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Why is my home made camp stove making so much black smoke? Korey and I made 2 camp stoves out of 16 ounce budweiser cans. These are the heavy duty aluminum cans, not the cheap thin cans.

The first attempt was with wal-greens rubbing alcohol. That stuff would not burn.

The second attempt was with coleman fuel - and it put out a lot of black smoke.







What fuel do you suggest for a cleaner burning fire?
 

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SURVIVOR
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HEET Fuel in the yellow bottle, also known as ganline antifreeze. YOU CAN FIND IT AT JUST ABOUT ANY GAS STATION, FARM SUPPLY STORE,AUTO SUPPLY STORES, WALMART & SO ON! I've used fingernail polish remover before with OK results, but it still made black sut & ignites to quick.<DON'T TRY**
GOOD LUCK
 

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Heet (in yellow bottle)

This should be available at Chinamart and most automotive parts houses. (autozone, advance auto parts, etc.) It is made out of Methyl Alcohol. It will burn a clean bluish flame and is very easy to work with. An ounce should bring a small cup to boil. Just bought 12 ounces for like $1.44.

Honestly as much as I like all of the neat little stoves that you can make for this all you need is the bottom of an aluminum can. Put it in there and fire it up.

TFD beat me!!! Argh that boy is quick on the keyboard for having one hand. Grrrrr.
 

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I've seen these 'canned heat' thingies in Wal-mart near camping/emergency supplies. My mom actually used them when we were out of power after hurricane Charley. I don't know how much they cost, or if they are even cost effective. But now that I know this, hell, I'm starting to feel much more confident about surviving without electricity.
 

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Be very careful with the flame from the yellow bottle HEET.

The fuel is so clean burning in direct sunlight you can't see the flame.

Yellow bottle HEET is the premier alcohol stove fuel.
 

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cute is not always enough
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What plan did you use? The jet hole will be different depending on the style.

I see you have it on a grate. Did you use a priming pan when you tried it with alcohol?
 

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90% or 70% Isopropyl alcohol.
Costco used to sell these in 2 x 1/2 litre bottles for a couple of bucks.
I got tired of using the expensive liquid gel starters for my 2 pellet stoves.
I put 1/2 cup wood pellets in a cheez whiz jar with enough isopropyl to cover bottom shake & rotate let sit a couple of minutes.
Put in my pellet stove burner & the stove starts up right away. No real flash over, still have my eye brows.
For the little stove; I would try the 70% first. It would have a lot less flash over & if it gets enough air it should eliminate the black smoke.:thumb:
 

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Pretty much sums it up. There are a few things that he missed, but overall I have found out through my own tests that what he says is very true. I only use alcohol stoves and my brand of fuel is either racing methanol (pure) or Heet (pure methanol). Heet is really expensive compared to buying in bulk, but it is available nearly everywhere.



 

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WOW! I haven't noticed any of what he mentions with denatured. I surely wouldn't try and drink any of it.

I'll have to check into the racing fuel. Not to sure where that might be available though.

Just curious, he mentions that he wouldn't use the denatured because it has something added (they use methanol to denature it), but then later recommends methanol. Heet is methanol so I guess I don't get it. I've watched it a couple of times. I use the SLX that he shows in the video. No changes that I've noticed in any of the batches. Denatured is ethanol with methanol as the denaturing agent. I can easily get the denatured at any hardware but I'll have to try the racing fuel. I think the Heet might be pretty expensive as much as I use it. I cook almost daily on an alcohol stove.
 

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According to the MSDS sheet for SLX its contents can vary quite a bit as far as purity.

http://www.wmbarr.com/ProductFiles/rCSL26.pdf

Sometimes depending on the purity level of ethanol it will burn yellow and smutty, like Everclear and other 190 proof will burn clean(er) than Iso fuels, but it will still smut a little. Methanol is a very pure fuel, even when mixed with up to 20% water it burns clean. Not as hot, but clean. People have expressed concerns about the health hazards of methanol, but aside from directly consuming it, simply washing with soap and water will remove any chemical trace, as it is water soluble.

SLX has a chemical called Methyl Isobutyl Ketone added to it in various quantities, as well as the variable of how much ethyl and methyl is in the product to begin with.

I like to pick up Heet off season because the little bottles store really well, but I too use an alcohol stove way too much to pay for fuel 12oz at a time.

The racing fuel you want is VP Racing Fuels: M1
It is 99.95% pure methanol (more pure than Heet)

http://www.vpracingfuels.com/vp_01_fuels.html#

You can check with them directly for a distributor, or check the local "speed shops" in your area for methanol fuels. Just make sure it is pure, no top end lube or anything.
 

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Semper non compos mentis
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Possibly it's the paint on the can burning away kev? If so, teh black smoke should go away soon.

A small point about isopropyl alcohol; it has 3-carbons instead of denatured alcohol's 2-carbons, it will likely produce black smoke.
 

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HA! I was just there reading the same MSDS sheet! I also checked out another vendors MSDS and there were some other goodies added also. I guess that must be what he was referring to.

Thanks for the M1 tip. I checked their locations and there isn't one anywhere near me. I guess I'll have to stick with the SLX until I can locate some of the M1 type racing fuel. I haven't noticed any of the things he mentioned in the video with the SLX. After 4 months of use everyday the inside of my stove has no residue. I notice no smells and no soot. Since I do use it so much I would like to get the cleanest fuel I can for it. I do have a quart of another denatured alcohol that claims less than 4% methanol. The SLX claims 45-50 % methanol. Maybe I'll find out what he's talking about with this new fuel.

Thanks for the tips, the info and links!
 

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I have found the WallyWorld generic gas line antifreeze works well at 1/2 the price of Heet.
Yep any gas line antifreeze that is made out of Methyl Alcohol. Be careful though Methyl Alcohol is not always used. I pick up a couple of bottles of the generic stuff the other day for about $.90 each. Saves a little. No doubt.
 

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Backpacker I Adventurer
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As everyone else here has already stated I use HEET and Methyl Alcohol in my stove. Works great, but some brands (like the red one talked about in the video) give off a nasty smell.

Kev the black smoke is probably from the can, and not the alcohol as i've had black smoke appear big time having tossed an empty beer can into a fire. Burn it a few more times and see if that doesn't solve the problem, or change your fuel.
 

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Chauncey Gardener
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Tinny from minibull design knows his stuff when it comes to alcohol stoves, check out more of his videos on youtube, he has tons...

Pretty much sums it up. There are a few things that he missed, but overall I have found out through my own tests that what he says is very true. I only use alcohol stoves and my brand of fuel is either racing methanol (pure) or Heet (pure methanol). Heet is really expensive compared to buying in bulk, but it is available nearly everywhere.


YouTube - Fuel for MBDC alcohol stoves ??

YouTube - Don't try this at home !!
 
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