Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Ithaca, NY
    Posts
    65
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Disposal of denatured alcohol

    Hi everyone,
    I've recently built a penny-stove, to be run on denatured alcohol. On our last (non-biking) camping trip we came across the problem of what to do with the left-over fuel at the end of the trip. Since we were taking a plane we couldn't just take it back with us and mailing back a half-full canister seemed silly as well. The label of the canister was rather unhelpful and only advised of obeying "federal, state, and local regulations when disposing". In the end, a ranger from a state park agreed to take the fuel but he was rather unhappy about it. Any ideas of how to get rid of the stuff?
    Thanks for your ideas.

  2. #2
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Dallas area, Texas
    Posts
    10,716
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Burn it? Or throw it in the trash?
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  3. #3
    Bike touring webrarian
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    My Bikes
    I tour on a Waterford Adventurecycle. It is a fabulous touring bike.
    Posts
    1,581
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Pour it in a wide flat dish and let it evaporate?

    Ray
    Visit the on-line Bike Touring Archive at www.biketouringtips.com

  4. #4
    Senior Member jonsam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    My Bikes
    Yellow Nashbar fixed gear conversion, Cannondale T800, Surly Cross Check
    Posts
    128
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Pour it in a campsite fire-pit and light it on fire.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Ithaca, NY
    Posts
    65
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
    Burn it? Or throw it in the trash?
    For small quantities burning certainly would've been the way to go. Unfortunately, hardware stores will sell you rather large quantities of the stuff. And denatured alcohol is both flammable and toxic -- so I'd be rather uncomfortable to just throw it in the trash.

  6. #6
    GATC
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    south Puget Sound
    Posts
    6,619
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    denatured ethanol is a pain because it's denatured by addition of nasty organic solvents. Any reason not to use regular nondenatured (grain) alcohol? That you could just pour down a drain.

  7. #7
    Recovering mentalist Randochap's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    On the Edge
    My Bikes
    Too many
    Posts
    2,808
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hic! Burp!
    VeloWeb | VeloWebLog

    "The bicycle is the noblest invention of mankind." ~William Saroyan

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    598
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg View Post
    denatured ethanol is a pain because it's denatured by addition of nasty organic solvents. Any reason not to use regular nondenatured (grain) alcohol? That you could just pour down a drain.
    Because it's 20x the price and not available in many states?

    To the OP: I would try to burn as much of it as possible in the stove, but assuming you don't have gallons of the stuff, you can pour it in a sink with plenty of water.
    Last edited by stedalus; 01-22-09 at 05:27 PM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Parkville, Md
    Posts
    7,757
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by vgXhc View Post
    Hi everyone,
    I've recently built a penny-stove, to be run on denatured alcohol. On our last (non-biking) camping trip we came across the problem of what to do with the left-over fuel at the end of the trip. Since we were taking a plane we couldn't just take it back with us and mailing back a half-full canister seemed silly as well. The label of the canister was rather unhelpful and only advised of obeying "federal, state, and local regulations when disposing". In the end, a ranger from a state park agreed to take the fuel but he was rather unhappy about it. Any ideas of how to get rid of the stuff?
    Thanks for your ideas.
    Buy Heet (yellow bottle not red) since that comes in small bottles. That way you won't have so much left to dispose of. They it won't be a big deal to just burn it.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    177
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Pour it all in a campfire and throw in a match, don't stand too close
    120 Days, 12000 Kilometers, 2 Wheels - Alaska to Panama for Charity - www.CyclingForACause.com

  11. #11
    Has opinion, will express
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    13,029
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The alcohol you're talking about, as far as I am aware, is made denatured by the addition of methanol.

    Alcohol is miscible with water. Flush it down the toilet, half with one flush, the second half with another flush. Or pour down the sink hole with copious quantities of water. The comparatively small volume of alcohol won't make the water flammable.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Ithaca, NY
    Posts
    65
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for all your replies! Burning it or flushing it down the toilet seem to be the most reasonable solutions, even though I'd still be a bit worried about just dumping it, as the ingredients and respective toxicity of the stuff seem to vary from brand to brand. Well, I guess I won't do any bike touring that involves flying in the near future anyway...

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    598
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Speaking from a bad experience, use a sink, not a toilet. With a sink you can slowly pour it along with the running water, and then let the water run for a while afterwards. Trying to dump it in a toilet leads to splashing and spills and it's more annoying to dilute (lots of flushing).

  14. #14
    rep
    rep is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    86
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    We have this issue every year, since we buy it a liter at a time in Europe. We always just give the excess away. It's used for cleaning in Germany. If you can't give it away, as an Environmental Chemist I would prefer that you "pour it in a firepit and light it" rather than put it into the water. There are a variety of denaturants used, of varying toxicity. And sure, if there is only a little bit, it will evaporate on a hot sidewalk, but all organic vapors contribute to formation of photochemical smog.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Ithaca, NY
    Posts
    65
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by rep View Post
    We have this issue every year, since we buy it a liter at a time in Europe. We always just give the excess away. It's used for cleaning in Germany.
    Since I'm from Germany, that was my plan too. However, my Canadian girlfriend thought I was crazy since apparently in North America nobody uses alcohol for cleaning In any case, the RVers on our campsite were definitely not interested in taking a can of denatured alcohol.

    Quote Originally Posted by rep View Post
    If you can't give it away, as an Environmental Chemist I would prefer that you "pour it in a firepit and light it" rather than put it into the water. There are a variety of denaturants used, of varying toxicity. And sure, if there is only a little bit, it will evaporate on a hot sidewalk, but all organic vapors contribute to formation of photochemical smog.
    Yeah, that's why I was hesitant to just dump it.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •