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Alcohol Stove Users Only
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Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Alcohol Stove Users Only on 01/22/2013 20:30:28 MST Print View

Alcohol in the yellow bottle (HEET) is not only for stoves.

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Watch the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vGYUSw-azQ

Edited by zelph on 01/22/2013 20:32:29 MST.

James Reilly
(zippymorocco) - M

Locale: Montana
wild on 01/22/2013 21:19:20 MST Print View

I have never seen those before. Pretty wild. Thanks for sharing.

Brian UL
(MAYNARD76)

Locale: New England
Re: Alcohol Stove Users Only on 01/23/2013 05:23:02 MST Print View

I totally want one. Someone needs to make these again .

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Re: Re: Alcohol Stove Users Only on 01/23/2013 06:55:43 MST Print View

They are amazing. Who would have though a specific metal in contact with alcohol vapor and air would react into fire. I have collected several ever since I saw them on candlepowerforums. Totally cool little lighter for alcohol stoves. Same fuel, why not. HEET in the yellow bottle is the correct fuel.I think I'll get one out today and play. I'll see if I can get the vapors in a Fancee Feest stove to ignite using the ignitor part of the lighter. How cool that would be if it lights it up.

Nathan Hays
(oroambulant)

Locale: San Francisco
Dies on 01/23/2013 20:55:33 MST Print View

Zelph - I take it the dies for forming the double wall can are meant to nest together. Is that for easy removal of the can? Why are there two centers? Different inner walls?

I have got to get my lathe up and running.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Re: Dies on 01/23/2013 21:17:55 MST Print View

Nathan, are you refering to the Fancee Feest or the cigar lighter?

Nathan Hays
(oroambulant)

Locale: San Francisco
Re: Dies on 01/23/2013 21:42:06 MST Print View

The pix of the dies I found thumbing to the left from the lighter pix. They show a beer can turned into a double wall with insulation inside.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Re: Re: Dies on 01/23/2013 22:07:42 MST Print View

Those were experimental. Had to revise them. I have so many photos it takes me hours to find some that I used years ago on projects. All the photos I have have been used in threads on differnt forums over the years.

Ben H.
(bzhayes) - F

Locale: So. California
Can we make one today? on 01/24/2013 18:17:32 MST Print View

Does anyone know how these things work? The best I could find on the web was this page:

http://www.toledo-bend.com/VCL/articles/index.asp?request=catalytic

It appears that platinum reacts with methanol and produces formaldehyde and heat. If you have enough surface area close enough together you produce enough heat to ignite the methanol. It looks like these have a small ball of very thin platinum wire that produces the reaction. The ball seems to be suspended on more fine filaments of platinum wire which are strung between a brass frame. Not sure but I am guessing if the ball touches the brass directly that would dissipate the heat to quickly to cause combustion. It seems like with little (very expensive) platinum wire these would be pretty easy to make.

It looks like the antique lighters run $100-200. Depending on how much platinum they have in them, it might actually be a decent deal.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Re: Can we make one today? on 01/24/2013 18:57:44 MST Print View

Ben, it was an interesting read where you linked us to...thanks. Here is part of what I read there:


How Catalytic Lighters Work
All catalytic lighters are variations of a simple theme - the catalytic process discovered by Johann Wolfgang Döbereiner circa 1823. There is an absorbent material inside the lighter that holds the fuel - methanol (alcohol). There were different brands of this through the years; it may be substituted today using the automotive product Heet, which is primarily methanol. The lighter also uses a little platinum as the "lighter mechanism". Platinum is very resistant to corrosion,which is why many catalytic lighters may still be useable today. On contact with methyl alcohol vapor the platinum acts as a catalyst to convert the vapor into formaldehyde and, in the process, gets very hot. In turn, the heat lights the methanol vapors and starts a flame. In the picture you can see the wires glowing from the heat generated by the platinum ball - in turn starting the flame.

First, the lighter is filled with fuel, allowed to "soak in" briefly, the excess poured back into the fuel container (according to the more frugal directions of the day) or simply pored out.

The platinum catalytic process has been used in lighters a very long time and in many guises. Pocket hand warmers have also used this technology. Lighters such as the Lektrolite also used a platinum piece to work on the alcohol vapors and produce the heat reaction. Other, far older, lighters used a "platinum sponge" - a small ball of fine platinum wires (on the order of steel wool), to the same end.


Over the years I have collected a few "new in the box" lighters. I think I might let loose of one or two. I need some new equipment;-)

Ben H.
(bzhayes) - F

Locale: So. California
Re: Re: Can we make one today? on 01/25/2013 09:28:20 MST Print View

Zelph,

Was it able to directly light your fancy feast stove? I don't see why it shouldn't be able to.

Also, do you think you could take a close up photo of the catalyst? I am trying to see if I am missing anything. That fact that these are still working 50+ years after they were made, tells me it is a pretty simple design.

I am thinking of sticking a little ball of platinum wire in the end of a small garolite or carbon fiber tube. If you could get it to ignite a fancy fest stove consistently with less than $10 worth of platinum there is probably a pretty good market for it. How much platinum is needed is the real question mark for me.

I can see it now... I have a $0.50 stove with a $50 lighter designed only to light that stove. But for the weight and simplicity, I think backpackers would buy them.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Fancee Feest is somewhere on 01/25/2013 11:06:55 MST Print View

I'm still looking for my fancee Feest :-)))

The platinum wires are approx. 1" long.

Photobucket

Edited by zelph on 01/25/2013 11:39:03 MST.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Link repaired on 01/25/2013 11:41:00 MST Print View

The photobucket link has been fixed for the above photo.

Edited by zelph on 01/25/2013 11:41:39 MST.

Ben H.
(bzhayes) - F

Locale: So. California
Re: Fancee Feest is somewhere on 01/25/2013 12:00:57 MST Print View

I see 4 support wires and the little ball, so maybe 6 inches or so of wire. It probably contains somewhere around $10-30 worth of platinum wire. I question whether I fully understand how the catalyst is arranged. It seems to me the little ball should be up at the top of the lighter instead of down at the base. It is possible I don't fully understand how the support filaments are used in this arrangement... Where is Dave Thomas when you need him?

For some reason I am getting excited about this... I went and bought some 0.003" laboratory surplus platinum thermocouple wire I found on ebay for $1.75/inch. I don't even have an alcohol stove! I have to go and get a can of fancy feast.....

Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
the wire is sold out on 01/25/2013 16:34:07 MST Print View

It looks like it's sold out on ebay. Any other source for thin platinum wire? Maybe some electronic parts?

Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
Platinized Titanium Anode 2"x3" on 01/25/2013 16:44:49 MST Print View

This might be more effective as it has greater area of contact: http://www.amazon.com/Platinized-Titanium-Anode-2-x3/dp/B0050F2WS8/ref=pd_sim_sbs_hg_5

$34

Ben H.
(bzhayes) - F

Locale: So. California
Re: Platinized Titanium Anode 2"x3" on 01/25/2013 17:16:40 MST Print View

I bought the last 10 inches from the ebay listing... sorry :( They have some 0.005" stuff for $2.50/inch.

That anode certainly might be a better deal. I wonder how the plating will hold up to the heat from the catalyst reaction?

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Re: Re: Platinized Titanium Anode 2"x3" on 01/25/2013 17:42:59 MST Print View

I think you should have gotten the .003 or the .002

If I were to experiment I would get the .002

Ben, was it pure 100 percent platinum or was it an alloy that you purchased?

I was able to get a small custom Fancee Feest style stove to ignite with the ignitor. Still have not found my full size FF.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Re: Re: Re: Platinized Titanium Anode 2"x3" on 01/26/2013 12:07:58 MST Print View

At the link below you'll find some nice closeup photos of the ignitor.

http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?169625-quot-The-logical-successor-to-the-flint-lighter-quot

steven franchuk
(Surf) - M
Re: Re: Platinized Titanium Anode 2"x3" on 01/26/2013 13:23:56 MST Print View

The titanium anode probably wouldn't work well. It probably has to much thermal mass and as a result might not get hot enough to ignite the fuel. multiple thine wires have enough surface area and the wire will get very hot very fast due to it's low thermal mass.

Omega does sell platinum thermocouple wire for about $2 per inch. They sell it alloyed with 6%, 13%, or 30% Rhodium. The 6% wire is available in 0.002" diameter while the 13% is available in 0.001" wire. I don't know if the 30% wire would work but I suspect the 6% would.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Alcohol Stove Users Only on 01/26/2013 13:54:00 MST Print View

Hmmm

First get platinum wire

Then, in order to get a Fancee Feast can you'll have to get a cat - I have several, maybe I can send you one

Maybe take your platinum wire and wind it around a rod multiple times to increase surface area in small volume

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Platinum Wire on 01/26/2013 19:08:56 MST Print View

Jerry, be sure to include a wire form of protection around the coil of wire.

Ben H.
(bzhayes) - F

Locale: So. California
Re: Re: Re: Platinized Titanium Anode 2"x3" on 01/28/2013 23:08:24 MST Print View

According to the ebay ad I bought pure platinum thermocouple wire, though the ad was thin on details. Standard high temp thermocouples use a pure platinum wire with a platinum alloy wire to form the junction. I'll find out when I get it.

I couldn't find plane wire on Omega's site... do you have a link? If they are selling single strand uninsulated wire they should be offering pure platinum as an option.

steven franchuk
(Surf) - M
Re: Re: Re: Re: Platinized Titanium Anode 2"x3" on 01/29/2013 14:17:22 MST Print View

http://www.omega.com/pptst/SPPL.html

This is the link for the platinum thermocouple wire I saw. According to the TC color coding chart pure platinum is frequently not used for thermocouples. It's commonly platinum / Rhodium alloy with the percentage of Rhodium the only difference betweeen the + and - sides. Platinum and Rhodium are both nobel metals and both are used as catalysts.

I also learned over the weekend that platinum will cause a reactio with methonal, ethanol, and isopropanol alcahols. However from my reading I get the impression the methonal reactio is the fastest while ethanol and propanol are slower. Unfortunately platinum will not light butane and propane at room temperature.

Edited by Surf on 01/29/2013 14:18:41 MST.

Ben H.
(bzhayes) - F

Locale: So. California
Omega thermocouple wire on 01/30/2013 08:09:55 MST Print View

http://www.omega.com/pptst/SPPL.html

As far as I can tell, your link is for pure platinum wire for use as the negative terminal in type R and S thermocouples. I am pretty sure the stuff I bought off ebay is equivalent to omega part number sppl-003. Am I confused about something?

Ben H.
(bzhayes) - F

Locale: So. California
Homemade lighter failure :( on 02/19/2013 11:00:39 MST Print View

Ok, I move pretty slow in MYOG, but I finally got around to trying out the platinum thermocouple wire in a MYOG catalytic stove lighter. It was a big failure. I saw no evidence that the wire was heating up when exposed to the Methanol.

Here is what I did in incompetent detail:

1) Acquired materials: I bought surplus laboratory platinum thermocouple wire from ebay (10 inches of 0.003" dia wire for $1.75/inch). I bought a couple bottles of "HEET" from an autoparts store. I didn't even have an alcohol stove before I started, so I got an empty cat food can from my neighbor.

2) Make a fancee feast stove: I had a cheap hole punch laying around that you can rotate different size holes into position. I knew it wasn't the best hole punch to use, but it had a nice reach and I had it in my possession. Went to punch the first hole and it shattered.

3) Acquire new hole punch: Picked up a heavier duty hole punch at Joanne Fabrics. It is the same one that Skurka recommends on his MYOG fancee feast blog post.

4) Make a fancee feast stove attempt #2: Went pretty smoothly and heated up a pot of water pretty easily with methanol "HEET" as a fuel.

5) Make the catalytic electrode: I wrapped the wire around the shaft of a 3/32" drill bit to make a nice tight coil. I probably used about 2" of the wire.

6) Burn off the impurities: They say pretty explicitly for these lighters that you need to burn off any impurities (such as dirt or oils) that may have collected on the outside of the electrode). I fired up the alcohol stove again, picked up the platinum coil with a pair of tweezers and held it under the flame for a little while.

7) Test: When the stove burned out, I added some more methanol back in, took the coil by the tweezers, and waved it around above the methanol. I tried various locations. I tried burning off the impurities again, but nothing seem to happen. I saw no indication that the coil was getting hot much less igniting the methanol.

Closing thoughts: My guess is that either the wire I got isn't pure platinum (but everything I have read seems to indicate that it is) or these catalytic lighters use something other than pure platinum. I plan on doing some more research on catalytic reactions to see if I should be using something else. Anyone else have any ideas?

Edited by bzhayes on 02/19/2013 11:03:06 MST.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Small tube on 02/19/2013 20:30:49 MST Print View

Use a small diameter tube 1/2" larger than your coil. Have it 1" deep. Put in 2ml of HEET in yellow bottle. Place platinum coil 1/2" down into tube to see if it glows.

Ben H.
(bzhayes) - F

Locale: So. California
Re: Small tube on 02/20/2013 09:52:31 MST Print View

I think that is probably a good idea (did you ever try to light a fancee feast stove with your catalyst?). I have done some more research on this. The catalytic reaction is methanol (CH3OH) in the presence of platinum (Pt) decomposes into formaldehyde (CH2O) and hydrogen (H2). In that regards, the oxygen fouls the catalytic reaction. Re-examining the lighter, you dip the platinum into the barrel where it is completely surrounded by methanol gas. This heats up the wire (and produces H2 which is very! combustible) but since there is no oxygen, combustion does not occur. As you pull the, now hot, catalyst out you transition through a zone of optimal oxygen/methanol/hydrogen mixture for combustion and the lighter lights up. A more confined space might be necessary to start the reaction.

I also think the thickness of the wire is an important factor. You need a high surface area to volume ratio (which means the thinner the wire the better). The reaction starts very slowly at room temperature. The small amount of heat produced needs to warm up the wire. The thicker the wire, the higher its thermal capacity is and the less it will warm up. I am using pretty darn thin wire (0.003"), but maybe it is still too thick. I might have to get some 0.001" wire.

I found this great video on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSdBB1vBDKY

Notice he has to heat the wire up first, I believe that is because the wire is too thick to start at room temperature. Also, notice that as more oxygen diffuses into the Erlenmeyer flask the brightness of the wire goes down. And when combustion occurs, the wire stops glowing completely. That indicates to me that oxygen fouls the catalytic reaction.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Half Size Fancee Feest on 02/20/2013 12:24:36 MST Print View

I've been able to light a half size Fancee Feest stove. Inside diameter is 1.5" x 1.25" deep.

You need to see if your wire will actually get red hot in a small environment.

There is a vintage lighter that is about the size of a lipstick tube that has the wire mounted inside of it. Take the cap off and wave the container around till oxygen gets inside to mix with fuel and heat. My mother had one like that way back when. That lighter design was taken off the market because of safety reason. Cap would come off while in womens purse and cause a fire.

I'll see if I can find a photo of that type.

Ben H.
(bzhayes) - F

Locale: So. California
failed attempt #2 on 02/21/2013 16:46:17 MST Print View

Failed Attempt #2:

I decided to give it another try last night. In order to try and kickstart the reaction I tried a more confined volume (less oxygen) and higher temperature (higher reaction rate).

1) I grabbed a glass shotglass. Added a little HEET, lit it on fire with a lighter, and used the methanol flame to burn off any impurities on the wire.

2) By the time the flame burned out, the shot glass was too hot to touch (and stayed hot throughout the experiment). I added some more HEET back in. I used my tweezers and brought the coil of platinum into the shot glass. I tried several locations and got nothing... no indications the wire was getting hot. I think this is pretty damning because the shot glass was so hot it had to be kicking out quite a bit of methanol vapor.

3) I even tried dipping the coil in the liquid HEET. Nothing. Then I thought lets see if I get the wire hot before I expose it to the methanol (like the youtube video on the experiment). I lit the liquid on the coil on fire. It burned briefly and got red hot. As quickly as I could after the flame went out I brought it back in the shot glass. Again nothing.

4) Next I tried going to a smaller container. I couldn't find anything metal or glass readily available so I grabbed the cap off a 16 oz water bottle (warning do not try this at home. You should not use a meltable container to try and contain a liquid on fire). Again nothing.

5) I wanted to try adding a wick. You definitely should not use a flammable wick (much less with a plastic container) but I didn't have anything that wasn't flammable. I tore off a small piece of cardboard and stood it up in the pool of HEET. The cardboard was soon saturated in methanol. I tried various locations around the cardboard and again nothing.

I am becoming more and more convinced I got ripped off by the seller on ebay. If this wire is platinum one of these experiments should have started reacting. I am thinking about buying the thinner wire from Omega.

steven franchuk
(Surf) - M
Re: failed attempt #2 on 02/21/2013 21:22:04 MST Print View

Other than the omega wire you might want to try:

1. A straight piece of wire instead of a coil. The lighter in the video used straight wire.

2. The tweezers might be acting as a heat sink. If the tweezers keep the coil cold nothing will happen.

3. Perhaps the drill bit you used coated the wire with iron and perhaps that blocks the reaction. If you make another coil try a tooth pick instead.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Start Over on 02/22/2013 06:29:26 MST Print View

Start over. Get the .001 pure platinum.

I have a few of these lighters brand new in the box that I can share for a small fee. Be the first on your trail to have one of these vintage marvels. :-)

Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
Lighter on 02/23/2013 03:03:36 MST Print View

Dan, first of all thanks for the Starlyte stove you've shipped to Israel. Got it yesterday. Looks damn good :)

Now, regarding the lighter, do you think 0.005 wire would be good? I found some on ebay and wanted to order for making lighter.
Also how much weigh those lighters you can sell? And how much it will cost (PM me if you want to)?

Is there any problem you can think of to use this lighter with starlyte stove? Will it provide enough evaporation to start the reaction if I hold the wire close to it? Or separated container is required? I think of some design for the lighter... Need to experiment with it.

Regards, Greg.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Re: Lighter on 02/23/2013 06:27:03 MST Print View

Hello Gregory. Thank you for your interest in the StarLyte and this unique lighter.

I'll have to experiment to see if I can light the StarLyte with it.

The lighter inside a shipping box weighs 2.5 ounces and the cost to ship is $9.45

I'll send you a PM.

I don't think .005 wire will get hot. Get .001 or .002 pure platinum wire.

Lots of interesting archeological work going on in your country.

Ben H.
(bzhayes) - F

Locale: So. California
Re: Lighter on 02/25/2013 10:21:48 MST Print View

Greg,

I wouldn't get the 0.005 stuff from ebay. I bought the 0.003 stuff from ebay (probably the same seller) and it does not seem to work at all. Either it is too thick or (I think more likely) not pure platinum.

Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
Thicker wire on 02/28/2013 07:24:28 MST Print View

Guys,

After some math, I concluded that in order to make same ratio of external wire area to its mass for 0.005 wire, you must flatten it by factor of 2 (2.2 more precisely). In this case you will have same area/weight ratio and therefore same effect. If you flatten it further you can gain even faster reaction, but it is hard to do for such a thin wire.

I think I found out how to do it. Will update later when I finish experimenting...

Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
Heating the wire on 02/28/2013 07:34:58 MST Print View

In order to check if that wire is really platinum:
0) weigh it in a lab (I can do it)
1) connect the wire to electricity (low voltage - battery?) and try to do the reaction again.
2) put one end of the wire into H2SO4/HCl/HNO3 to test for platinum (I can do it)
...


Will report after tests.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Interesting way to make it work on 02/28/2013 09:31:56 MST Print View

Pounding it to size is an age old way of forming. I like the experimenting being done on this project. Keep up the good work. I'm going to ad a small cylinder of carbon felt to a Fancee Feest stove to make it work. I'll call it the "geek" stove. It will include the "Platinum Probe" I'll see if I can do a video of it today.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
GEEK stove on 03/02/2013 10:49:10 MST Print View

Coming soon: the "GEEK" STOVE

Platinum ignitor.

Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
WOW on 03/02/2013 13:30:42 MST Print View

Intriguing... Can't wait to see it. Will you post a video of it also?

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Re: WOW on 03/02/2013 15:28:38 MST Print View

Yes, a video will be uploaded also. How are you doing on your wire reduction project?

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Re: Re: WOW on 03/02/2013 20:40:43 MST Print View

View it at youtube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_pivu43u-Y

Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
Nice to see it working. on 03/02/2013 22:35:50 MST Print View

Dan, what diameter of the wire in that lighter? Why did you punch the hole in the mesh of your stove? It gives more evaporation? Or have you distributed the fiberglass in the stove differently?

As I see it, greater area of evaporation is needed for providing more vapors. I think that absorbent like the fiberglass in your stoves is good for making evaporation faster. After I saw your video (thanks), I even confirm this because sometimes you need to find good spot above the stove where vapors of methanol are more concentrated.

Have you tried to light it in wind?

My current project is to make the lighter as follows: spiraled platinum wire within small cylinder open on both sides. This cylinder will act like a tiny windscreen. In order to light the Starlyte stove you need to put it on the opening and wait a little.

Version two of it: two cylinders. One inside of another with greater diameter, both same height. The wire is inside the middle cylinder. There is some gap between cylinders, and outer cylinder is same diameter as Starlyte stove. While the wire in the center gets hotter, the gas (formaldehyde, water, vapors of methanol and air) goes up causing lower pressure in it. Therefore the air (oxygen most importantly) is sucked from space between inner and outer cylinder through the Starlyte stove, taking necessary methanol vapors for the reaction.

Have to try them both. What I'm trying to do is to get the lighter work in windy conditions.

Regards, Greg.

Edited by tauneutrino on 03/02/2013 23:14:41 MST.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Re: Nice to see it working. on 03/03/2013 08:08:12 MST Print View

I'm guessing the wire diameter is .001 or less.

The hole in the StarLyte is a duplication of the original lighter. Placing the platinum wires in the StarLyte hole makes it work. After initial ignition the burner heats up and gives off an enormous amount of vapour that is easily lit by holding the wire above the burner.

I have not tried to light it in the wind. That test will come next.

Greg, have you been able to make the wire small enough to glow red in the presence of the alcohol?

For now, the GEEK stove is the only one in the world. :-)))

Good luck on your DIY project.

Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
Thanks! on 03/03/2013 13:06:53 MST Print View

Dan, the wire is in the lab now for the tests for platinum. When I'll get to it, I will continue and report. Yes I got it why you made a hole. Congrats on your success with the geek stove!

Ben H.
(bzhayes) - F

Locale: So. California
nice!! on 03/07/2013 21:51:11 MST Print View

Thanks Dan!

looks good. It sounds like you had to play around a bit to get a stove configuration that lit easily. Is that correct?

My own project has been at a standstill since I have been traveling for work. I did pick up a glow plug for an rc airplane. It has a little platinum coil in it and it only cost about $7. The wire is much thicker than the 0.003" stuff I have though, so I don't hold much hope of getting a reaction out of it at room temps.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Platinum black on 03/08/2013 15:44:57 MST Print View

The ignighter has a small black ball at end where 2 wires meet. No dought it plays a big part in ignition/thermal reaction.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Platinum black (Pt black) is a fine powder of platinum with good catalytic properties. The name of platinum black is due to its black color.

Platinum black is widely used as a thin film covering solid platinum metal, forming platinum electrodes for applications in electrochemistry. The process of covering platinum electrodes with such a layer of platinum black is called "platinization of platinum". The platinized platinum has a true surface area much higher than the geometrical surface area of the electrode and, therefore, exhibits catalytic action superior to that of shiny platinum.

Platinum black powder is used as a catalyst in proton exchange membrane fuel cells. In common practice, the platinum black is either sprayed or hot pressed onto the membrane or gas diffusion layer. A suspension of platinum black and carbon powder in ethanol-water solutions serves to optimize the uniformity of the coating, electrical conductivity, and in the case of application to the membrane, to prevent dehydration of the membrane during the application.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platinum_black

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
wire loops on 03/09/2013 19:08:55 MST Print View

I assume that something like this is far too thick?

http://www.crscientific.com/platinumwire.html

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Re: wire loops on 03/09/2013 19:19:08 MST Print View

Yes, I think it's too thick of a wire. It looks like the wire is used to support a piece of mineral/rock in the 1/4" loop and then placed into a flame to be analized.

It needs to be in the .001 range.

Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
0.005 wire on 03/11/2013 06:30:13 MDT Print View

Update:

First of all it is platinum. Several tests we made in a lab shows it is pure platinum.
So far no success with the ignition. But I don't give up. I have still some ideas to try. I'm trying to increase the area while retain thermal weight. Currently after flatten the piece of platinum wire to thin sheet I want to put it between two sheets of sandpaper and pressurize so that platinum will get that texture and therefore will have greater area. I'll try to do that with different sandpaper size.

Any ideas are welcome!

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Re: 0.005 wire on 03/11/2013 09:28:48 MDT Print View

I see you ared oing your reasearch:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSdBB1vBDKY

As you saw in the video, the large diameter wire had to be preheated for the reaction to start. Also interesting is the statement that enough oxygen had to enter the flask in order for ignition to occur.

If you preheat your wire it should react.

If you draw out your 0.005 wire to 0.001 I think you'll get the reaction without the preheat.

Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
Got glowing on 03/11/2013 14:03:55 MDT Print View

Finally got glowing.

Very small (1x3 mm) piece of very thin platinum "foil". Smashed it between sandpapers as mentioned above it got really creased. Then took 1 match and made a crack in it. Then inserted one end of the platinum piece in it. Then burnt the match, the platinum remained in the coal. I'm gaining here something I can hold while coal does not conduct heat well. Then I took a cap of a regular plastic bottle, took cottonwool and made a "circle" with it. Soaked it in pure methanol.

It was tricky to find a "hot spot" above the cottonwool. But when it was at the right place it glowed! OMG!

Now, I've ruined this piece because all the stuff is so small and breaks and get lost easily.

Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
The experiment with flask on 03/11/2013 15:16:14 MDT Print View

I have also successfully made the experiment with flask as shown on youtube. Preheated wire glows brightly.


Still a lot of work todo. While I got the glowing, I wasn't able to light methanol. Then, I think the piece should be with smaller thermal mass but with greater surface area. This is my primary goal. Need to find a way for making it. Have some ideas for that need to try.
Then, I'm still curious if I will be able to make lighter with battery: just preheat the wire with electrical current while in methanol vapors. This is another project however...

Will update here.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Re: The experiment with flask on 03/11/2013 15:33:55 MDT Print View

The flask video was cool!

Glad you are progressing and got the "glow".

The "fire" comes next with great anticipation :-)

Ben H.
(bzhayes) - F

Locale: So. California
Re: The experiment with flask on 03/11/2013 16:08:24 MDT Print View

"...I'm still curious if I will be able to make lighter with battery: just preheat the wire with electrical current while in methanol vapors...."

RC Airplane glow plugs would be perfect for that. They only cost about $7 and are preset up with a platinum coil and ready to run a current through it.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
No Batteries on 03/11/2013 20:40:54 MDT Print View

Everyone can make one work with a battery ;)

Make it work with just the 0.001 wire.

photobucket video, click on it to view
<center>

</center>

Edited by zelph on 03/11/2013 21:04:50 MDT.

Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
Photo? on 03/12/2013 01:14:05 MDT Print View

Dan, can you make a close-up macro photo of the lighter (wire with ball) with some millimeter or even smaller scale on background? This would help me a lot to engineer lighter from thick wire.

Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
Platinum foil? on 03/12/2013 08:03:43 MDT Print View

BTW, this foil maybe even better: http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/catalog/product/aldrich/267244?lang=en&region=IL

0.025 mm thickness.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Re: Photo? on 03/12/2013 10:18:16 MDT Print View

Best I can do for now:

<center>
Photobucket



</center>

Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
Thanks Dan! on 03/12/2013 12:49:03 MDT Print View

Thank you! it is exactly what I needed. It seems to me that when you place your lighter in methanol vapors what ig glowing is not that ball, but the wire itself. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Re: Thanks Dan! on 03/12/2013 13:26:14 MDT Print View

<center>

</center>



You're welcome.

The very 1st time I light the stove when it's cold, the area around the ball seems to start glowing first. After the stove heats up vapours are coming out fast and the wires glow just as they approach the stove as you can see in the above video.

That source for foil platinum will only sell to authorized customers due to the hazardous materials they sell. Bummer!

Edited by zelph on 03/12/2013 13:29:42 MDT.

Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
More wire on the way on 03/12/2013 14:45:42 MDT Print View

This time I've ordered a 0.003 wire. There is more on ebay now. From the same seller. I confirm he sells pure platinum.

Just in case there is somebody who want to experiment...

But I'll get it in one week or so... No thinner platinum wire available though.

Ben H.
(bzhayes) - F

Locale: So. California
Re: More wire on the way on 03/13/2013 09:37:23 MDT Print View

Greg,

You should have told me you were going to order 0.003, I would have sent you some of mine. You can get 0.001 from Omega.

-Ben

Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
Re: Re: More wire on the way on 03/13/2013 23:22:12 MDT Print View

Ben, thank you! Don't you need this wire for experimenting? Don't give up! :) It is difficult, but if you flatten it and then cut very small piece and then flatten it again you may have the same effect. My issue is that it's so small I'm ruining most of samples...

0.001 wire is available from Omega? Do they have minimal quantity?

Thank again for your offer!

Good day.

Ben H.
(bzhayes) - F

Locale: So. California
Re: Re: Re: More wire on the way on 03/14/2013 14:31:06 MDT Print View

http://www.omega.com/pptst/SPPL.html

SPPL is there pure platinum thermocouple wire. The 0.001" stuff is Omega part number: SPPL-001. It cost $2/inch and shipping is $8 for me. I just ordered 10 inches.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Re: Re: Re: Re: More wire on the way on 03/14/2013 16:40:45 MDT Print View

i was able to get a 10 foot roll of 0.002 at auction for 30.00 and free delivery. it's coated with teflon bringing the od to 0.004 coated. i think i can burn it off with no problem and then use cerium oxide cloth to polish it. we'll come up with something good a geeky :-)

Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
Guys any progress? on 03/25/2013 03:17:13 MDT Print View

I was unable to reproduce my last successful experiments. Any luck with you guys?
I think 0.001 or thinner is a good stuff. No chance I can reach it here.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Re: Guys any progress? on 03/25/2013 08:12:10 MDT Print View

Gregory, give me your address in an email/pm and I'll send you some of my .002 wire. It looks like the same size used in the lighter.

My tests with it makes me feel as if the ball of platinum black is necessary for the catalytic action to occur. If I wrap my .002 wire around the out side of the brass support of the lighter, the wire will glow red hot in the presence of alcohol vapor. By it's self nothing happens.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Re: Guys any progress? on 03/25/2013 10:05:54 MDT Print View

Gregory, give me your address in an email/pm and I'll send you some of my .002 wire. It looks like the same size used in the lighter.

My tests with it makes me feel as if the ball of platinum black ball is necessary for the catalytic action to occur. If I wrap my .002 wire around the out side of the brass support of the lighter, the wire will glow red hot in the presence of alcohol vapor. Just the wire alone, nothing happens.

Ben H.
(bzhayes) - F

Locale: So. California
Re: Guys any progress? on 03/25/2013 11:59:21 MDT Print View

I finally got around to doing some more tests last night. I tried the 0.001" stuff and got nothing :(

Man that 0.001" stuff is thin. I have pretty good near-sight but I have a real hard time seeing that stuff. I tried to wrap it in a coil and it wouldn't hold the shape. I ended up wadding it up in a ball which wasn't easy. I got some carbon felt to wick the methanol but I saw no indication the wire was heating up. I was thinking about using all of my wire at once to see it I just need more platinum, but the more I think about the physics I don't see why that would be the case. The 0.001" stuff must not have a high enough surface area to volume ratio. Seeing hoe thin this stuff is its shocking to believe that.

I also tried the rc airplane glow-plug and didn't get a reaction (no surprise to me).

Dan, you mentioned you might be willing to sell an extra lighter you have. If you are still interested shoot me an email at bzhayes@gmail.com I am going crazy here and pretty interested in just seeing this reaction happen. I think your right it seems like platinum black might be the only stuff with a high enough surface area to volume ratio to work at room temperature. Prices I have seen on the stuff makes me think you never be able to make a lighter in a cost effective manner. Plus I have no idea how you would make a ball out of the platinum black powder.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Re: Re: Guys any progress? on 03/25/2013 12:27:42 MDT Print View

I had a hard time wrapping the .002 wire around the lighter support framework.

All the lighters seem to have the wires attached to a ball or disc as seen in this photo:

 photo IMG_113585T_zps08d720d9.jpg

Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
wire... on 03/26/2013 15:06:20 MDT Print View

Dan, thank you for the offer! It would be nice to test the 0.002 wire. I'll send you PM. Not sure how much it will cost to ship it to Israel.

Regarding your test. It drives me crazy. You say that when you wrap your wire around brass frame, it glows if methanol vapors present? So brass actually contribute to the reaction? Or the presence of the black ball in vicinity of the wire? Can't understand it. And if the wire glows before the black ball (don't know if it glows at all) so why do we need that black ball?

It could be black platinum. Maybe it's not...

Now I see how I got glowing of the tiny platinum piece. As I wrote above I inserted it into crack of match. Then burnt it. So in that process the platinum got really hot and the glowing I saw was just like in that experiment with flask. Later I reproduced that experiment with flask. This is another prove that the wire I have is platinum.

So now I'm really curious how the heck the thing works. That black ball ...

Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
PM on 03/26/2013 15:11:15 MDT Print View

Dan, I can't PM you since I don't have a paid account on BPL.
So I'll write here all my data and will remove after you take it.

Gregory Stein,
59/10 Shdema st.
21990, Karmiel,
Israel

I want to pay you for the shipping at least. Please send me a paypal invoice to stein.gregory@gmail.com.

Thank you!

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Re: PM on 03/26/2013 15:47:41 MDT Print View

Ben and Gregory, I'll be in touch with you soon.

I'll try and find some info on the powdered platinum that is on the ball. The stuff reacts alot more than just plain platinum wire. It's starts the reaction of changing the alcohol to formeldahyde and then the heat.

Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
great! thanks! on 03/26/2013 16:21:22 MDT Print View

meanwhile: http://www.zeebase.com/blog/2010/11/04/homemade-cigarette-lighter-popular-mechanics-1928/

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Re: great! thanks! on 03/26/2013 19:52:24 MDT Print View

That DIY lighter is questionable :-)

Some interesting additional reading related to Platinum Black:


2 platinum balls
http://www.saintstevensthingery.com/mybackpages/?tag=master-lite-self-igniting-lighter


Collins, P. M. D. (1986). "The Pivotal Role of Platinum in the Discovery of Catalysis". Platinum Metals Review 30 (3): 141–146.
http://www.platinummetalsreview.com/pdf/pmr-v30-i3-141-146.pdf

Experiments with Platinum Black
http://www.platinummetalsreview.com/pdf/pmr-v9-i4-136-139.pdf

Hydrogen Lighter
http://www.scs.illinois.edu/~mainzv/HIST/bulletin_open_access/num24/num24%20p66-68.pdf

"The Hydrogen Instantaneous Light Lamp"
http://www.fleaglass.com/index.php?a=15&b=7291

Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
Platinum Black on 03/28/2013 15:11:07 MDT Print View

Guys,

I'm on a way to get some platinum black out of regular platinum (after checking it's price OL :( ). Will update later about the results.

Not sure without good chem. lab you can get the needed ingredients... But will try to refine the process for "home" lab :)

James Cahill
(DMATB) - M

Locale: SOCAL
Re: Platinum Black on 03/28/2013 15:50:02 MDT Print View

This thread has been really fun to read! I did some lab research with platinum black for a company that makes hydrogen generators (for its use on proton exchange membranes). The high purity, high surface area stuff they had was indeed expensive (~$200 per gram) and the extremely small particle size made the powder very tricky to work with.

I'm really looking forward to seeing what you guys come up with, this is pretty awesome

Christopher *
(cfrey.0) - M

Locale: US East Coast
Re: Re: Re: Guys any progress? on 03/28/2013 23:28:05 MDT Print View

I love these kinds of threads; really interesting and informative. (Disclaimer: I am a big zelph fan. I own a Starlyte.)

I have a question ... is this essentially the same as a Peacock or Zippo catalytic hand warmer?

Both use a platinum filament for the catalytic reaction, and both are then placed in a pouch to limit oxygen and slow/control the reaction.

Peacock: http://www.peacockhandwarmers.co.uk/

Zippo: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B005P163YQ/

I only ask because I think the warmers and their constituent components are fairly readily available for purchase if your looking for parts and pieces to deconstruct and destroy in the name of science.

(EDIT: Hmmm ... After an hour or so of coaxing, my trusty advisor Google has informed me that the hand warmers use some form of platinum powder infused into a fine mesh, as opposed to the solid wire. The warmers still require the application of heat to initiate the reaction. Dog barks. Wrong tree.)

Edited by cfrey.0 on 03/29/2013 02:41:42 MDT.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Re: Re: Re: Re: Guys any progress? on 03/29/2013 09:30:13 MDT Print View

Gregory, the wire is in an envelope and on it's way. Two days ago I mailed it to you. No postal fees necessary.

Ben I'm going to send you a free used one. Used but still works. Chinese modle. I tested it with HEET and it works. I'll email you today to get your address.

Lucky James, you get to be close to the good stuff:-)))

Christopher, I have deconstructed and destroyed a few handwarmers in the name of science. that was fun..... I still have a good supply of replacement parts to work with on this project. I lucked out one time on ebay and purchased a box of ten new replacement heads for the handwarmers. Brand new in the box ....whooooo! makes me feel scientific :-)))) Makes me want to get a PhD in Physics. I need to take apart one of the replacement heads to get at the good stuff that might ignite in the presence of alcohol without prior heating. Hand warmers use lighter fluid versus alcohol. The platinum gauze might be a new approach to this project. Thanks for your input of a new approach to Platinum Catalysts.

 photo sspotsupport005_zps1a52d6d0.jpg

Christopher *
(cfrey.0) - M

Locale: US East Coast
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Guys any progress? on 03/29/2013 13:35:17 MDT Print View

D@mn.
Now you have me hooked in.
I was hoping for a peaceful week too, before this rabbit hole appeared.

"Hand warmers use lighter fluid versus alcohol." So is it a different form of reaction? Is the difference the type or processed form of the platinum involved? Is it reacting with naphtha as opposed to methanol? Is the reaction inherently stronger or weaker? Why does my head hurt? LOL. I may have to just change my name to google.

On a side note, as I read through this thread again I cannot help but wonder how zelph, "THE STOVE GUY", found a cool cryptic old lighter on CPF and saw ... a lighter. The stove guy. Nothing but a lighter.

Where are the imaginings for a super-light-weight, super efficient, alcohol version of this:
http://www.bluedome.co.uk/trailwalk/trailwalk3.cfm?review=184&mascat=29&subcat=72
bluedome


I am not a chemist.
I am not an engineer.
I am not possessed of any particularly extraordinary intelligence.
What I do have is the remarkably and inexplicably intact imagination of my adolescence, and with all do respect ... am I seriously the only one who wants a platinum catalytic cap that I can retro fit onto my starlyte to make it a lightweight, flameless, ridiculously fuel-to-weight efficient uber-stove? Oh I even have a name ... wait for it ... the Darkstar. Get it? Cause its flameless and sits on top of the starlyte. Too obtuse?

So, while I go back to daydreaming, can you smart guys who make stuff please stop playing around on your computers and get back to work already?

Edited by cfrey.0 on 03/29/2013 15:25:23 MDT.

Ben H.
(bzhayes) - F

Locale: So. California
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Guys any progress? on 03/29/2013 16:43:07 MDT Print View

If I understand is correctly it is the same reaction. The platinum acts as an intermediary step and remains unchanged at the completion of the reaction. Platinum will catalyze most any alcohol. It will have different reaction rates based on the fuel. My understanding is any fuel besides methanol and the platinum must be hot before any noticeable reaction will occur. Even with methanol, as we are finding out, it is not easy to get the reaction to occur at room temperatures.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Enter The "Darkstar" on 03/29/2013 17:54:22 MDT Print View

am I seriously the only one who wants a platinum catalytic cap that I can retro fit onto my starlyte to make it a lightweight, flameless, ridiculously fuel-to-weight efficient uber-stove? Oh I even have a name ... wait for it ... the Darkstar. Get it? Cause its flameless and sits on top of the starlyte. Too obtuse?
----------------------------------------------------------------------

No way, I want one also :-)

I did several things before I got the red hot glowing gauze. I'll give more info tomorrow.

One handwarmer was abused in the name of scientific advancement.

We will advance into the realm of flame-less stoves.

These are click-able thumbnails


 photo platinumgauze002_zps139740ea.jpg photo platinumgauze004_zps36369e8d.jpg photo platinumgauze006_zps403352be.jpg

Edited by zelph on 03/29/2013 18:05:00 MDT.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Re: Enter The "Darkstar" on 03/30/2013 10:27:34 MDT Print View

This morning I used 190 proof Everclear alcohol in a StarLyte burner. I put 4 handwarmer heating elements on top of it. Lit the burner, let it heat up the elements and then blew it out. The elements did their catalytic duty and proceeded to burn with low heat. I was disappointed!

Next I'll try it with HEET and then after that with lighter fluid.

Yesterday I had to preheat the heater element and then place it on top of the StatLyte. It worked really nice but, has a bad odor when burning....humbug.

Onward!

Christopher *
(cfrey.0) - M

Locale: US East Coast
Re: Re: Enter The "Darkstar" on 03/30/2013 21:23:07 MDT Print View

Dan, now your cooking with gas ... errrrr ... alcohol?

I am away for an Easter weekend family hiking trip, but I am anxious to check-in when I get back mid-week. I just wanted to drop in a quick line and say .... cool. Very cool.

Best Luck!

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Re: Re: Re: Enter The "Darkstar" on 03/31/2013 15:36:51 MDT Print View

Christoper, your link to the "Blue Dome" was interesting and jogged a little grey matter. I had to go back to my "blog" www.bplite.com to see if I could find a thread started by "oops56" He introduced us to a catalyzed platinum ceramic burner a couple of years ago. At that time I had purchased a dozen to experiment with but got sidetracked. Recently I came across the little box of burner elements and put a little burner/stove together. I used Isopropyl 91 alcohol to test it out. It's works and smells a lot better than the stove with the four handwarmer elements that I used HEET alcohol in.
Not enough time in the day to do all the experiments that I have in mind to do.

Here is some info on the Fragrance Lampe heating element that I used today in the proto burner.

The lamp fuel contains 90% isopropyl alcohol and should be regarded as a highly flammable liquid. Furthermore, to start the catalytic wick according to the instruction it is necessary to light the catalytic burner with a flame and let it burn for approximately two minutes until it reaches the correct operating temperature. At this point the flame should be extinguished in order for the oil to be diffused. Precautions should be taken to avoid any possible hazards:

Maurice Berger patented the Fragrance Lampe in Paris in June of 1898, hence the name Lampe Berger.

During the early 1900's, the Lamps were marketed to French institutions where hygiene was most important such as hospitals and mortuaries. The Lamps ability to purify the air was the primary selling point. At that time the lamps used methyl alcohol which gave off formaldehyde on combustion. It was efficient but smelled unpleasant.

In 1927, Maurice Berger sold the company to Jean-Jacques Faillot. He changed to ethyl alcohol which has the scent of Apples on combustion. This change moved the Lampe Berger Company into the consumer market and the fragrancing ability of the lampes became important. Faillot began collaborating with great bottle designers of the period including Galle, Lalique, Baccarat, Saint-Louis, Sabino and Tharaud. In the 1930's sales reached approximately 20,000 lamps a year. Exports began, but had mixed success.



Catalytic wick/lamp

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fragrance_lamp


 photo platinumgauze008_zps81961961.jpg

Edited by zelph on 03/31/2013 15:40:43 MDT.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Guys any progress? on 04/14/2013 17:52:00 MDT Print View

I'm still playing around with catalytic heaters. I did a few tests today using Zippo lighter fluid. Works ok but gives off too much unburned vapor. Yesterdays tests I used HEET and it worked better.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTwuW5IhCic

How are you guys doing with your wire testing?

Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
Experiments on 04/15/2013 00:31:20 MDT Print View

Dan, haven't received your wire yet.

I'm on a Black Platinum project right now. I think I got a right direction. My experimenting in the lab will be completed on Wednesday this week. Will prepare a detailed report + photos.

Ben H.
(bzhayes) - F

Locale: So. California
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Guys any progress? on 04/15/2013 14:23:12 MDT Print View

I've been traveling and been otherwise pretty busy with work, but I have been playing around with that lighter you sent. Once again, thanks!

The more I play around with the lighter, the more convinced I become with our group consensus that platinum black/sponge is necessary to kick off the reaction at room temperatures. On the lighter, the platinum black doesn't glow very much but the reaction always starts there and quickly works its way down the wire. The wire glows more than the pt black, but that makes sense since the pt black appears black because it has so many occlusions it traps light.

I've been thinking about DIY ways of making pt black but it is getting pretty far afield for me. Hoping Greg comes up with something :) Right now it seems like the best way of getting a catalytic lighter to light your alcohol stove is to buy one of the antiques off of ebay. If you can get a good working one for around $30 it appears to be one heck of a deal in terms of the pt black that it contains

If you want something ultralight you could un-braze the two tubes apart, but even together it isn't very big or heavy. In terms of lighting an alcohol stove, it appears to me all you need is a wick in a confined space. It didn't take much fiddling with a fancy feast can and strip of carbon felt to get something that works. I couldn't get you Venom Super Stove to ignite, but that is because there is no enclosed area to stick the catalyst.

This is still a ridiculously neat concept. I am having a bit of a challenge on deciding where to go from here, but I will keep thinking and fiddling.

Edited by bzhayes on 04/15/2013 14:46:37 MDT.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Guys any progress? on 04/16/2013 07:46:50 MDT Print View

I think Gregory will come up with a solution. He's got lab facilities and bunch of goodies to work with.

Ben, I could make some modified StarLyte burners like the one in the video and have them available to all that want something "special" Purchase a lighter on ebay or buy a new, in the box lighter from me. I can make them available only to BPL members via my web store. Visible only to BPL. I have 10 available.

I can make the Modified StarLyte like the one in the video.

Watch the photobucket video.

<center>

</center>

Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
Delay in work on 04/18/2013 04:38:51 MDT Print View

Guys the lab wasn't available because it was just moved and not all equipment is available now.

So there is some delay in work.

Meanwhile, please tell me if you can reach the following materials:
0) Nitric acid
1) Hydrochloric acid
2) Formic Acid
3) Sodium sulphite

While first two are absolutely MUST to have in order to get platinum black, other two are nice to have. Maybe I'll find another method of getting platinum out of chloroplatinic acid.

All the best!

Greg.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Delay in work on 04/18/2013 07:49:09 MDT Print View

You can get hydrochloric acid from building supply store - Home Depot, Lowes,... - it's called Muriatic Acid, used for etching concrete or putting in swimming pools.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Fume Hood on 04/18/2013 08:03:34 MDT Print View

Maybe, if I had a "fume hood" available I might try it. I think it's better I wait till you make some and purchase it from you :-)

Ben H.
(bzhayes) - F

Locale: So. California
Re: Delay in work on 04/18/2013 10:58:33 MDT Print View

All are available with differing levels of difficulty.

0) Nitric acid
A weak (~10%) solution can be bought in hardware or wood-working stores as the wood stain Aqua Fortis.

Alternatively you can make your own: http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-Nitric-acid-The-Complete-Guide/

or amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Hanna-Instrument-HI70445-Nitric-Solution/dp/B0085XOYHO/ref=sr_1_2?s=industrial&ie=UTF8&qid=1366302639&sr=1-2&keywords=nitric+acid

1) Hydrochloric acid

Muratic acid as noted above can be found at Lowes, Home Depot, or Hardware stores.

2) Formic Acid

Should be able to get this from feed stores. Used as an additive to livestock feed. Also used in beekeeping as a miticide.

http://www.amazon.com/Hanna-Instrument-HI70445-Nitric-Solution/dp/B0085XOYHO/ref=sr_1_2?s=industrial&ie=UTF8&qid=1366302639&sr=1-2&keywords=nitric+acid

3) Sodium sulphite

Available at Photography shops that carry darkroom chemicals.

http://www.amazon.com/Photographers-Formulary-Sodium-Sulfite-Anhydrous/dp/B0002HMSAQ


I sure wish I came across this when I was a broke grad student with access to a lab and all the chemicals I could want. Now with two boys under 5 it will take quite a bit of convincing for my wife to let me do this kind of stuff :(

William Chilton
(WilliamC3) - MLife

Locale: Antakya
Re: Delay in work on 04/18/2013 11:12:39 MDT Print View

I don't know about in Israel, but here in Turkey hydrochloric acid is widely available for descaling (removing limescale from) kettles etc. The name translates into English as "spirits of salt", if that helps.

Christopher *
(cfrey.0) - M

Locale: US East Coast
Re: Delay in work on 04/18/2013 14:14:41 MDT Print View

"Yes, Hello and pleasant greetings to you good shopkeeper. Would you kindly point me to your stores of nitric acid, hydrochloric acid, formic acid and sodium sulphate."

I m going to cross my fingers and hope Greg figures this out, before someone on this thread gets arrested. "But officer, that Aqua Regia isn't mine! I don't know how it got there!"

Edited by cfrey.0 on 04/18/2013 14:18:48 MDT.

Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
Aqua Regia and law on 04/20/2013 13:54:39 MDT Print View

Is there any problems with Aqua Regia? I think producing a little amount of it at home is OK.

Anyway I'm thinking of producing some chloroplatinic acid and sending it with sodium sulphite. Both reactives are OK to be sent just in ziploc bags. Then you can just put both in water and at the end platinum black will show itself as a black sediment. I think it is better than sending PB itself because you can make platinum black coatings that way.

Making that tiny black ball is also a big issue. I think it should be made of some metal coated with platinum black. Since this ball starts the reaction and preheats the wire it should conduct heat very well. That's why I think it should be made of metal. Using platinum black for entire ball is a waste.

Hence I'm struggling with producing this platinum black coating. Yet need to find better metal to be coated.

What I thought of is maybe that black ball is a porous platinum sponge? Can anybody check this under microscope?

The whole process can be described in two phases:
0) Making Chloroplatinic Acid
1) making Platinum Black (or coating for something)

Phase 0:
0) Making Aqua Regia from nitric acid and hydrochloric acid
1) dissolving platinum (not must be exceptionally clean - will be purified during the process) in aqua regia and getting chloroplatinic acid
2) filtering and boiling out the solution and getting clean chloroplatinic acid in bright orange-red crystalls. In this form it can be packed and shipped

Phase 1:
0) Disolving the chloroplatinic acid in distilled water
1) putting tiny (really tiny) piece of some metal (yet to be found the best one for this) for making platinum black coating
2) Adding sodium sulphite
3) Waiting for platinum black to create a sediment

So far my findings

Christopher *
(cfrey.0) - M

Locale: US East Coast
Re: Aqua Regia and law on 04/20/2013 15:20:28 MDT Print View

Sorry Greg, I was distracting the serious tone with a touch of Tom-Foolery. I don't know of any legal issues ... just the idea of assembling that grocery list outside of a lab!

Back to topic ... with regards to the black ball ... have we considered that it might be platinized platinum (platinum that has been coated with platinum black)?

Cheers

Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
Re: Re: Aqua Regia and law on 04/20/2013 16:41:18 MDT Print View

Yeah! It could be platinum. But why to waste so rear and expensive metal? The "content" of the ball does nothing in the catalytic reaction, so why not use less expensive metals?

The metal need to be:
0) inexpensive and easy to find
1) Easy to made tiny ball of
2) Could be platinized
3) Should conduct heat very well

Also any ideas of how to attach it to the wire?

Hmmm... Just thought why not platinize a portion of the platinum wire? Or even make a clew (roll) of part of the wire and platinize it?

Christopher *
(cfrey.0) - M

Locale: US East Coast
Re: Re: Re: Aqua Regia and law on 04/20/2013 23:43:21 MDT Print View

Stumbled across this ...

Richard E. Berthold patented one of the original dual-tube catalytic lighters. He also, circa 1933 filed the below patent on creating a catalytic agent for use in the lighters and the description would seem to suggest the "ball" or "pellet" is sintered ... if I am reading properly that is.

http://www.google.com/patents?id=wP19AAAAEBAJ&printsec=abstract&zoom=4#v=onepage&q&f=false

Thought you might be interested.

Edited by cfrey.0 on 04/21/2013 00:21:19 MDT.

Ben H.
(bzhayes) - F

Locale: So. California
Re: Re: Re: Re: Aqua Regia and law on 04/21/2013 12:18:39 MDT Print View

Greg,

I think the base material of the ball of Pt Black is important in that it should not have a large thermal mass. The reaction is very slow to begin with and you need that slow reaction to quickly heat up the Pt Black so that start going at a high enough rate to heat up the thin Pt wire. Depositing the Pt Black directly on the Pt wire might work really well... not sure. It sounds like you have a chemical process that will precipitate Pt Black. Do you believe if you precipitate it in the presence of Pt wire, the precipitate will stick to the wire?

Chris,

Great find! The way I read that patent (having a hard time following the chemistry), it sounds like the first process is to simply form Pt Black powder. Then he mixes the Pt Black powder with corn syrup and dries it out. I wouldn't call that a sintering process. It sounds to me like he is suspending the Pt Black in a sugar matrix and forming that into balls. I would guess the first time you fire up the ball, the sugar would carbonize. It sounds to me like the ball is a matrix of carbon and Pt black. If true, that sounds like a fairly simple process to recreate (if you have the Pt Black). It also means that ball isn't pure Pt black... which would drive down the cost.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Re: Re: Re: Re: Aqua Regia and law on 04/22/2013 09:51:48 MDT Print View

Christopher, nice find. I googled Richard E. Berthold and was able to find the invention page of a lighter I have. (Lektrolite)

A quote from the invention page:

quote:
The lighter consists of a casing containing an absorbant which is charged with a vaporizable fluid(pure methanol giving excellent results), and a block or body of platinum black, spongy platinum, or the like, is disposed at the outer end of the casing, being suitably supported in position to collect the vapor, means also being provided for creating a current of air that will assist the flow of vapor to the catalytic element. end quote

The Lektrolite lighter in the photo show it having a red portion that contains the platinum black as described in the invention. I'm tempted to take it apart LOL.
The transcript of the invention also gives a wealth of info regarding the welfare of the platinum black and how it is kept away from liquid fuel to preserve it.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Guys any progress? on 04/24/2013 20:24:15 MDT Print View

Based on what I read via the link Christopher gave I decided to insert a catalytic heater into the center of a StarLyte burner to see if it will assist in a more complete burning of fuel. Fuel will be put into the burner around the heater and then ignited. The flames will heat the grey colored catalytic screen being held in heater. Once it becomes red hot it should be doing a scientific reaction with the vapors:-) Now all I have to do is figure out if it is really helpful. I can only assume it will be ;-)

I'll fire it up tomorrow and take a photo or two:

 photo FosterCaldera002_zpsf55b2ec0.jpg

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
One Heater NOT GOOD on 05/01/2013 17:11:43 MDT Print View

One heater is too low power. I blew the StarLyte out and the heater continues to burn untill snuffed out or all fuel is consumed. Because of the heat being generated it causes the burner to evaporate it's fuel supply without being burned. Total inefficiency....bummer Back to the drawing board.

Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
Thanks for the update Dan on 05/02/2013 01:16:17 MDT Print View

Thank you for the update,

I'm still fighting with the lab :(
No news yet. Hope this Friday will do the job.

Christopher *
(cfrey.0) - M

Locale: US East Coast
Re: One Heater NOT GOOD on 05/02/2013 09:15:27 MDT Print View

Thanks for the update Dan.

So the "sciency" reaction = big fat nothing, huh? I thought you were on to something. At least it looks cool, in a Dr. Who kinda way.

Out of curiosity, do you think the "low power" is a result of too little catalytic reagent, too little fuel or too little oxygen to support combustion? Just curious what your intuition tells you.

Cheers

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Re: Re:Interesting stuff on 05/23/2013 20:57:28 MDT Print View

I found this today while researching butanol:

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 Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Re: Re: One Heater NOT GOOD on 05/24/2013 11:31:18 MDT Print View

Christopher, didn't see your post, my bad :-(

The single heater in the center of the StarLyte burner had too much fuel rising up around it instead of just coming up through the wick attached to it's underside. These little heaters have some great potential. They are made of stainless steel and the surface that is plated with platinum is large. In my previous post there is a quote saying not to touch the plated portion etc. That quote came from BPL thread that is related to burning Butanol.

We need more info to come forth from the one who I quoted James Marco in this thread:

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=58858&startat=20



There will be more info to come on adding platinum gauze to a "coil" type stove. I had a vision this morning while lying in bed after a good nights rest LOL. I could see a coil with a preheat resevior vaporising the Butanol and the vapor being pressurized and flowing through the coil into platinized gauze where it is being acted upon in a scientific way:-) as it heats up it is then introduced to the Platinum Black Ball where the vapors ignite in a radical fashion and the stove takes off like a rocket out of Hades.

Edited by zelph on 05/24/2013 11:38:39 MDT.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Re: Re: One Heater NOT GOOD on 05/24/2013 13:28:09 MDT Print View

Zelph,
Basically, I didn't expect to see anything realy great with alcohol. It doesn't really matter what fuel you use, but alky does not produce enough to make it worth while. Methanol is simply a a carbon, surrounded by 3 hydrogen atoms and a hydroxyl group. The hydroxyl group is partially "cumbusted" already, if you want to look at it like that. Methane is MUCH more fuel efficient per moler weight. Alcohol is partially used. The big advantage is the reduction in evaporation pressure. At the carrying temperature we are interested in as campers, it is liquid.

Trouble is, methane and ilk are not easily transported without a rather heavy container. The light gasses require pressure to transport efficiently. As campers, we do not have the luxury of presurizing gasses and transporting them without storing the gas in the traditional heavy metal container.

Therfore, we need a lighter container. But, no matter what, a container for carrying a liquid fuel, not as volotile as, say, methane, will ALWAYS be lighter than one required to hold pressure.

By the same token, if we use a liquid fuel, such as WG, it need to be vaporized before burning to eliminate the soot, ie, burn completely, ergo high efficiency.

My thought by using a catalyst, is to reduce the energy needed to initiate the burning of a fuel. Not necessarily to start the combustion, as with the lighters.
But, a well tuned catalyst should let WG burn cleanly with no presurization needed to force through a jet.

Using a good catalytic stove, I am guessing that the weight should be no more than 1.5-2oz. The catalyst will be a thicker mesh, I believe. And, I also believe it will burn WG, Kero, etc. BUT, additives may kill it. Probably not auto gas, Diesel, or avation fuels.

At that point, the combustion (stove & fuel) combination will be nearly 100% user dependent. As it sits, most WG stoves are about 50% efficient. If this can be boosted to 70-80%, AND, the stove weight reduced from about a pound to 2oz, this would be far better than a presurized container for gases.

As it sits, canisters are only about 10% better than alcohol for fuels, because of the presurized can. WG/Butane are within 3-4% of eachother for heat value. But, allowing soot wasts a lot of heat value. A clean burning and light weight stove is needed to burn WG. As it sits, The SVEA comes closest with about a 65-75% efficiency. But paying a pound in weight for the little stove is painfull to most. A pound of stove is rediculous when you consider a one or two night trip. Depending on your usage, a week is about break even, now. I would much prefer to see a 2oz stove at 70% efficiency letting me get rid of the bloody SVEA. Then, we can work on a better fuel.

Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
Work In Progress on 05/24/2013 16:01:01 MDT Print View

Guys, I saw this thread has been revived, so just a quick notice that we are not giving up!

I'm trying to get the platinum black stick to the wire.

Photos from Wednesday this week:

Tiny piece of my depleting platinum stock. As you see, I'm dealing with really small quantity of that expensive reagent. Ultra precise lab scales:



Boiling Aqua Regia dissolving platinum. Well, it took 2 hours to dissolve that small piece! I was amazed. During this process NO () and other toxic gases are produced (see yellowish vapors), so you should do it outdoors or in lab.



Next week I'll update with my progress. On Monday I plan to make another effort of making Pt black cover ball of Pt wire. Here is what I'll try to do: I'll take 3 inches of Pt. wire. I'll roll 2 inches of it into ball and leave 3/4 inch on one end and 1/4 inch on another end. Then, I'll cover both ends with wax or paraffin so it covers all the 3/4 and 1/4 length. The idea behind that is that only the ball of wire is exposed to solution since vax/paraffin is hydrophobic. I'll use some acetone/alcohol for cleaning the wire to ensure that fat retomains/dust will not interfere with Pt sediment. I thought to put this wire with waxed ends and the ball into flask, add some solution of sodium sulphite and slowly but surely add solution of chloroplatinic acid.

This project is not as easy as I thought. Don't know how much platinum I'll have for additional experiments. Already looked for options to buy it. However at $70 for a gram it's quite expensive. The good is that you need very very small portion of Pt for platinum black catalyst.

I hope I'll manage to make something useful.