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Fuel resupply - white gas

Old 10-07-20, 10:32 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
I remember kerosene at the pump, but I haven't seen it in years. A quick google search for "kerosene at the pump near me" shows it as pretty common here in Tallahassee though. Apparently I just haven't noticed.
I've never purchased it, but I see it at many local stations. One in Lloyd that I often pass on rides.
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Old 10-09-20, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
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.
....
Are you an organic chemist that works at a refinery?
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Old 10-09-20, 09:07 AM
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It would be good to know if petroleum based lighter fluid (e.g. Kingsford) is acceptable in MSR stoves using the kerosene jet, since Kingsford in common in the US. Some lighter fluids have an alcohol component which would likely make them unusable. Other impurities in petroleum lighter fluids may cause problems, perhaps more so than auto fuel. I have contacted MSR in the past about this since I would like their engineers to chime in on this, but no reply. I have always been able to find white gas and especially so in Canada on months long tours. However, in recent years, it is more difficult to find. When you ask younger people at campgrounds if they could spare a cup or two, they have no idea of what white gas/coleman fuel is. I understand people like the simplicity of butane canisters, but I feel it is wasteful.
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Old 10-09-20, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
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...
Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
Are you an organic chemist that works at a refinery?
(No disrespect intended to cycco).. I believe cycco is a chemist, although this info is first-semester-level organic chemistry ("the Chemistry of Alkanes" chapter) and doesn't require refinery experience.

I remember some 30+ish years back when I ran a GC (gas chromatograph, I'm also a chemist, pre-retirement) on a sample of Coleman fuel and 87 octane gasoline. I wasn't happy at the time at the price of coleman fuel, given my experience growing up of buying white gas at a gas station out of a pump. Since I had the equipment available, I figured I'd take a look. The chromatographs were distinctly quite different. Most of my curiosity was to find out if coleman was selling regular gas at a premium, and then some, price. I continued using coleman fuel..
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Old 10-09-20, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
Are you an organic chemist that works at a refinery?
No. Iím a chemist who has spent a career looking at alternative fuels from biomass. That requires a lot of knowledge about (unalternative?) fuels since we want the same, or similar, results from the alternatives. I also took some graduate classes in catalysts which are heavily targeted towards petroleum.

Originally Posted by fishboat
(No disrespect intended to cycco).. I believe cycco is a chemist, although this info is first-semester-level organic chemistry ("the Chemistry of Alkanes" chapter) and doesn't require refinery experience.

I remember some 30+ish years back when I ran a GC (gas chromatograph, I'm also a chemist, pre-retirement) on a sample of Coleman fuel and 87 octane gasoline. I wasn't happy at the time at the price of coleman fuel, given my experience growing up of buying white gas at a gas station out of a pump. Since I had the equipment available, I figured I'd take a look. The chromatographs were distinctly quite different. Most of my curiosity was to find out if coleman was selling regular gas at a premium, and then some, price. I continued using coleman fuel..
I suspect that the gasoline had a lot more BTX (benzene/toluene/xylene) in it than Coleman fuel. Depending on the season, it may have had more butane and pentane (winter) than Coleman as well. The butane and pentane are added to increase volatility in cold weather. Itís removed in the summer to keep the fuel from vapor locking. Todayís fuel would also have ethanol in it...about 10%.
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Old 10-09-20, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
No. Iím a chemist who has spent a career looking at alternative fuels from biomass. That requires a lot of knowledge about (unalternative?) fuels since we want the same, or similar, results from the alternatives. I also took some graduate classes in catalysts which are heavily targeted towards petroleum.
...
Besides the detailed organic chemistry knowledge, the knowledge of the role and history of lead in gasoline, of octane ratings (and history related to high performance aircraft engines), distillation curves, etc., I assumed meant detailed knowledge of refining processes. Thus, my question.
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Old 10-09-20, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
I suspect that the gasoline had a lot more BTX (benzene/toluene/xylene) in it than Coleman fuel. Depending on the season, it may have had more butane and pentane (winter) than Coleman as well. The butane and pentane are added to increase volatility in cold weather. Itís removed in the summer to keep the fuel from vapor locking. Todayís fuel would also have ethanol in it...about 10%.
I suspect you're right with the BTX. It's been over 30 years, and a lot of miles of all sorts, since I ran the GCs, but, as I remember, the Coleman fuel had a distinct population of lighter components(or came off the GC column faster due to the lack of polarity) that had surprisingly little overlap with the gasoline components. I don't remember the time of the year though I'd guess it was summer or the shoulder seasons as I was in camping mode. The degree of difference between the populations was enough to convince me to stick with the Coleman fuel.
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Old 10-17-20, 06:59 AM
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FWIW, I dug out my old SVEA 123 and fired it up for fun. It might have been sitting for 30 years or so if my memory is correct. I am actually thinking of using it again. Maybe not for bike touring, but definitely for canoe tripping, but I was surprised how close it came weight wise to being competitive with modern stoves like my whisperlite when it came to weight. I had pretty much dismissed it as too heavy long ago, but it really is pretty close to the whisperlite and I like that it is super simple and super reliable.

So I am back to thinking about naptha fuels and alternatives. For canoe camping just buying Coleman fuel or some other alternative by the gallon is not only fine, but the best bet since I can typically just carry what I need for the whole trip from the start and not worry about resupply. If I were to use it for backpacking or bike touring there are all the naptha options as well as the possibility of burning unleaded gasoline in a pinch. If used over time gasoline has the disadvantage of gumming the stove up and it also has toxic additive, so it isn't a great option. That said used with care for a short while in a pinch it can be an option.

My preference for buying small quantities of fuel on tour or while backpacking or for using mail drops with small quantities might be well served by using the small bottles sold for wick type cigarette lighter (like the old zippos). Ronson and Zippo sell a variety of sizes (4, 5, 8, and 12 ounces) that might actually serve as my fuel bottle. Mailing fuel I prefer to use unopened factory sealed containers so these would be ideal. They'd be great for both filling and priming the stove from since they are designed for filling lighters. The drawback is that the little bottles would be expensive per ounce, but my usage is low and I want to carry only a little.
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Old 10-17-20, 08:34 AM
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Donít believe itís legal to mail flammable liquids.
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Old 10-17-20, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
FWIW, I dug out my old SVEA 123 and fired it up for fun. It might have been sitting for 30 years or so if my memory is correct. I am actually thinking of using it again. Maybe not for bike touring, but definitely for canoe tripping, but I was surprised how close it came weight wise to being competitive with modern stoves like my whisperlite when it came to weight. I had pretty much dismissed it as too heavy long ago, but it really is pretty close to the whisperlite and I like that it is super simple and super reliable.
....
That was why I brought a Svea when I backpacked Grand Canyon six years ago. Three days and two nights, with two people, weight wise it was not much different than a butane mix stove. A tiny vintage 65 gram Sigg bottle for extra fuel was about right too. A park ranger was surprised to see an old Svea still in use.
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Old 10-17-20, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
Donít believe itís legal to mail flammable liquids.
I think you have to follow the ORM-D labeling and packaging requirements. They vary with flashpoint and amount of the liquid. It is limited to surface and domestic mail only. It is very similar to mailing butane canisters which I have done.

https://pe.usps.com/text/pub52/pub52apxc_011.htm
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Old 10-18-20, 02:01 PM
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USPS does not allow flammables/corrosives since they use the airlines for mail transport over 200 miles. UPS and FedEx will, but they have restrictions on volume -- AND it would most likely be limited to ground transport.
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Old 10-18-20, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Cougrrcj
USPS does not allow flammables/corrosives since they use the airlines for mail transport over 200 miles.
You can specify ground transport for longer distances anywhere in the lower 48. You do need to label it ORM-D surface only and follow ORM-D regulations. I have both shipped and received gas canisters this way. I have also received solvents this way. The USPS does limit quantities and has some other rules regarding the packaging. The rules are a little different depending on the flash point of the liquid, but it is possible and not that difficult to meet the requirements for quantities within the requirements.
https://pe.usps.com/text/pub52/pub52apxc_011.htm
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Old 10-21-20, 11:06 AM
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Back in the 50s and early 60s, almost every neighborhood gasoline station sold "white gas", which was the common power lawn mower fuel back then.

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Old 10-21-20, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Wanderer
Back in the 50s and early 60s, almost every neighborhood gasoline station sold "white gas", which was the common power lawn mower fuel back then.

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That was likely unleaded gasoline. It was not the same as what has commonly come to be called ďColeman fuelĒ. Coleman fuel has an octane rating of 50. Iím not even sure you could even start an engine on that fuel much less run it.
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Old 10-21-20, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
That was likely unleaded gasoline. It was not the same as what has commonly come to be called ďColeman fuelĒ. Coleman fuel has an octane rating of 50. Iím not even sure you could even start an engine on that fuel much less run it.
I actually had a chance to test that out. We were out of gas in a dangerous situation back in the late 60s in a 6 cyl chevy van. We added a gallon of coleman fuel to the tank and limped some number of miles (10-12 maybe) to somewhere safer. It rattled, pinged, knocked, and shook, but it ran, barely. I thought it might die on the spot and I don't think it ever really ever ran well again after that. The van was already an old clunker at that time though.
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Old 10-21-20, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
I actually had a chance to test that out. We were out of gas in a dangerous situation back in the late 60s in a 6 cyl chevy van. We added a gallon of coleman fuel to the tank and limped some number of miles (10-12 maybe) to somewhere safer. It rattled, pinged, knocked, and shook, but it ran, barely. I thought it might die on the spot and I don't think it ever really ever ran well again after that. The van was already an old clunker at that time though.
stae, that's a great story, although I'm just as intrigued by the "dangerous situation" side of the story.....
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Old 10-22-20, 05:04 AM
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Originally Posted by djb
stae, that's a great story, although I'm just as intrigued by the "dangerous situation" side of the story.....
It was during the Baltimore riots kicked off by the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. We were stuck in a spot where many of the businesses had been burned or looted the night before and a curfew was going to kick in soon. It really wasn't a time and place we wanted to spend the night in the van. We cut through town to get home. Everything was shut down including gas stations so no gas was available.
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Old 10-22-20, 07:33 AM
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Thanks stae, isn't that something, a discussion about camp stove fuel leads to this.
And how it makes one think of both the changes and similarities that have taken place in the last fifty years, camp fuels and otherwise, my emphasis on otherwise.
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Old 10-22-20, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by djb
Thanks stae, isn't that something, a discussion about camp stove fuel leads to this.
And how it makes one think of both the changes and similarities that have taken place in the last fifty years, camp fuels and otherwise, my emphasis on otherwise.
Thinking back to those times made me reflect on the similarities and differences between then and now, but this isn't the place to discuss them.
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Old 10-22-20, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
Thinking back to those times made me reflect on the similarities and differences between then and now, but this isn't the place to discuss them.
yup, your story did the same for me, but yes, that's why I chose my words very carefully..

back on topic. In august, I was glad I found the large container of methyl alcohol I bought years ago, getting ready for a short trip. The local outdoor stores were pretty threadbare for so much camping stuff this summer, supply chain and so many folks trying camping during this covid summer.

cheers stae, take care
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Old 10-23-20, 10:56 AM
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In summary, white gas is not the same as unleaded gasoline, but, unleaded gasoline can be used instead of Coleman white gas. You can buy more bottles, or ask other campers for a small amount, offering to pay, or you can use unleaded gasoline. Alternatively you can throw in a stove that uses a different type of fuel.

Now, continue the riveting debate about details that do not change the reality of the options.

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Old 10-23-20, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by phughes
In summary, white gas is not the same as unleaded gasoline, but, unleaded gasoline can be used instead of Coleman white gas. You can buy more bottles, or ask other campers for a small amount, offering to pay, or you can use unleaded gasoline. Alternatively you can throw in a stove that uses a different type of fuel.

Now, continue the riveting debate about details that do not change the reality of the options.

You forgot: Or be judicious with your use so a 32 Oz fuel bottle will last you a couple of weeks, even in the sparsely developed state of Ohio.
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Old 10-23-20, 04:52 PM
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I often ran my Svea on pump gas when I toured on my motorcycle in the late 60s-early 70s. I haven't done it, but other campers told me that one can drain fuel from gas pump hoses simply by putting your container down near the ground. Worth a try just to see. Gets around the whole fuel problem. The Svea is now a polished brass shelf ornament as I've switched to an Optimus
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Old 10-23-20, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
I often ran my Svea on pump gas when I toured on my motorcycle in the late 60s-early 70s. I haven't done it, but other campers told me that one can drain fuel from gas pump hoses simply by putting your container down near the ground. Worth a try just to see. Gets around the whole fuel problem. The Svea is now a polished brass shelf ornament as I've switched to an Optimus
ha, made me remember as a teenager, me and my motorcycle friends used to hold the longer gas station hoses high up in the air to get a few more kilometers out of our sometimes meagre few dollar gas ups when we didn't have much cash.

also makes me remember that "Oh sh...t" feeling when you'd already turned the petcock to reserve the night before, then forgot the next day, and when the sputtering began you'd be slaloming back and forth to get the last dregs in the tank down the line.
Even my light Kawwy 175 enduro got tiring pushing it to a gas station.....

fun times those years
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