burn canisters and alcohol, but everything else.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Optimus 11 Explorer on 01/16/2012 19:19:14 MST Print View

The Optimus 11 Explorer, not what you are looking for, I just found one, should have it by this weekend from one of the members here. Also, there is the old Optimus 111T, of which I have one amongst my 111's, 8's, 22's. :)


David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: multifuel stove on 01/16/2012 19:34:06 MST Print View

I used to think the ultimate multi-fuel stove would take not only white gas, diesel, butane, unleaded gasoline, propane, JP-8 and alcohol but also yak's milk (it's pink) and then you wouldn't even have to bring fuel into Katmandu - you could provision locally.

But then I thought about really multi-purposing. How about oil olive? High heat content, more calories per weight than any Mountain House product by a lot (<0.9 pounds of food per day). It's food, it's fuel, it's personal lubricant. And it's heart-healthy. There are regions in Italy were the older folks still have a glass of olive oil as we would sip a glass a wine. Those are areas which have very long life expectancies.

Live long and proper.

Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
open dish on 01/17/2012 07:57:37 MST Print View

Maybe an open dish would be the best. I already take a Vargo hexagon for burning wood so that could be my windscreen and holder. Is there any 2 oz titanium or aluminum little cups or caps out there that could be used? Maybe something that is taller rather than wider?

Stuart R
(Scunnered) - F

Locale: Scotland
Why not alcohol? on 04/29/2013 14:50:39 MDT Print View

The Primus and MSR multifuel stoves will run on just about anything - white gas, gasoline, kerosene even diesel, so why not alcohol (ethanol)?

An internal combustion engine can run on ethanol, why not a stove?
It will obviously burn, so is it anything to do with possible degradation of rubber seals or the fuel hose?
Has anyone tried it?

Paul Ashton
(PDA123) - F

Locale: Eastern Mass
alcohol on 04/29/2013 15:46:00 MDT Print View

One would need different jets when using alcohol compared to using petroluem fuels. Notice that "multifuel" stoves use different jets for white gas and kerosene. For alcohol, fuel air mixture is approx 8:1 whereas Gasoline would be 12.4:1 so to burn alcohol one would need larger diameter jets than for white gas (coleman fuel).

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: alcohol on 04/29/2013 17:40:57 MDT Print View

I believe the older Optimus 111(?)that would burn both fuels. Several others had add-on jets that would allow the user to change them, burning alcohol, too.
Here is one on-line link. These lost popularity because of the large amount of fuel you would burn...~half as much heat/lb as WG/kero.

Edited by jamesdmarco on 04/29/2013 17:43:30 MDT.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Re: multifuel stove on 04/29/2013 18:15:39 MDT Print View

David Maxwell is correct!
It's the Venom Super Stove cut down version burns cleaner that full size. When I first listed it on my website I names a few of the fuel that could be burned in it. Kerosene, white gas/Coleman fuel and others that have some wild flash points but behave well because they are soaked up within the fiberglass wicking material. Lots of you may recall that military GI's were know to use empty ammo cans filled with sand to burn gasoline to heat water, keep warm etc. The sand and fiberglass wick control the rate of burn that makes the fuel usable.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
YEP, and it's a Caldera Cone on 04/29/2013 23:36:16 MDT Print View

The CC Sidewinder with an Inferno woodburning option also does alky and ESBIT.

That's fairly multi-fuel and very light.

@ Dan-> Thanks Dan. I've got to get that little stove since reading its praises here on BPL recently.

Edited by Danepacker on 04/30/2013 22:22:58 MDT.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Re: YEP, and it's a Caldera Cone on 04/30/2013 06:11:46 MDT Print View

Eric, include the StarLyte burner with the CC Sidewinder and you can use the "other" liquid fuels. Just a thought!

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
alcohol stove on 04/30/2013 06:46:53 MDT Print View

I found this you guys might be interested in:
Rebuilt here:

Note that the coil can handle WG, Kero or Alcohol, depending on the jet hole size.

Be a bit carefull, these can explode, even with the so called safety valve.

Colin Krusor

Locale: Northwest US
Fuels on 04/30/2013 11:48:49 MDT Print View

I think Zelph has the stove that comes closest. If you want a simple, lightweight, small stove that will burn multiple different kinds of fuels (alcohols, alkane mixtures like kerosene, vegetable oils, etc.), I think a wick stove is the only practical option. The flame won't be clean, and you'll get soot on your pot with kerosene, olive oil, and some other fuels, but to do any better you'd need a contraption with as many parts as a space shuttle.

Stuart R
(Scunnered) - F

Locale: Scotland
Multifuel jet size on 04/30/2013 14:42:40 MDT Print View

The Primus Omnifuel/Omnilite is supplied with 3 jets: one each for kerosene (0.28mm), gasoline (0.37mm) and butane (0.45mm). As the stoichiometric air/fuel ratios for kerosene and gasoline are almost identical at around 14.7:1 by weight, this cannot be the reason for the two jets. The fuel is a gas then it passes thru' the jet, so it must be the air/fuel molar ratio that is important. These are approx 87:1 for kerosene (dodecane), 59:1 for gasoline (octane) and 30:1 for butane. Graph these numbers against the corresponding jet diameters and you get an almost straight line. Extrapolating this to the 14:1 molar ratio for ethanol suggests a 0.50mm jet would be required, not much different than for butane.
So, I can see no reason why ethanol would not work when used with the 0.45mm jet. Heat output would be less, but it should work.

Stuart R
(Scunnered) - F

Locale: Scotland
Re: Multifuel jet size on 05/01/2013 15:20:51 MDT Print View

Aparently the Optimus 111 mentioned by James had the option of a 0.51mm jet for using with alcohol. I have an 8R but only a gasoline jet.

Stuart R
(Scunnered) - F

Locale: Scotland
Omnilite on 05/07/2013 14:36:28 MDT Print View

I asked Primus if the Omnilite could run on alcohol and they replied: yes it could, in an emergency. However they do not recommend it as alcohol has a drying effect as opposed to the lubricating effect of oil based fuel

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: Omnilite on 05/07/2013 15:44:04 MDT Print View

Interesting. I've heard of people running stoves like a Whisperlite on alcohol, but I've always been afraid of ruining a gasket or something in the pump.

Aparently the Optimus 111 mentioned by James had the option of a 0.51mm jet for using with alcohol. I have an 8R but only a gasoline jet.
In addition to the larger jet, the old Optimus 111T used to have a restrictor tube that limited the amount of air getting into the mix. Apparently there has to be a lot more fuel to air than with petroleum based fuels.

Adventures in Stoving