- Alcohol stove fuel comes in two
principal types: ethanol and methanol.
- Ethanol (ethyl
alcohol or grain alcohol) is what we consume in beer, wine,
and liquor. Pure ethanol burns the cleanest of any fuel,
but is expensive and hard to find.
- Denatured alcohol
(methylated spirits) is ethanol that has been rendered
undrinkable (and thus exempt from alcohol taxes) through
the addition of methanol and other chemicals.
shopping for denatured alcohol, look for a minimum of
potentially toxic additives; versions sold as marine stove
and lamp fuel are a good bet. Avoid varieties that leave a
solid residue after burning.
- Methanol (methyl alcohol)
is commonly used as gas-line antifreeze for engines. Gas
stations sell it under the brand name HEET.
contains 30 percent less energy than ethanol; you need
more of it to boil the same amount of water.
and denatured alcohols are toxic. Keep your stove and fuel
separate from your cookware to prevent contamination.
(Photograph by Oleg Zhukov/Fotolia.com.)
Labels: Backpacking, Cooking, Stoves