Clean(ish) burning ethanol?

Discussion in 'Kitchen' started by oreocereus, Jul 26, 2020.

  1. oreocereus

    oreocereus Section Hiker

    Purple meths is cheap and readily available, but turns my pot (and hands) instantly black. I seem to recall the alcool a bruler over on the continent burning cleaner but that could be a misrememberance.


    What do people use as their alcohol source?
  2. Teepee

    Teepee Thru Hiker

    It's not the purple dye that's causing black staining, it's soot from the carbon in alcohols. it's caused by incomplete combustion of fuel from a lack of air.
    Try adding 10% water to the meths and see if that stops it. Or use a bigger pot to burner gap.

    Often, water content of alcohol varies as it likes to absorb water from the air. Very strong alcohol often soots more.
    Cranston and oreocereus like this.
  3. Rmr

    Rmr Section Hiker

    I use Vango Bioethanol, works ok with my Speedster windshield & burner setup. I get it from Ult. Outdoors for £3 ltr with my discount.Only very slight soothing on pan which may cease if I add water.
    oreocereus likes this.
  4. Enzo

    Enzo Thru Hiker

    Iso which has a higher calorie content doors like a goodn. I tried to make a burner that could get enough O2 in there to release all those Cal's and so not leave soot. No luck so far.
    oreocereus likes this.
  5. oreocereus

    oreocereus Section Hiker

    Thanks for the clarification Teepee.. I knew of the adding water to reduce temperature and have a more manageable "cooking" flame (if not just boiling water), but didn't know that was meant to reduce soot. Coincidentally, on trips to the continent I was cooking more (I can't afford the €10 hiking meals when i don't have access to a dehydrator!) and thus diluting alcohol slightly, while on a recent trip I just used normal meths. So it must've been the dilution, not the ethanol helping with impression of less soot.
  6. dovidola

    dovidola Thru Hiker

    I changed from a couple of years with meths to bioethanol, partly to see if there was much difference, and there's not much as far as I can tell. Possibly the bio is the tiniest bit better in terms of smell and efficiency, but soot production remains constant!
    oreocereus likes this.
  7. Robert P

    Robert P Trail Blazer

    Personally I've found bioethanol (Vango) much more pleasant smelling [like ethanol] than the typical meths smell which is quite different. Apart from that I've not noticed any difference.
    oreocereus likes this.
  8. oreocereus

    oreocereus Section Hiker

    Seems vango don’t make(or I assume, re-label) bioethanol anymore. Also seems it’s pretty tough to get bioethanol in Ireland If you don’t want to buy 24x 1L bottles. Ah well, carry on with some meths and a splash of water then.
  9. Lang pack

    Lang pack Summit Camper

    I have used Bio ethanol from b&q, never had any soot ever. Although I use a pot stand cone which allows for a very efficient burn.
  10. Markmac

    Markmac Backpacker

    Ditto, the B and Q bioethanol is good although I do get slight shooting using myog penny stove - it can also be very reasonably priced when they have an offer on,buying 3 x 2litre bottles for £13 on the last 2 occasions I have bought it
    Chiseller and oreocereus like this.
  11. oreocereus

    oreocereus Section Hiker

    Good to know. B&Q isn't exactly local, but we do have stores in Ireland. Looks like they stock it here as well
  12. dovidola

    dovidola Thru Hiker

    Markmac likes this.
  13. Stuart

    Stuart Ultralighter

    If you're diluting purple meths, don't do what I did first time and add too much water..... Probably best to check that you can actually ignite it before setting out...
    oreocereus and JimH like this.
  14. Enzo

    Enzo Thru Hiker

    I'd have thought if your getting soot it's more stove to pot distance or inadequate oxygenation? For some reason some carbon isn't being oxydized?
    I'd mess about with the gap and ore more holes if your using a cone.
    Don't remember getting soot on my meths set up, but it's been so long who knows!
  15. Robert P

    Robert P Trail Blazer

    I'm not sure I've ever used an alcohol stove without a little soot: mainly Caldera cone, whether I've used the recommended stove or MYOG hasn't made much difference. Stove to pot difference certainly makes a difference with a cone, but personally I'm not too bothered about small amounts of soot on the pot and would err on the side of caution on adding holes to my Trail Designs cone, as where I tend to camp wind resistance tends to be more important!

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