A couple Questions about Meths, Alcohol, Oil, and Phosphorus

Ok, so a few of these questions may be really simple, but I have very little experience in these categories. 1) I'm working on a small camp stove that apparently is supposed to run on meths. I don't have access to meths and cannot buy any. Will Rubbing Alcohol work as a substitute? The plans for the stove seem to say that the vapors are what are on fire; it doesn't soak up through a cotton wick. 2) Will Canola oil vaporize so I could use it for the stove mentioned in question 1? 3) Phosphorus is a key ingredient in glow/light sticks. I saw a tutorial (which, by the way, would make a good Instructable) that showed how to obtain it from strike-anywhere matches and use it to make a custom glowstick. Again, I don't have any strike-anywhere matches, and I can't seem to find anywhere near me that sells them, so: Is there any other any household items that contains phosphorus that I could extract? 4) Is aluminum the cheapest metal, as in scrap metal or non-shape-specific pieces? Edit: 5) I have 70% rubbing (Isopropyl) alcohol. Is there anyway to purify it to around 90%? Thanks!

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westfw10 years ago
"meths" is usually "methylated spirits"; ethanol rendered undrinkable by adding methanol. I suspect the original term has lost it's exact meaning, and "meths" now just means any alcohol meant for burning. Anything labeled "denatured alcohol" at the hardware store will probably work fine. 90% or higher isopropyl alcohol will probably work fine too, but 70% may be a problem. Oil is quite unlikely to work. Phosphorus is not used in glow-sticks or glow paints any more. It's not used in matches except as phosphorus sesquisulfide on strike-anywhere matches, and as red phosphorus on the striking surface for safety matches. It's poisonous and dangerous and not worth dealing with.
Possum Living10 years ago
You can buy isopropyl 91% at most places that sell 70%. You can get 99% at industrial supply houses. Or, you can get denatured alcohol, which is the same thing as meths, at hardware stores. That is the most proper fuel for an alcohol camp stove.
lemonie10 years ago
(other comments noted)
Forget phosphorous it's hazardous & poisonous, and you're not going to get much of it. There's none in glow-sticks as far as I'm aware, but there is an Instructable

The cheapest metal is the stuff you get for free...

You might be able to make an oil lamp to burn canola oil?

L
acer73 lemonie10 years ago
I have an instructable to that burns canola oil or any other oil. You should have all the stuff u you nedd at your house already and it takes like 5 minuets.

You can distill rubbing alcohol, I soldered a bent copper pipe to a tin can and filled it with rubbing alcohol. Then placed it on a camp stove and waited for the almost pure stuff to drip out.
lemonie acer7310 years ago
Yeah, I knew about that but just linked one as an example.
I've got a still too.

L
Kiteman10 years ago
1. Probably. 2. Don't know. If it's a plant-oil, probably not. 3. Pass 4. Iron will be cheaper than aluminium as scrap. 5. Distilling won't work, you'll need special "drying" agents. Try googling for them?
. I've distilled isopropyl, methanol, and ethanol solutions before. Usually about 80-85% by hygrometer, but it was on a hot-plate with a jury-rigged column. Could have done better with reflux, but didn't have the resources at the time.
. Oops. hydrometer.
NachoMahma10 years ago
> I'm working on a small camp stove that apparently is supposed to run on meths. I don't have access to meths and cannot buy any. Will Rubbing Alcohol work as a substitute? . If meths is methyl alcohol (aka methanol), then ethyl alcohol (ethanol) will make a good substitute. Isopropyl alcohol should work, also, but rubbing alcohol has a lot of water in it. . . Will Canola oil vaporize so I could use it for the stove mentioned in question 1? . Probably not in a stove designed for alcohol. . . Is there any other any household items that contains phosphorus that I could extract? . Not that I know of. Trace amounts in some things (eg, bearings) but not enough to make worthwhile. . > Is aluminum the cheapest metal, as in scrap metal . Don't know if it's the cheapest, but it's close (especially if you're talking about beverage cans - I'm guessing large chunks would be more valuable). . > I have 70% rubbing (Isopropyl) alcohol. Is there anyway to purify it to around 90%? . Distillation. . You may be able to find something that is hygroscopic and "alcohol-phobic" at the same time.