As mentioned above, most stoves that can burn white gas can also burn gasoline, but this fuel has some drawbacks that you should be aware of. Ethanol is an alcohol in low percentage blends. How your stove burns may not really matter, but it can cause pitting in the aluminum fuel cylinders.
Unleaded gasoline can be used in stoves and lights that run on liquid fuel. If you use unleaded gasoline as an inexpensive replacement for Coleman fuel in your trailer and lantern, you can expect the performance to be the same as Coleman fuel. Unleaded gasoline is cheap and easy to find.
Alcohol for rubbing (pharmacy).
- Denatured alcohol gets my recommendation for the best fuel for any alcohol burning stove.
- Pure ethanol is also a good fuel for cooking, but it is much more expensive than denatured because it can be drunk.
- Pure methanol (firewood) burns very well in an oven.
This torch runs on a 16.4-ounce cylinder of Coleman propane (not included) and burns up to seven hours at high power or 14 hours at low intensity.
Paraffin burns much dirtier than white fuel because white fuel is essentially high purity gasoline. There may be more blockages and more soot. Paraffin also gives off less heat than white fuel, which means you’ll cook longer (this may outweigh the benefits of longer burning times).
Single alcohol burners use denatured alcohol (also called ethanol, grappa, on-board stove), methanol, or similar fuels. Denatured alcohol is readily available at sporting goods stores and is reasonably priced. Denatured alcohol burns very efficiently and produces no soot or smoke.
If both were atomized and ignited with the optimum fuel for the air mixture, the winner would be gasoline, but probably nanoseconds. Paraffin burns compared to a certain amount in mixed gasoline vapor bursts because it evaporates much faster than paraffin.
5 White gas isn’t the same as white spirit / liquids. Check out this one from MSR or this one on fuel chemistry.
White gas, as the term is commonly used today, generally refers to naphtha or Coleman fuel. And (as mentioned above) naphtha is used as a lighter fluid for wicket type lighters.
White gas is a colorless petroleum-based liquid fuel. Unlike gasoline, this petroleum distillate contains no additives. Usually sold in gallon gas cans and sold under the chemical name of naphtha, white gas has a high carbon content of 5 to 9 carbon atoms per molecule, making it a good source of energy.
An 8- or 12-ounce plastic soda or water bottle has worked great for trips where I have to carry between 5 and 12 ounces of fuel. If you don’t have one at home yet, you can simply pick up a package from your supermarket. Empty one, peel off the label and voila: your bottle of liquor.
Alcohol stoves are inherently dangerous as spills are possible and the fuel burns with an almost invisible flame. Alcohol is even safer than most camping fuels. An alcoholic fire can be extinguished with clean water and alcoholic gases are not explosive. Never refuel while the flame is on.
For an alcohol stove, you need a fuel with a purity of 90% (180 degree proof) or higher.
Most gasoline already contains some kind of antifreeze for the gas pipes. However, if you find it useful, you can add alcohol to the tank at the same ratio as a commercial dry gas product, about 12 grams of isopropyl alcohol per 10 gallons of gas.
Typical alcohol stoves use methyl (methanol), denatured alcohol, or even corn alcohol to drive, but isopropyl fuel is not recommended in regular alcohol stoves. While some websites claim 91% isopropyl alcohol can work in a pinch, they still recommend staying away from 70% isopropyl alcohol.
Alcohol stoves have been common on production sailboats and powerboats for decades. Alcohol is a relatively safe fuel that does not explode in a liquid state. Fires can be extinguished with water, but it is low-heat, burns with an unpleasant odor, and gives off a lot of water when it burns.