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James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Butanol on 12/10/2012 15:46:48 MST Print View

Hi Dan...yeah, keep us informed.
I suspect you will simply corrupt the methanol/ethenal. It really doesn't matter about the blends. The molecular combustion will remain pretty much unimpaired. The butinol componet will still burn sooty.

I mixed all sorts of stuff in an open alcohol burner. There is simply too much fuel for the air. Some sort of presurized jet, a lot like a cannister stove, is needed to really pump air into the fuel/air mix.

I tried WG, parafin, kero, benzene, some fairly pure octane, acetone, etc... lots of mixes with plain old petrocarbons. All have a similar problem. If you add more than about 1-3% of these, they all burn sooty. That isn't enough to boost fuel heat. Even ispropinol does about the same, but I have never gotten it to burn efficiently even though there are some commercial stoves out there. After the alcohol is burned off you simply burn the carbon/hydrogen. This is the same with all longer chained alcohols and simplistic petrochemicals(butane, propane, etc.) Follow? Note that is is NOT really what is happening, but fairly well approximats alcohol's burning.

I think I would research a platinum catalyst, similar to the platinim coated meshes found in labs. This is expensive as hell, though. But this would lower the energy needed for complete combustion...sililar to those found on kerosene heaters. (Note that the coatings on that stuff is extreamly thin, 2-3 molecules thick electroplate. Even touching them will damage the coating...never try to clean them mechanically.) Once the catalyst gets hot enough, it will produce good heat. But, if you are going to use a catalyst, why bother with alcohol? Even WG has much higher heat...

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Butanol on 12/10/2012 17:41:33 MST Print View

Thanks for the comments guys.

Franco: Yeah I have found a source for ethanol here in Canada. It did take a while because even though it's not restricted a lot of places will only sell to schools or industry to cover their butts. This place that is selling me the butanol seems reasonable and happy to sell me other stuff as well.

James: Good comments. I suspect some sort of a pressured design is what I might end up with. I've got a few wild ideas for a self pressuring alcohol stove. It'll probably not work out, but it'll be fun to try.

The idea with a methanol mix would just be to get it started if butanol proves tough to light. I don't think it will be tough to light, but in cold conditions having some methanol in the mix to get some extra vapor might be good. I think I'll have bigger problems than this though.

Edited by dandydan on 12/10/2012 17:42:42 MST.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Re: Butanol on 05/23/2013 20:11:37 MDT Print View

Hey Dan, did you ever get your butanol?

Have you tried a "coil" type burner? Using an alcohol primer might get it to working for you. Ebay has some nice ones. The Taykit comes to mind.

I'm doing some research on butanol and came across your thread.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Butanol on 05/30/2013 21:15:06 MDT Print View

No. The company that was going to sell to a Canadian like me ended up not being able to order it (or some lame explanation like that). Colin (Kursor?) did manage to get some, but as I recall it burned quite smokey.

As you mentioned, a self heating / coil stove might do it. There was one stove on YouTube where a lower stove heated the upper stove, which ended up getting super pressurized (and also maybe dangerous). The key would be a design where the added complexity/weight don't offset the gains from butanol.