Theoretical BTU advantage of meth/iso alcohol mixing

I am reminded once again:  “In theory, theory and practice are the same.  In practice, they are not.”  🙂

I did some testing of methanol vs.  the 2:1 mixture I found to be non-sooting.

I tested .5oz of both fuels in the Altoids burner, civilian Trangia, and military Svea/Trangia.  Across all the cases there was only a 1-2% variation, and it was not associated with any stove/fuel.  This small variation could be a function of my ability to accurately measure 15ml of liquid fuel.

This suggests that the ~1,500btu advantage, if real,  of the 2:1 mix is not making it into the cooking pot.  So I will discount that factor in my future decisions.  Seems to me this means the remaining factors would be if:

  1. iso 91% is cheaper than methanol in your area.
  2. methanol has limited availability or supply and you want to stretch it
  3. you have a supply of iso you want to burn off
  4. you find the minimal yellowing of flame tips with 2:1 to be useful for flame visibility in daylight hours.  Of course, this means it’d be more visible at night, too…
I suspect the very best would be ethanol as it is non-poisonous and multi-functional.  But everclear is about 4x the cost of the other options.  
I also hear you may be able to get methanol for mondo cheap (like <$5/gal) at racing shops but haven’t checked this out yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s