E-spirit, I call this home-made liquor which is obtained from E85
Here and there one can read about those who tried to find other uses for
the affordable and high-energy rich engine fuel E85. There is a lot of ethanol
to extract and it is also virtually anhydrous.
Distillation should of course be an option, but the question is what happens
if one separates the ethanol from the fuel by adding water and then uses it as a
fuel in a liquor stove or maybe in an alcohol heater? With the latter I mean
one or more burners that are located indoors, which creates direct heat. A kind
of poor man's stove, ie an extra supply of heat which is really a substitute
instead of a fixed stove/fireplace. When methylated spirits are quite expensive
seemed the idea not so clever, but the question is in a different light if one
instead could use E85...
Such spirits heater is not news, because the method is available for
if one thinks it's a good way to heat their houses with? A unique
advantage of liquid-based fuels is that you can abolish the exhaust channel
when the heat goes directly into the room (like a candle or tea light).
The efficiency is therefore 100% for an open spirit burner and thus greater
than for a stove and other heat boilers.
A home-built liquor heater which consists of three burners can look like
this. They belong to the army; field kitchen (m/40) and is paired with two brass
tubes (brazed). These gadgets can be obtained cheaply at the army surplus stock.
That said, while E85 cost as it does now (2011), it might take some time
before methylated spirits can compete away the E-sprite? It took a variety of
experiments before an environmentally, friendly and cost effective method had
appeared. It has been shown that in addition to water, it is necessary to have
an easy-liquid heavy naphtha, or petroleum product such as; diesel, some lubricants,
lighter fluid, kerosene or paraffin oil (lamp oil) - if the separation of gasoline and
ethanol shall be effective. Petroleum and naphtha are different names for the
same thing. Once you have measured everything (E85, naphtha and water) is
it only to mix them thoroughly and then wait for the separation process will
separate the alcohol from the gasoline. That which floats above ”the residue”
consists mostly of gasoline with a hint of naphtha. Most of the naphtha is dissolved
in the alcohol which then is a part of E-spirit. The residue is an energy-rich
fuel and could be recycled as fuel. It is mostly gasoline laced with naphtha. In
any case, the residue seemed to be very highly soluble in a variety of fuels
(gasoline, diesel, E85 ...), so just pour it in your gas tank.
Contrary to what one might think burn E-spirits much like ordinary
methylated spirit but without to decarbonizes, or cause a bad smell in the room
the burning takes place. Only a faint smell of barbecue may be noted, even if
you fire hard with multiple burners indoors, despite the fact that E-spirit contains
both gasoline and naphtha - but in small quantities then. Today's diesel
and lighter fluid is designed to ensure a good environment and then they burned
without forming a lot of unnecessary waste. But yes, can you find a cheap party
methylated spirit so is it probably preferable (in comparison with E-spirit).
One can for example using two five litre kegs. The preparation of E85 fuel,
water and naphtha can be done in one of the kegs - the second keg is filled with
ready E-spirit. I have previously proposed vacuum hoses but they swell up in
E-spirit - however works PVC hoses in E-spirit. One start by pouring up four
litre of E85. Then add 10 percent naphtha and 20 percent tap water. It
becomes 400 ml naphtha and 800 ml of water. Together is this 5200 ml,
but due to the shrinkage will it be 5000 ml (5 liters). Wait a few hours
before the separation begins - through the hose by utilizing the siphon
principle. Time is not directly critical here; 3-5 hours is about right.
The stage when it is time to separate.
I have also experimented with 35% water in E85, but unfortunately smells
this more gasoline and one have to prepare with acetone to avoid the smell of
gasoline will be noticeable, but the naphtha-method removed on the other hand
almost all gasoline. E-spirit contains besides ethanol; water, gasoline and naphtha,
also denaturant and MTBE. It smells of deterrence and tastes probably not so good.
Now I can not say with one hundred percent certainty that nothing harmful is
produced during the incineration itself, but it is in any event nothing noticeable
in the short term. The times I have felt the gasoline odor is quite unpleasant
and then begins soon a headache as a consequence effect.
E-spirit with the naphtha-method
This liquor can now be used as fuel for indoor heating.
- Measure up an arbitrary amount E85
- Add 10% naphtha in the amount of E85
- Add 20% water in the amount of E85
- Separate the alcohol part after a few hours of phase separation (the residue can be recycled as fuel)
An alcohol analyzer (hydrometer) shows 86%.
The choice of naphtha is very important for the degree of coating as
with time is formed inside an ordinary spirit burner (similar to a Trangia
stove). After a long period of testing of different spirit burner fuels, has it
been shown that naphtha that is soot-coating also causing a coating in the
burner interior. This coating gives rise to smoke and clog the small holes that
sit in a circle on the burner top. The smoke is formed only after the spirit
burner goes out - the burner is very hot then. The unburned residue stay there
and smoldering so that the indoor environments become poisoned. Continues a
combustion with a soot-coating naphtha such as diesel or lighter fluid
will the spirit burner become clogged, making it almost impossible to use it.
The only way to clear a clogged burner from coatings is to heat it with a
propane burner and so to speak, burning away these fuel residues - find a
well-ventilated place before this happens!
To avoid the formation of coatings one can do two things. First and
foremost you should choose naphtha that not soot and in that case it is
only possible to use lamp oil or paraffin oil and nothing else. Kerosene is the
second best naphtha product but is some soot-prone. Kerosene is not
preferably intended to be used indoors, but is designed for outdoor use
(kerosene lamps). Lamp oil / paraffin oil is for indoor lamps, but still has a
tendency to cause poor air quality as time goes on.
Can one add any substance to minimize the residual soot? The answer
seems to be affirmative on this point. I have tested various salts, fuels and
oxidizers with no beneficial results. However, what worked was to add a tiny
splash of red glycol in the resulting E-sprite. Note that you only can use red
concentrated antifreeze, not the blue or green! Glycol remaining in the
burner and seems to bind coatings. These can then be removed if one wash/rinse
out the spirit burner with plain water, and why not with detergent? This is only
necessary after a long period of use. What I have noticed is that the burner
design that consists of several paired burner with pipe-connections, are less
inclined to push, then the connection evens out pressure surges. Such cascade
structures can be run with wider cleaning interval in comparison with a simple
alcohol burner. The content of red glycol (longlife G30) is 1 ppt (0.1%) which
is equal to 1 ml glycol per 1000 ml E-spirits.
Nowadays there is a last resort and that is to choose E-spirit+
instead of regular E-spirit, if the naphtha still is a scourge? A little more expensive
but still cheaper than pure methylated spirits.
One can make a list of the best naphtha product at the top and the worst
(most sooty) at the bottom:
- pure paraffin oil
- lamp oil
- lamp kerosene
- white spirit
- lighter fluid
A content list (by volume):
- 68% ethanol
- 2% mtbe
- 8% naphtha
- 4% gasoline
- 17% water
- 1% denaturation
E-spirit has a density of 830 kg/cbm and the calorific value 25 MJ/kg. It is a
substitute for methylated spirit and contains naphtha, which makes it
feel fat/slippery in comparison with methylated spirits, thereto contain it
water. It burns relatively safe and does not turn off by itself. Incinerates
E-spirit in dedicated liquor burner formed no water but if one incinerate it in
a bowl will the combustion become incomplete, with both water and soot as
residues. The flame is yellow and sooty but cause no more trouble with
the indoor environment than with tea lights. For methylated spirit is the calorific
value 28.5 MJ/kg and is slightly better than E-spirits. For a certain amount
of methylated spirit requires 10% larger amount of E-spirit for not the
calorific value should diff. At a price comparison may one take 1.1 times
methylated spirits (which gives the amount of E-spirit) and to get the
amount of E85, one takes the amount of E-spirit and multiplies with 0.9.
The amount of naphtha is 0.1 times the amount of E85. In 2011, costing
E-spirit at about half of what methylated spirit costs (with lamp oil and without
that the gasoline component is recycled).
E-sprite is not a good cleaning then the naphtha creates stains and because
it contains water, it may stir up rust but then it contains naphtha, it may be vice
versa? E-spirit may become cloudy if it allowed to stand and be attracted to
water - can be counteracted by the addition of methylated spirits. The turbidity
symptom is a sign that the naphtha slowly separates. If one pouring up E-spirits
that are phase-separated, one gets a higher proportion of naphtha in the liquor
burner than can be consumed and soot will be formed. This scenario can
easily be avoided by shaking the can/keg with E-spirit before pouring.
Another way is to add 5-10% industry spirit, methylated spirit, some other alcohol
or acetone into the final rate of E-spirit - if you do not want to shake.
As a fuel in the stove is E-Spirit a questionable option but it should then be
prepared with 15% naphtha and 15% water, instead of 10/20. This gives a
slightly stronger but more cloudiness prone E-spirit: Hydrometer Value 90%,
ethanol 72%, naphtha 9%, gasoline 3%, water 13%, density 820 kg/cbm, the
calorific value is then 27 MJ/kg - in other respects the same as 10/20 variant.
Avoid to use 15/15 for spirits heater indoors and is the intension to use it as
a fuel for camping stoves, should it first be mixed with methanol. If one trying to
make even stronger E-spirits, increases the content of the naphtha so much that
it not have time to burn - with soot and smoke as a result of this.
The right picture shows a spirit burner in action - model 40 loaded with E-spirit.
Adding water will shrink the total content. The amount of E-spirit can
approximately be calculated from the available volume of E85:
Amount of E-spirit = 1.1 x E85
The separated spirit from the five-litre keg is approximately 1.1 x amount of
E85, which was four litres; 4 x 1.1 = 4.4 litres - thus, it becomes 4.4 litre
E-spirits. The amount of the residue is approximately 0.15 x amount of E85; 4 x
0.15 = 0.6 litres.
Perhaps one led to believe that higher alcohol levels can be obtained by
simply adding (large amounts), extra gasoline in the phase separation-tank? Or
will the spirit become more gas-free if extra gasoline is added? The answer to
both questions is no. Regardless the gasoline content is not the content of
gasoline in the alcohol solution (which shall be separated later) - less than
about 5% (if one use the naphtha-method becomes the gasoline content lower).
A large quantity of gasoline wills border up the fluids faster but it is the water
versus the ethanol content which determines the gasoline content.
The army field kitchen (slightly modified here) can be used as a mobile
camping stove during the holiday period. Quite substantial affordable (35kr),
in comparison with a new kitchen of the model Trangia.
Are you looking for an alcohol mixture for a liquor stove is there products
such Tenol, ”stove fuel” etc. which actually generates soot, in spite of that
they are optimized for use in a stove? The reason is that they must include a
denaturant (safety rules), and the concentration of methanol can not exceed
10%. In view of the regulation of ethanol products, it is easy to be amazed by
how expensive Tenol actually is when it still does not work. The idea is that
people who do choose to drink Tenol - should not have to die or become blind.
Sure is Tenol a highly effective alcohol fuel but when the soot forming an
insulating surface at a cooking pot, the heat transfer is inhibited and a lot
of energy is wasted.
Denaturing agent and the dye contributes of course to the soot but also
distilled methylated spirit soot. According to Wikipedia shall pure ethanol not
soot, ie burn with a blue flame as methanol does. However, also acetone soot
even though it is ”chemically pure”. That would depend on additives that create
a yellowish flame (visible flame). Is there any way (except distillation) to clean
for example methylated spirits from that soot - would it surely be welcomed.
A highly efficient and soot-free fuel would then be methylated spirits mixed
with half methanol. Methanol is less energy rich than ethanol (22 MJ/kg), but
only ethanol/methylated spirit burns almost too intense, so that the flames
shooting out from the stove - in addition, it will be soot. With the half of
methanol burns it moderately strong, with a blue flame (indicating high-energy
radiation). I prefer Frosty's ”Stove fuel” and with methanol 50/50 as it
is an anhydrous alcohol product (which is not denatured) - and free of dyes.
The bottle, which one should keep methylated spirits in are excellent if anything
must be separated. Just unscrew the cap (not quite) and then squeezing the bottle.