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"Dry gas" in an alcohol stove?
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Sharon Bingham
(cowboisgirl) - F - MLife

Locale: Southwest
"Dry gas" in an alcohol stove? on 09/19/2007 10:26:37 MDT Print View

I searched the forums for "dry gas" and didn't return any threads that matched that exact phrase, so if I'm missing something, feel free to point me to the appropriate thread.

But several weeks ago, when I was trying to decide whether or not to go with an alcohol stove (which I eventually did - the caldera cone system), I was talking to a man in a store who said he uses "dry gas" in them, rather than denatured alcohol, because "dry gas" burns clean (no soot) and is nearly odorless (as opposed to denatured alcohol, which he said smells like paint thinner).

I tried looking up "dry gas" online to see what exactly the stuff is, but according to wiki, it refers to any number of alcohol-based substances used as an additive to gasoline to prevent freezing. And depending on the brand, it can be different sorts of alcohol.

I tried calling the guy back to ask him what, specifically, he uses and where to get it, but he's on vacation for the next ten days. And I'm an impatient little creature, and want to try out my new stove.

So, the question is: does anyone know what substance he's talking about? and can anyone vouch for its use in my alcohol stove?

Sam .
(samurai) - F

Locale: NEPA
Dry Gas? on 09/19/2007 10:35:16 MDT Print View

I assume he's refering to HEET. HEET in the yellow bottle is what many of us use for fuel. It's gas line antifreeze and is made of methyl alcohol. Available at a Walmart near you!

Edited by samurai on 09/19/2007 11:23:30 MDT.

Sharon Bingham
(cowboisgirl) - F - MLife

Locale: Southwest
HEET in alcohol stoves on 09/19/2007 10:38:19 MDT Print View

Ah! Excellent.

And HEET has the properties he mentioned? Little odor and soot?

James D Buch
(rocketman) - F

Locale: Midwest
Amazing DisInformation on 09/19/2007 11:03:05 MDT Print View

It is amazing what distorted information like "dry gas" can cause to another person.

Gasoline drying agent = "dry gas" ?

Of course, it could be that dry gas is his private word for the product, or it could be that "gas dry" was a shorthand for the gasoline drying agent, or ......

Little things like that can drive me crazy.

Mitchell Keil
(mitchellkeil) - F

Locale: Deep in the OC
Re: HEET in alcohol stoves on 09/19/2007 11:05:03 MDT Print View

I have used both HEET and regular denatured alcohol. Both perform well with no decernable difference in heat output altough there is some research to indicate that HEET gives a slightly higher heat index. I have never had soot or noticed the smell in the outdoors when using denatured. I don't beleive the fellow you talked to knew anything about the use of these fuels. Either would work well in the Caldera Cone system which I own.

Terry G
(delvxe) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: HEET in alcohol stoves on 09/19/2007 11:08:39 MDT Print View

Yes, it has those properties - little odor and no soot.

I also like it because the bottle is a little easier to pour than most. I have always used the yellow bottle HEET. I am not sure how the blue bottle differs, but can definitely vouch for the yellow bottle. I find it at auto parts stores.

Terry

Sharon Bingham
(cowboisgirl) - F - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Re: Amazing DisInformation on 09/19/2007 11:08:39 MDT Print View

"It is amazing what distorted information like "dry gas" can cause to another person.

Gasoline drying agent = "dry gas" ?

Of course, it could be that dry gas is his private word for the product, or it could be that "gas dry" was a shorthand for the gasoline drying agent, or ......

Little things like that can drive me crazy."

Lol. Yeah, that's why I asked here. I knew SOMEONE would be able to set things straight... :-)

Jesse Glover
(hellbillylarry) - F

Locale: southern appalachians
Dry gas on 09/19/2007 11:08:51 MDT Print View

Use the heet in the yelow bottle.

Sam .
(samurai) - F

Locale: NEPA
HEET on 09/19/2007 11:09:15 MDT Print View

IMHO HEET is as close to odorless as it gets. Much prefer it over SLX denatured alcohol.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
HEET vs. SLX Denatured Alcohol on 09/19/2007 11:11:56 MDT Print View

Sam (or anyone else who has experience with both) -- is there any noticeable efficiency in one over the other?

Sam .
(samurai) - F

Locale: NEPA
Re: HEET vs SLX on 09/19/2007 11:20:26 MDT Print View

"Sam (or anyone else who has experience with both) -- is there any noticeable efficiency in one over the other?"

Interesting that you should ask.

A few weeks back I tested a Tri-Ti with both and then a 50/50 mix. I got the same boil times with all three fuels. I did see a longer burn (by about 1 min) with the SLX. The 50/50 mix predictably fell right in the middle.

FYI. From what I understand air-brake antifreeze (found in truck stops) is the same as the yellow bottle of HEET.

The extra few ml of fuel saved with the SLX isn't worth it to me. I hate the strong odor!

Edited by samurai on 09/19/2007 11:32:24 MDT.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: HEET vs SLX on 09/19/2007 11:26:11 MDT Print View

Thanks, Sam.

Sam .
(samurai) - F

Locale: NEPA
Work on 09/19/2007 11:28:10 MDT Print View

Ben...shouldn't you be working right now? ;-)

Damien Tougas
(dtougas) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Gaspé Peninsula
Alcohol Types on 09/19/2007 12:00:16 MDT Print View

A good overview of the different types of alcohol that you can use in your stove can be found here:

http://zenstoves.net/Stoves.htm#Fuels

Apparently Heet is mostly methanol, and the site linked above has this warning: "This is also a very poisonous fuel and you should consider the health concerns of this fuel if you decide to use it long term (thru-hikers beware and others may want to avoid storing contaminated stoves in their cook pots or bowls)."

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Work on 09/19/2007 12:13:49 MDT Print View

Hey! I am working! :)

Sam .
(samurai) - F

Locale: NEPA
Re: Alcohol Types on 09/19/2007 13:33:39 MDT Print View

"Apparently Heet is mostly methanol"

I believe SLX is 52% methanol. The only alcohol that isn't poisonous is grain alcohol (Everclear), although it's probably still listed as a poison depending on where you look.

Yes, use good common sense when handling fuels of any kind. Certainly these fuels are no worse than white gas (Coleman).

Edited by samurai on 09/19/2007 17:29:04 MDT.

Cornelius Austin
(nealaustin) - F

Locale: Minnesota
Everclear on 09/19/2007 19:31:46 MDT Print View

Everclear would be the alcohol of choice but it's not for sale here in the nanny-state of Minnesota. Another case of our senators trying to protect us from ourselves.

Mark Hurd
(markhurd) - M

Locale: South Texas
Re: Re: Alcohol Types on 09/19/2007 21:11:38 MDT Print View

I'll put in my 2 cents here.

I have had excellent results mixing the Yellow HEET methanol with 91% isopropyl (a.k.a. rubbing alcohol) 50:50 to get a hotter burning fuel. I consistantly can heat 16 oz of 60 F water to rolling boil on 1/2 oz of this mix in my Caldera cone. YMMV

May want to check out this thread:

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/xdpy/forum_thread/9395/index.html?skip_to_post=68211#68211

-Mark

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
Disposing of HEET (or slx)? on 09/20/2007 12:50:03 MDT Print View

Apologies if this is considered thread drift, but it's relevant ...
I'm flying early next month to somewhere that will allow me to fit in a couple of days backpacking. I've never used HEET before, but reckon I'll buy that after I arrive because it's available in a 12-oz container, whereas in my experience the smallest quantity of denatured alcohol I can buy in a hardware store is 32 oz.

12 oz will be more than needed for this trip, I think, though hopefully I'll use the majority of it.

So, at the end, what's the ecological (and maybe even legal) best way to dispose of excess? Burn it off somehow (if I can be sure of zero risk of fire outbreak)? Pour it on the ground somewhere and assume that most of it evaporates? I suspect that "give it to another backpacker" won't be a practical alternative in this location.

Sam .
(samurai) - F

Locale: NEPA
Re: Disposing of HEET (or slx)? on 09/20/2007 14:09:12 MDT Print View

"So, at the end, what's the ecological (and maybe even legal) best way to dispose of excess?"

I'm going to assume a motor vehicle is involved here somewhere. I'd pour the excess in the fuel tank of whatever vehicle I could, and it won't hurt a thing (HEET not SLX).

It is a bit of a problem to get rid of and I applaud you for doing the right thing.