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is alcohol a useable fuel?

Post questions and info about combustion (flammable vapor) powered cannons here. This includes discussion about fuels, ratios, ignition systems, safety, and anything else relevant.
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is alcohol a useable fuel?

Unread postAuthor: salasd » Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:20 pm

hi, i was just wondering, is alcohol a usable fuel? i shot my first spud gun today, it was using static guard and as i was filling the chamber with the spray, i wondered, "it would be so much easier to use a liquid!" so it is possible? or is it too weak/strong?
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Unread postAuthor: iisthemuffin » Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:22 pm

No you cant use a liquid. Well not as a liquid. You have to atomize alcohol to use it. Im not sure exactly waht that is or what has to be done but i know you have to do it to use it.

Im sure some one else will elaborate on the subject.
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Unread postAuthor: salasd » Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:26 pm

i can understand that as it enters the chamber id need to atomize it, i was guessing with maybe a chamber fan, but is that idea viable? that my big question. :lol:
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Unread postAuthor: sputnick » Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:35 pm

You could just use one of those spray bottles, you can get them for a dollar at dollarama, and depending on the size of your chamber, one spray on the finest mist settings should be good!

That is actually a good idea, since pure alcohol is only about 4$ in pharmacies, and burns VERY hot, I dont know if any residue would be left over though.

To answer your second question, I very much doubt that you could make a combustion cannon TOO powerfull, since usually, combustion cannons only reach about 50 psi with aerosol sprays (higher for propane) so i think you should be fine.

Go for it!
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Unread postAuthor: CasinoVanart » Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:36 pm

Yeah it would work but who wants to stand around waiting for it to evaporate? Depending on the outside temp it could take minutes.
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Unread postAuthor: Cannibal Corpse » Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:36 pm

I dont know if it will work but you could get a small air brush and instead of using paint use alcohol. It should make it spray.
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Unread postAuthor: rp181 » Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:39 pm

normal spray bottle will work.
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Unread postAuthor: salasd » Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:41 pm

cool. plus i have some personal experience in burning alcohol(im a retired pyromaniac ) and alcohol evaporates fairly well in the right settings. we did a test in school and it evaporated rather fast. plus thx for the answers guys, i have a good feeling my next cannon will run on alcohol. 8)
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Unread postAuthor: sputnick » Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:49 pm

Ah prepubescent pyromania, I learned alot back then. I aswell was forced to retire, after some rather large alcohol fires a little to visible to the neigbors...

But alcohol does burn extremely hot, I once filled an asprin cap with it, then held a pap can tab on top of the fire with a piece of coathanger wire, the poptab did not last more than about 10 seconds.
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Unread postAuthor: salasd » Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:52 pm

lol yeah i retired recently, as i am only just old enough to be here at the site,one times messing with alcohol on my fingers and hand sanitizer in the sink, i accidently placed the lighter over the alcohol bottle and a rather strong whistling flame popped out. i nearly soiled myself :shock:
yeah, alcohol should be good enough
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how about commie spud gunner?
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Unread postAuthor: sputnick » Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:57 pm

that would be good, but I'm canadian... so I dont know if that would work... oh well thanks for trying :lol: you're the first.

I'll try that one out for now :wink:
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Unread postAuthor: salasd » Wed Jan 07, 2009 9:08 pm

lol no problem. plus....

as wikipedia quotes:
"It is unsuited as a fuel in alcohol stoves because of the relatively low vapor pressure of isopropyl alcohol, and because the water content will vaporize to steam creating excessive pressure in the stove."

im digging the excessive pressure part :D
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Unread postAuthor: Mateo » Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:38 pm

if you really wanna scare yourself enough to "soil" yourself. you can dip your hand in water(this is a must!) then pour alcohol on it. after that light it on fire:wink: . just make sure to have someone to stand by with a bucket of fire haha i am a sort of retired pyro but i like doing more stunts with fire like with burning poi. im not responsible for anything that happens to you or your house if your stupid enough to do it inside.

now back on topic. couldnt you just use an atomizer like that is used for perfume?
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Unread postAuthor: salasd » Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:47 pm

lol thats why alcohol was out in the first place. also i could use a perfume thing but i dont really want to use a spray and pray like that. i was thinking of more of using a syringe with check valves with a tiny nozzle.
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Unread postAuthor: Mateo » Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:51 pm

ohhhhh. but technically wouldnt that be a spray and pray anyways? you would still be spraying and atomizing the alcohol it would just be a bit higher tech
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