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E85 Stoves
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Dwight Shackelford
(zydeholic) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
E85 Stoves on 01/28/2007 15:26:43 MST Print View

I was just reading an article about E85 (85% ethanol, 15% petrol) and the reason they gave for not just using 100% ethanol was because of problems starting the car in cold weather.

Now, alcohol stoves have that problem. I'm wondering what adding some gasoline or whatever to the alcohol to help with this.

I can see some reasons why not to:

1) more problems if you spill it on equipment

2) harder to put out in an accident.

3) Petroleum fuel is usually contained a bit more safely.

4) If you're going to have to take extra precautions for a fuel, might as well use all petrol since it has more btus per volume.

Anyone tried this?

James Pitts
(jjpitts) - F

Locale: Midwest US
Re: E85 Stoves on 01/28/2007 20:18:03 MST Print View

I played with fuel blending a while ago. Fossil fuel has 2x the BTU/lb that denatured alcohol has, roughly, so I figured if I could "sneak" some fossil fuel in with the alcohol I might get more BTUs for the weight.

I started with kerosene because it's a relatively safe fuel. I found that kero and alcohol don't mix and the result is a milky substance that makes an awful black smoky mess.

I stopped here after talking to a chemical engineering friend. She told me that to get the energy capacity of the blended fuel I would just average out the BTU/lb if the two (or more) fuels... but that I should be careful because by the time where I started to see a significant advantage to using, say, unleaded gas... well then the fuel would be very dangerous. The vapor pressures involved here are very different.

So I gave this up.

I did have a scout that use unleaded in his alcohol stove despite direct instructions not to try this (pretty much the same thing as saying, "Try this!" to a 16 year old young man.) It burned out of control and he was darn lucky not to injure himself or burn down his garage.

It might be worth playing with again but I am not sure what else to mix with Alcohol.

By the way, my CE friend told me that they mix all sorts of nasty stuff with gas and that one has to be careful if you burn unleaded fuel from the pump. I don't know about that but she is a pretty smart lady.

Edited by jjpitts on 01/28/2007 20:18:49 MST.

Steve Smith
(bardsandwarriors) - F

Locale: Wales
Re: E85 Stoves on 01/29/2007 18:47:21 MST Print View

The quality of meths can vary. The meths I buy here, in the UK, is 11% methanol by volume, 89% ethanol.

This article -
- suggests that some brands of meths already contains a small amount of petrol.

James Pitts
(jjpitts) - F

Locale: Midwest US
Re: Re: E85 Stoves on 01/29/2007 19:05:40 MST Print View

Edit: I was about to ask a stupid question and caught myself!

Edited by jjpitts on 01/29/2007 19:07:08 MST.