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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


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?


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

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:

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

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

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 *

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.


Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

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

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:

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

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.