Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)
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  • #54637
    Profile photo of sledjockey
    sledjockey
    Bushcrafter
    member8

    I picked up the equipment to make alcohol fuel and already have a run fermenting. I have wanted to learn for a while, but never found a good way to distill inside. Found a Spirit Still Turbo 500 for a great price. Now I am going to convert all my camp stoves and lanterns over. Overall I am quite excited.

    http://ageofdecadence.com

    #54742
    Profile photo of GeorgiaSaint
    GeorgiaSaint
    Veteran
    member9

    Just curious what you’re using for your source – got an acre of corn out the back door? (Honestly not mocking it – it’s actually intriguing.) And in the event of long term power failure, what will you do, or do you just plan on building up a good stock of fuel? What about storage vs. alcohol’s affinity for water?

    Nice post for discussion. Thanks.

    GS
    "Ye hear of wars in far countries, and you say that there will soon be great wars in far countries, but ye know not the hearts of men in your own land."

    #54775
    Profile photo of L Tecolote
    L Tecolote
    Survivalist
    member8

    Good thing to have. Amazon has it at $420. Looks like it is sized to produce enough for, ah, medicinal purposes, and/or trade, but would need to be bigger for motor fuel production.

    Cry, "Treason!"

    #54841
    Profile photo of sledjockey
    sledjockey
    Bushcrafter
    member8

    It also works well for distilling water for long term canning and making essessence for medicine. I have been waiting until I get my fuel license back to make my first run. At this point I was thinking about simple sugar based fuel. I can do it for about $6 per gallon versus the $5 per quart that the store charges.

    http://ageofdecadence.com

    #54842
    Profile photo of sledjockey
    sledjockey
    Bushcrafter
    member8

    Just curious what you’re using for your source – got an acre of corn out the back door? (Honestly not mocking it – it’s actually intriguing.) And in the event of long term power failure, what will you do, or do you just plan on building up a good stock of fuel? What about storage vs. alcohol’s affinity for water?

    Nice post for discussion. Thanks.

    Any type of sugar and bread yeast will work to make the fuel. Maple from trees, sugar, corn, etc can be used.

    Again, the fact that I can distill water with it also helps.

    http://ageofdecadence.com

    #54906
    Profile photo of L Tecolote
    L Tecolote
    Survivalist
    member8

    Now I am going to convert all my camp stoves and lanterns over.

    Sledjockey, I’ve looked online and searched my memory, but can’t find or remember an alcohol lantern. I’d like to know how to get illumination from alcohol, but I don’t think it burns hot enough in unpressurized air to cause a mantle to glow. If you know of any alcohol lighting, please post a link. Thanks.

    Cry, "Treason!"

    #55129
    Profile photo of Brulen
    Brulen
    Survivalist
    member9

    You say potato, I say vodka. Grapes apples biueberries, wine to my ears.

    A spirit lamp but the alcohol has to be Everclear. Just little traces of chemical they put in the denatured alcohol can get into the air you inhale. They sell boat alcohol for stoves but thats none to good.

    We make our own wine and that can be distilled down to brandy. IVe distilled maple sap and it took forever. It puts so much vapor into the air you do it outside. A farm with a maple sap house included would be a good spot. Wood to burn and sap for distilling, Mash for the hog. Alcohol to power the tractor.

    #55211
    Profile photo of sledjockey
    sledjockey
    Bushcrafter
    member8

    The mantle is the secret to making lanterns glow and produce light. It doesn’t really matter what fuel you use.

    http://ageofdecadence.com

    #55224
    Profile photo of Brulen
    Brulen
    Survivalist
    member9

    We have an Aladdin mantle light. Its not recommended to burn alcohol. What i’ve read is the alcohol burns So hot the chinney will break. All the old alcohol lamps have wicks. An Aladdin you have to watch the mantle constantly and adjust with k1 fuel. The older wick table lamps for alcohol didnt have chimneys. They had globes or even soldered shades. Thinking the meyda tiffany. No burn lampshades. Very nice shades. I used to see the large wick sold in hardware stores, if nothing else it made good showshoe binding. A speciality item now. It would probably be available at a Amish supplier. I have an old very large wick lamp antique. Its art nouveau. Great style for a round oak family table in the dining or fireplace room. B.E. -Before Edison-

    • This reply was modified 4 days, 17 hours ago by Profile photo of Brulen Brulen.
    #55473
    Profile photo of L Tecolote
    L Tecolote
    Survivalist
    member8

    (revised)
    After some searching, I found “Lighting a Wiktorin self pressure alcohol table lamp.” The video (and the lamp) appear to be Russian. An eBay search classifies any such technology as “steampunk.” Evidently, lamps made for producing reliable light from alcohol are not currently made, even in Russia. Pity — I’d like to buy one or three. I know how to make alcohol (though I’d need more sophisticated equipment, e.g., the Spirit Still Turbo 500, but I don’t think that I’d ever be able to make kerosene.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dROpVxy3FGo

    Cry, "Treason!"

    #55474
    Profile photo of GeorgiaSaint
    GeorgiaSaint
    Veteran
    member9

    That’s impressive. I’ve got an updated version of a Petromax (Brytelyt), but that takes a lot of pumping, and is very quirky. I went through all the original mantles I bought for it originally, without success. I finally gave up for a while, after learning I wasn’t alone, and the guy that sold them quit, so I was out of luck despite the “great price” I paid for it. I finally got more mantles, but never got around to figuring out how to really start the thing. It’s a lamp, a heater, and it even can be set up to cook on top of it. It CAN use alcohol, but it’s not particularly recommended, unless it’s mixed 50/50 with another “approved” fuel (kerosene, diesel, even gasoline). With winter coming on, I really ought to use this as my motivation to finally get this thing running, and get used to it. There are a lot more videos and instruction available now than when I first purchased it. Hopefully I’ll eventually decided I didn’t waste that great “sale price.”

    That little beauty (in the video) is really impressive. Not pumping periodically to keep it going is a huge plus. Can you tell if that’s a mantle on the bottom, or is that some sort of glass globe? Regardless, very nice!

    GS
    "Ye hear of wars in far countries, and you say that there will soon be great wars in far countries, but ye know not the hearts of men in your own land."

    #55563
    Profile photo of L Tecolote
    L Tecolote
    Survivalist
    member8

    (Supplemented)
    GS, as best I can tell, there’s a mantle inside that glass globe — makes sense — it takes a mantle (glass or asbestos fiber “cloth,” doped with chemicals which luminesce when heated to a high enough temperature) to covert heat into light.

    As for your need to pump excessively, the pump usually has two items which require occasional maintenance— the seal on the plunger, usually leather which needs to be flexible, and to spread out to form a movable seal with the pump tube — and the check valve, usually a spring-loaded ball, like a single ball bearing which fits into a hemispheric seat. That needs to be clean, an corrosion- free. The pumps on Coleman lanterns are removable for servicing; I don’t know about Petromax, but would assume they are also. The leather plunger seal should be lightly lubed with petroleum jelly.

    I don’t know about mixing alcohol with petroleum distillates; never tried it, but expect that alky and diesel wouldn’t be mutually solvent.

    You may find this a helpful resource:

    http://www.colemancollectorsforum.com/post/burning-alcohol-in-coleman-lanterns-5999494

    The term “self-pressurized” as it applies to alcohol burning devices means that the alcohol is delivered to the burner through a tube which itself is heated by (some of) the flame, so as to vaporize it, eliminating the need for a wick.

    Cry, "Treason!"

    • This reply was modified 1 day, 11 hours ago by Profile photo of L Tecolote L Tecolote.
    #55565
    Profile photo of GeorgiaSaint
    GeorgiaSaint
    Veteran
    member9

    Thanks for the reference. I do not intend to mix alcohol with a petroleum-based fuel – just noted that it’s supposedly possible, according to the Brytelyt folks. Even they don’t like that option though, apparently even with a 50/50 mix. And like you, I expect the two would quickly separate anyway. Plus there’s always the affinity problem with water.

    Will alcohol burn? Yep! Some of us remember when you could go to the hobby shop and purchase a chemistry set with an alcohol burner in it. Heck – I used mine to melt glass and do glass blowing, turning test tubes into all kinds of neat shapes! (I was inspired after touring the Corning Glass Works in Corning, NY, as a kid, watching their glass blowing demos.) Now that’d be lawsuit territory, of course, and I’m sure companies have long since discontinued selling that sort of thing to kids – after discovering that alcohol DOES burn hot, and with a barely perceptible blue flame as I recall. (Ahhhh, I miss the old days…. How is it that we lived through them without an EPA, FTC, etc., watching our every move? :-) )

    And yes, the Petromax/Brytelyt does have a leather plunger seal if memory serves me correctly. At least I’ve got the motivation and curiosity now to finally pull that thing back out, clean it (I think there may be a little kerosene left in the tank, unfortunately), and figger it out once and for all.

    But back to distillation, the topic at hand, I do wonder how it’s reasonably possible to create enough fuel to make transportation feasible. I suspect in a SHTF environment, it’d only be useful for power equipment properly modified to use the alcohol fuel in the smaller quantities one could reasonably produce at home.

    GS
    "Ye hear of wars in far countries, and you say that there will soon be great wars in far countries, but ye know not the hearts of men in your own land."

    #55590
    Profile photo of L Tecolote
    L Tecolote
    Survivalist
    member8

    I found this article:

    https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1092181_a-brief-history-of-ethanol-in-brazil/page-2

    Granted, it’s a puff piece for VW, but it reminds me that whatever “alternative” fuel we might choose for post-SHTF transport, we’re not likely to have industrial backup for computer controlled injection systems. Whatever the vehicle, without some deep understanding of current flex- fuel tech, and how to hack it, we’re likely to be trying to convert/adapt the old carbureted systems.
    One guy who used to show up regularly on late night talk shows, plugging his book and organization, is David Blume, author of “Alcohol Can Be a Gas.” He’s an aging hippie who found his niche — touting the virtues of ethanol, which, to his credit, he says should not be produced from foodstuffs. Through a series of YouTube videos, he shows how it can be done.
    The amazon link is space consumptive, so I’ll leave it at this.

    Cry, "Treason!"

    #55591
    Profile photo of GeorgiaSaint
    GeorgiaSaint
    Veteran
    member9

    Granted, it’s a puff piece for VW

    LOL! At least he disclosed it: “Volkswagen provided airfare, lodging, and meals to assist High Gear Media in bringing you this article.”

    Alcohol just doesn’t look feasible for most people as transportation fuel, to me, in a post-SHTF situation. Too much engineering, and in the U.S. the cars simply aren’t built to take the alcohol – too much deterioration of lines, etc.

    We pay through the nose due to government rules, but we’ve actually added about 2mpg and are burning a lot cleaner with non-ethanol gas. I found a site that lists all the non-ethanol stations in the U.S. both on a map, and in a city-by-city listing by state. It’s been very helpful on trips. The Feds are doing almost everything they can to make it impossible to find non-Ethanol gas. Ironically, the ethanol has to be added at the end-point in the bulk distribution chain – just before it goes to the individual stations. I can’t remember if that was solely a mixing issue, or if water also came into the issue. Either way, it’s angering that we pay so much more for the ADDED but less efficient ethanol, just before the gas is delivered to the pump. I thought it was the stations playing supply/demand games, but finally learned otherwise.

    Sledjockey, I’d be interested to learn more about how you’re planning to use your alcohol. I suspect you’ve got a reasonably developed plan or you wouldn’t have invested in the distillation rig.

    GS
    "Ye hear of wars in far countries, and you say that there will soon be great wars in far countries, but ye know not the hearts of men in your own land."

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