Alcohol Vaporizer for Fuel

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About: I'm a Mechanical Engineer who has been a part of this community for over 10 years! My interests have evolved over time, and now center around 3D printing.

   This slideshow shows my unsuccessful attempt to make a vaporizer capable of converting liquid rubbing alcohol in a gas at a rate high enough to be able to burn as a constant flame.
   In other words: alcohol is liquid, becomes gas, burns.

   If this project had been successful, I would have created a full Instructable and used the vaporizer to create an alcohol torch.  A design for a new, Venturi-based torch is in my head, but I have not made it yet.  The goal in the first place for this design, which did not work, was efficiency, as the vapor produced would burn more efficiently than a semi-liquid, semi-gas output of a Venturi-based torch.
   This project did create alcohol vapors, which are extremely flammable(be smart).  These could be smelled from the outlet tube, but enough vapors were not created at once to be burned at a constant rate.

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Picture 1:  The final product.  Yes, it is in fact mainly an applesauce jar.  The fan that I got from Electronic Goldmine(http://www.goldmine-elec-products.com/prodinfo.asp?number=G17010
) is connected to a 9-volt battery with alligator clips that you can find at RadioShack.

Picture 2:  The desired fuel, 70% Isopropyl alcohol.

Picture 3: Theory of Operation(ToS)#1.  This picture shows where all the parts would go.  The fan is shown blue, on top.  The tubes are red, with the inlet tube on the right side partially submerged in the liquid, shown as green.
   In theory, when voltage is applied to the fan, a slight vaccuum is created.  Because the atmospheric pressure is now greater than that inside the jar, air moves from the outside of the jar down the inlet tube and through the liquid alcohol.  When the air moves through the alcohol, some of the liquid becomes a gas.  The fan then pushes the vapor out the outlet tube shown on the left.

Picture 4: Shows the air flow when the vaporizer is turned on.
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The MaterialsI used for the alcohol vaporizer are as follows:
* One Jar/Container - I am using an apple sauce jar.
* One Fan/Pump - I am using a small centrifugal-operated fan that I bought from Electronic Goldmine. It can be found here: http://www.goldmine-elec-products.com/prodinfo.asp?number=G17010
* Plexiglass/Other Plastic - I am using 1/8" Plexiglass here, but any plastic or other metal sheet-type object should do the trick.
* Polypropylene tubing - I bought a whole bunch of it from US Plastic a while back, so I'm trying to use it up since it didn't fit my original application. You can use any sort of tubing, be it metal, vinyl, etc.
* JB Weld/Other epoxy
* Wires for making electrical connections. ( I am also using alligator clips, you can find them at RadioShack)
* 9-volt battery. The fan I am using is designed to run on 5, but I'm using 9, because I can.
Tools:
* Dremel Rotary Tool - I am using a 300 Series.
* Soldering Iron and solder. (You could get around this using wire nuts or other means of connecting wires.)
* Hot Glue Gun
* Wire strippers/multi-tool. (Always good to have around when making something.)

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    26 Discussions

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    Franz123

    3 years ago

    My name is Frank. I think you created a vapor because the the air pump vacuum lowered the atmospheric presure. Remember, the liquid (alcohol or water) were in equilibrium because the atmospheric presure of the liquid was the same as the atmospheric presure

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    MatthewD69

    3 years ago

    Tiny little USB @ .5 amp. But it works.

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    MatthewD69

    3 years ago

    Tiny little USB @ .5 amp. But it works.

    image.jpg
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    MatthewD69

    3 years ago

    Tiny little USB @ .5 amp. But it works.

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    MatthewD69

    3 years ago

    Tiny little USB @ .5 amp. But it works.

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    MatthewD69

    3 years ago

    Just got me a tiny personal ultrasonic humidifier for water purification idea. But fire is also good!

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    MatthewD69

    3 years ago

    Just got me a tiny personal ultrasonic humidifier for water purification idea. But fire is also good!

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    MatthewD69

    3 years ago

    Another suggestion would be higher proof alcohol. Isopropyl also comes in 91%. And some usa states allow 195 proof everclear to be sold at liquor stores.

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    cthieding

    4 years ago

    If you try it..id love to hear the outcome..even if no impact

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    cthieding

    4 years ago

    What about a small ultrasonic transducer repurposed from a humidifier working in tandem with the present fan in place.. Alcohol fog pushed out your crafted nozzle...

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    fozzy13cthieding

    Reply 4 years ago

    Adding an ultrasonic transducer would make this far more effective.

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    fozzy13

    7 years ago on Introduction

    That's okay, not all experiments go perfectly! I'll be looking forward to it!

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    squishoso

    8 years ago on Introduction

    Hey Fozzy! Long time no see!

    So, I`ve got an idea for your project. What if you did a spray mechanism to break the liquid alcohol into smaller particles? It would increase the contact surface for vaporization. You could even put some resistors (feeded by the same battery as the cooler/pump) along the tubing to have a heat source.

    Good luck with your projects!

    Vaporizer.JPG
    4 replies
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    yousoufsquishoso

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Yo can also heat it form down to make it vaporize and the fan will vacuum the air to the outlet tube

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    fozzy13squishoso

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Hey there!!

    That's a good idea, and based on the drawing(thanks it helps!) it would be a lot like the venturi-based vaporizer design that I am planning, so it may happen.

    Thanks for the comment!!

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    squishosofozzy13

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Actualy, I tried to make one of these spray devices inside a fake cigarette, to spit fire with it! XD

    Didn`t work because I was using a "powder fuel" (coffee creamer! 8D) and it needed a perfect spread on the air to work but I`m sure it will work with alcohol! Just be carefull and have fun, as always!

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    fozzy13squishoso

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Haha who doesn't love spitting fire? I have used corn starch before, and just breathed it over a flame, but powdered sugar works too and is far tastier.

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    rimar2000

    8 years ago on Introduction

    Good work. "Failure is not trying"!

    I did one as this many years ago, using ethylic alcohol. The only way to fire it was to keep a flame under the end at the output. Same occurs with acetone, but the heat is far greater. Gasoline works almost well, but it is much more dangerous.

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    fozzy13rimar2000

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you : )..

    I had similar effects with mine, although you had to strain to see the flame. My goal was to keep a sustained flame by itself, so I considered this project a failure but it will be fun to go back to someday.

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    rimar2000fozzy13

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Maybe making a heater over the output tube, looping it around the flame. But as you know, all this attempts require time. Try and error, try and error, try and error, etc.