Thought we might get a chemist showing us the cool “Whoosh” experiment with alcohol.
EDIT: I just found this one of a guy comparing 151 to 190 proof. Interesting.
I’d say that meets the “vapor that, when present in the air in sufficient quantities, will create explosive or ignitable mixture” criteria.
It’s been a few days, so I’ll go ahead and post this anyway though.
Ethanol is fuel. Fuel for race cars, rocket ships, and stoves (most of my experience), except you can’t sell grain alcohol without beverage and liquor implications (license, taxes, etc), so it needs to be denatured. They add poisons and bad tasting stuff to avoid all the beverage hurdles, and still sell it as fuel and cleaner. It’s not to make it any better as a fuel, it’s just to make it sellable. It’s actually in the name. According to Merriam Webster:
2. to deprive of natural qualities: change the nature of: such as
- a. to make (alcohol) unfit for drinking (as by adding an obnoxious substance) without impairing usefulness for other purposes. (bold emphasis mine)
Denaturing alcohol retains the fuel properties of ethanol. It doesn’t turn it into a fuel. Now do some of the various additives they use add to the volatility? Hard to say. I wouldn’t rule it out, but it’s not the primary factor, and is so varied it’s hard to judge. I’ve seen 5%, all the way to 50-60% methyl alcohol added, at which point one has to wonder if it’s even denatured ethanol anymore, or just diluted methanol. The race cars switched from methanol to ethanol years ago and report better performance from the ethanol, so I’d say it’s highly unlikely that denatured carries more oomph than straight ethanol.
Ethanol is still the preferred choice for stoves from a safety perspective, as it’s the only one not toxic. It’s just too pricey for most backpackers (or whoever) to bother with. Straight methyl alcohol in the form of yellow HEET was my go to, it has less soot. but it’s highly toxic, even through the skin. If you haven’t heard from your friend and still wanted to learn more on alcohols, the backpacker forums have tons of info on the various effectiveness of them as fuels. Lots of testing has been done, albeit mostly anecdotal.
As far as drinks on the patio… I personally don’t really care what anyone does in their home. I don’t even care if they care if it’s legal or not. I just brought up some legal irregularities that makes a person go
That’s all. I didn’t realize there was ever any question as to the volatility of 190 proof everclear. Maybe folks out there aren’t giving it the due respect it should have and maybe this was a good conversation that was needed for everybody’s safety.