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Old 7 Jun 2010
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Denatured alcohol for trangias. Does it go off?

As the question suggests.

I made an adaptation for my wood stove so that I can also a trangia if dry wood is not available. The last time I used it, it was testing it to check the optimal height and so I was burning fresh fluid. However, last weekend I went to a night's camping and only packed this stove with trangia burner, rather than the Primus.

Last I tried to light the alcohol, one stroke of the firesteel rod and it took: woompf...

This time, about 2 months since I last used it, the alcohol simply would not light. I had to dip a twig in petrol, light that and stick it into the trangia for the thing to ignite!! Even then it did not burn with the same energy as I remembered it...

So can this fuel lose its flammability?

If so, what is the shelf life?
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Old 8 Jun 2010
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as far as i know it doesnt. it does evaporate though, but i assume youve got it in an airtight bottle?
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Old 8 Jun 2010
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Given that you can buy 30 year old Armagnac, I would say alcohol should last forever in an airtight container.

It does evaporate easily and also will absorb water as it is hydroscopic.
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Old 17 Jun 2010
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It shouldn't go off - alcohol is pretty stable and if there's still some in the bottle, it hasn't evaporated!

How warm was it? Alcohol (ethanol) isn't that volatile, not compared to petrol anyway. While a firesteel will work fine on a warm day, if it's cold (say less than 5C) it could be more tricky. Remember - the liquid doesn't burn - you need vapours. Matches work fine though. Maybe try leaving your fuel bottle in the sun for a bit, see if that helps (best if it's a black bottle).

When it's icy cold, it helps a greatly to have a bit of pre-heating. You can get little primer trays that you clip to the bottom of the burner with a bit of alcohol in to do this. I don't often camp when it's that cold, but I pack my trangia pans with kitchen roll between them to stop rattling - a dash of alcohol on a bit of this under the burner will get it up to temperature much quicker. Faster food and less fuel burned - win win!

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Old 17 Jun 2010
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It wasn't that cold, but it was chilly: 12 celsius? It sounds like temperature was the cause.

Perhaps, I'll keep the brass trangia burner in my jacket for 10 mins before cooking, or just use a match...

Thanks all the suggestions/input!
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