Rating: 4 / 5
This review isn't about an actual alcohol stove, but rather about the fuel that all these stoves use. For the vast majority of the alcohol fuel enthusiasts the fuel of choice has been a denatured alcohol such as Klean-Stip's S-L-X brand. However, as Roger C. points out in his series on stoves, the caloric output of denatured alcohol is rather disappointing because it is actually a mixture of ethanol and methanol (about 50/50 according to the MSDS). It is the ethanol that provides the highest heat output, but the effect is dampened by the large amount of menthanol. Buying pure ethanol is prohibitively expensive and illegal in some states.
Recently I came across a type of denatured alcohol that is 90 - 100% ethanol and less than 10% methanol: Kleen-Strip Green! It's marketed as 95% natural and renewable content and biodegradable. And looking at the MSDS it has fewer additives, so one could assume a less toxic fume. The cost is also less than S-L-X by about a buck-and-a-half for 32oz, which is just fine by me!
But to the nitty gritty. I tested the two types of denatured alcohol using my mini Caldera Cone, a BPL 550 Ti pot, and the Trail Designs burner that goes with the set-up. Using 14ml of the S-L-X I brought 2 cups of 65F water to a vigorous bubble formation before flame out at 6 min. 40 sec. The same set-up using the Green DA resulted in a vigorous, roiling boil in 6 minutes...in fact it blew the lid right off! And it hadn't even flamed out.
In conclusion I ascertained that this new type of DA is cleaner burning, has more heat output and requires less fuel to achieve a roiling boil. It is superior to SLX type DA and HEET (the latter is about 99% methanol and thus has a very low heat value). I gave it a 4 rating because even though it is "greener" it still has some additives.