Published 2011 Amended 2017
IPA or isopropyl alcohol is a very useful alcohol component
This secondary alcohol has many uses, but mainly is it utilized as a cleaning
agent, known as industrial alcohol, isopropanol or IPA. IPA and acetone have
great ability to dissolve or resolve themselves into other substances and both
smells pleasant. It dissolves in all oils, motor fuels including diesel because
IPA has a longer carbon chain than regular lighter alcohols, therefore belong
isopropyl and also isobutyl alcohol to the group ”heavy alcohols” -
which dissolve fats well. In view of this is it used as a component of gas-dryer
(carburetor protection), ie it absorbs water and lowers the fuels freezing
point but also resolves coatings in the fuel system. Like other alcohols is
IPA bactericidal (more then ethanol) and are therefore suitable as an
additive in diesel fuel, as this alcohol dissolves itself there. Compared with
ethanol is IPA worse to achieve a low freezing point, so in E85 makes it
no use more than to reduce the opening-time, like acetone - but it is
only because that E85 contains 15% gasoline.
IPA can be more open time-reducing than acetone but it has
been found that the temperature of the fuel plays a crucial role when using
IPA. One can observe that the opening time reduces the warmer it gets and
at a certain temperature, it is the amount of IPA that controls the opening
time. IPA also works poorly with glycol additives regarding E85 and its
formations with gasoline - but for petrol should it works well.
The alcohol IPA is the chemical that is most similar to the ketone
acetone but IPA is not as aggressive and are less volatile, but it is more than;
ethanol, methanol and propanol. By the way, it is remarkable that acetone is
included in our bodies when it is such a strong solvent - as if one were Thinner
in the blood...
Pure IPA is not in the Swedish trade for private use, except pharmacies that
selling IPA in small bottles. The production takes place through the hydrogenation
of propene. Absolutely pure IPA is obtained by catalytic hydrogenation of acetone.
Then acetone lacks two hydrogen atoms, one lets gas of acetone react with
hydrogen via a (poisoned) catalyst. IPA can be separated from a saline solution
because is refuses to resolve itself in certain salt solutions. If one for an example
mixing equal parts of water and IPA can one stratifies them by adding common
salt. IPA is then withdrawn at the top but a little salt dissolves in IPA, so the
next step should then be a distillation? The IPA that I bought at the pharmacy
(technical) burns with a yellow and sooty flame - it is apparently only methanol,
ethanol (pure) and propanol, which burns with a blue flame. Worth mentioning
is that IPA as well as ethanol is hygroscopic (soaking up moisture), which means
that one only can distil IPA up to around 90%. Thereafter, other methods must
be used to achieve an anhydrous product. However, IBA is not hygroscopic.
IPA have which I understand common characteristics as acetone, even in
the field of fuel additives. Well, it should not evaporate as quickly as acetone,
when it can be dispensed in large quantities and therefore is less volatile and
reduction-willing with surrounding materials. IPA has no clear boundary where
its effect (reduction of the opening time) decreases as acetone have. After
the dose 1% (pure petrol) will not much more happen and if one adds some
more IPA shall no damage occur, since IPA like ethanol is an alcohol but with
even higher proportion of bound energy. Thus can IPA overdosed to make
sure that it does not vaporize over the time.
IPA does not function with DiG, ie copperas or MCO20.
The earlier carburetor-protection variant sold by Biltema contained
approximately 40% IPA, the rest were ethanol. Besides this, I'm unsure
if anything else were added, such as for example MEK? Some dye or aversive
agents were not there. Fairly tempting for those who thought in ways to
use this now historic product for other purposes... 40% IPA with 60%
ethanol is however fully enough to be mixed in diesel and the positive
with ethanol is that it is freezing at an even lower temperature than IPA.
Worth mentioning is that a ”carburetor-protector” product actually
can be based on naphtha instead of on spirits. I think the old carburetor
spirit as Biltema had were a bit off a milestone here in Sweden, which
also was a handy cleaner (for electronics), as much as a gasoline additive.
The replacement is quite concentrated and more expensive, which one
can separate IPA with saline. Note that the product ”Start K-skydd”
(Jula) is identical to the old one from Biltema (40/60)! Other available
brands that are similar are Meko, Polar, etc. Do it stand 2-propanol
or propan-2-ol is it IPA.
The predecessor was an unusually pure spirits product