Alcohol stoves: backstory

My first burner was an alcohol stove;  it was a little bunsen burner that came with a real chemistry set when I was 8yo.  I say real because it had actual chemicals that could kill you if you didn’t follow the instructions.  I loved using the burner
to do the experiments in the kit, maintaining the wick, refilling or decanting the fuel.

But for some reason this alco-stove affection did not follow me to adulthood.  Alcohol fuel is expensive and bulky for any given BTU.  It does have a few upsides, though:

  1. spilled fuel does not stink and evaporates quickly
  2. fuel can be found in many places albeit at significant markup.  Denatured alcohol (ethanol adulterated with poison) and HEET (the fuel line de-icing stuff in the automotive section.  Methanol) are best suited.
I’ll do a post shortly about some interesting mixed-alcohol fuels.

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