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Zippo fluid is primarily Naptha (aka White Gas) - the same stuff that is in Coleman Fuel. It is a liquid at room temp and normal pressure (unlike butane - as others have mentioned). Zippos use a wick and fuel reservoir- like a tiki torch or hurricane lantern - instead of a valve like disposable bic lighters - which are more like a propane torch. Because of the different technology involved - you cannot use butane in a zippo-style lighter. You can use other brands of lighter fluid (Ronsol), Naptha: Jet Fuel, white gas, Coleman fuel, alcohol, kerosene, diesel, etc. with varying levels of success.
Getting the butane OUT of a disposable lighter is easy - just hold down the button without striking the flint, pointing it down into some container. It is heavier than air. Getting INTO something else is basically impossible, but cans of butane are cheap an available at smoke shops and hardware stores (I have a butane soldering iron as a refillable butane lighter so always keep it on hand).
You could make a rig to do it I suppose but i'm pretty sure zippo lighters use liquid and a wick and regular lighters use gas. They make re fillers for zippos that come with the fuel and are quite cheap, I think I picked one up for 5 bucks.
As others have said, butane is a liquid because it is under pressure. When you release it out of it's container, it boils away into a gas. Its just like a propane tank, when you shake it, you can feel the liquid sloshing around, but when you hook it up to your BBQ, it comes out as a gas.. You need to have lighter fluid for your Zippo which isn't all that expensive.
The fluid is butane gas stored under pressure which is why it's a fluid. As soon as you crack the lighter open it will depressurize and go back to a gas.
Unlikely as it is under pressure to keep it liquid.
The fuel is a gas and not suitable for a zippo (assuming a normal lighter fuel type with wick)
How to refill the lighter fluid in a Zippo Lighter.
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How to custom engrave a Zippo lighter at home
Ultimate Zippo Pipe Lighter
THE ABSOLUTE DO'S AND DONT'S OF ZIPPO LIGHTERS.
DIY rebuild of a Zippo lighter
Reflinting and rewicking a zippo lighter.
Proper Zippo Maintenance
Cheap/ Free Flints For Zippos And Zippo styled Lighters
Posted:Jul 6, 2014
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