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Old 10-07-20, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores
"Coleman fuel is used primarily for fueling lanterns and camp stoves. Additionally, it is a popular fuel for fire dancing.[3] Originally, it was simply casing-head gas or drip gas, which has similar properties. Drip gas was sold commercially at gas stations and hardware stores in North America until the early 1950s. The white gas sold today is a similar product but is produced at refineries and has a very low benzene content, benzene being a human carcinogen.[4]

Coleman fuel is a mixture of cyclohexane, nonane, octane, heptane, and pentane.[5]

Though Coleman fuel has an octane rating of 50 to 55 and a flammability similar to gasoline, it has none of the additives found in modern gasoline. Most burners will readily burn unleaded gasoline (or white gas), however.[6]"
The list of alkanes in Coleman Fuel is C5 to C9 hydrocarbons. Although not listed, it probably contains hexane as well, not that it will make much difference. Mineral spirits has alkanes of C6 to C10. Lighter fluid is in the same range. Kerosene is more in the C8 to C12 range. Mineral spirits and lighter fluid might work with the same jet because they are so close to “white gas” in composition. Kerosene probably wouldn’t without a new jet. But, yet again, it would be best to test that before depending on them to work in the field.

"Drip gas, so named because it can be drawn off the bottom of small chambers (called drips) sometimes installed in pipelines from gas wells, is another name for natural-gas condensate, a naturally occurring form of gasoline obtained as a byproduct of natural gas extraction. It is also known as "condensate", "natural gasoline", "casing head gas", "raw gas", "white gas" and "liquid gold".[10][11] Drip gas is defined in the United States Code of Federal Regulations as consisting of butane, pentane, and hexane hydrocarbons. Within set ranges of distillation, drip gas may be extracted and used to denature fuel alcohol.[12] Drip gas is also used as a cleaner and solvent as well as a lantern and stove fuel. "
This may be where the term “white gas” came from. Natural gas is mostly methane but it does contain other hydrocarbons like ethane, propane and butane as well as others. Butane is just barely a permanent gas (boiling point of 1°C or about 35°F). I doubt that drip gas is a major product from natural gas wells, however.

"Beginning in the Great Depression, drip gas was used as a replacement for commercial gasoline by people in oil-producing areas. "In the days of simple engines in automobiles and farm tractors it was not uncommon for anyone having access to a condensate well to fill his tank with 'drip,'"
Drip gas would have made for a very rough running engine that probably didn’t run for long. An engine running on that fuel would have knocked like crazy probably because the fuel mixture would have detonated prematurely. A Diesel engine would probably have run better on it but probably still would have had problems.

Originally Posted by saddlesores
google tells me the white gas sold at stations was from amoco.

search for "amoco gas"

While most oil companies were switching to leaded gasolines en masse during the mid-to-late 1920s, American Oil chose to continue marketing its premium-grade "Amoco-Gas" (later Amoco Super-Premium) as a lead-free gasoline by using aromatics rather than tetraethyllead to increase octane levels, decades before the environmental movement of the early 1970s, led to more stringent auto-emission controls which ultimately mandated the universal phase out of leaded gasoline. The "Amoco" lead-free gasoline was sold at American's stations in the eastern and southern U.S. alongside American Regular gasoline, which was a leaded fuel.
That might explain some of the disconnect. It’s a regional thing. Lead free gas wasn’t really a thing here in the west until it had to be phased out in the 70s. My family never bought gasoline at Standard stations (which became Amoco in the 80s and 90s here) because it was way too expensive. I still don’t because it is still more expensive than other gasolines. But I kind of doubt that their lead free gas would have work very well here in the Mountain West. Our altitude allows us to use lower octane fuels because engines run at a richer fuel to air ration so the engines don’t knock. Our “regular” gas has an octane rating of 85 while most everywhere else has octane ratings of 87 to 88 for “regular”.

It also might be a case of mistaken memory. The Wikipedia article says that Amoco sold a product called “White Crown Premium”. People being people tend to shorten things so “White Crown Premium” gas becomes “White Crown” and eventually becomes just white gas. It’s still automotive gasoline which will probably burn in a Coleman stove.

For me, Coleman fuel, which we always called “white gas”, never came from the gas station. It always came in the 1 gallon metal cans from the hardware store. Additionally, I would never use gasoline in a stove of any kind even though it can be used. The risks of handling gasoline outside of a car engine is just too great. I’d cook over sticks and cow dung before I’d use gasoline.
Stuart Black
Gold Fever Three days of dirt in Colorado
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
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