Forums > Technical Discussion > Technical Terms for white gas (dangerous fuel)

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Charles
Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland
Member Since: 27th Jun 2001
Total posts: 3989
Posted:Code128 asked me in another thread about white gas, which seems to be a US name for fuels with a low flashpoint and higher buring temperature than the kero and 440 special fuels I use here in NZ.It seems to be great just top use a little to making the initial lighting easier, plus trailing and so on.Can any USA peeps give us brand names, international product numbers or even chemical compositions(NYC's forteit)/Technical namess for white gas?Then we might be able to source it in places as faraway as NZ (
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)...------------------Charles (INFERNO)newdolbel@hotmail.comhttp://juggling.co.nz


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NYC
NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA
Member Since: 26th Aug 2001
Total posts: 9232
Posted:I think we're posting simultaneously as I just posted that on the other thread. My can says the following:Coleman Fuel (5103A253)Then it has a bunch of pictures of lamps and stuff.Especially blended for Coleman Fueled and Unleaded fueled camping appliances.Rust inhibitor added for rust and corrosion protectionQuality checked to assure clean burning and longer generator life.And that's it.Except for the quote that I posted from the coleman people on the other strand which answers the "Is coleman fuel white gas" question...***Answer:Although Coleman fuel and other camp fuels are routinely called white gas, they are actually a naphtha. The two are very similar in characteristics. Naphtha is refined one more step and is therefore considered cleaner. It also has a slightly lower boiling point than unleaded gasoline, although it is in practicality undetectable. Coleman fuel has some additives to help prevent rusting of internal parts and facilitate long shelf life. I feel confident in recommending it for other brands of stoves that burn "white gas," but it would be prudent to check with the stove manufacturer.Jim Reid --- Coleman, Director of Public Relations *** But now were getting redundant and the moderators are going to slap us... Oh wait, didn't see your badge their Charles. Dang, now I can't relentlessly tease the moderators... Bummer.

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Charles
Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland
Member Since: 27th Jun 2001
Total posts: 3989
Posted:Whoops! Does that quote above say Naptha (I've heard this term before, but not frequently) and white gas burns as hot as gasoline?Jeez! I'm not touching the stuff with a twelve foot firestaff, let alone using it.That's nastynastynastynasty fuel...And, on your other commment...Tease away, NYC."Moderator" isn't a term to be afraid of, in fact, we have to be much more careful in what we say here than you guys and have to expect some light hearted teasing.Note that the word comes from MODERATE, ie cool in temper and easygoing when the going gets tough.Besides, I like being teased (just ask my fiance).------------------Charles (INFERNO)newdolbel@hotmail.comhttp://juggling.co.nz

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flash fire
flash fire

Sporadically Prodigal
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Member Since: 25th Jan 2001
Total posts: 2758
Posted:oohhhhh!! you mean I'm supposed to be nice?? sheeshe. no one told me *that*!::morphs into sickly sweet moderator mode::

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Posted:Oh NO!they are trying that Good Mod, Better Mod trick on us!! hit the backdoor NYC - I'll provide the cover!!:
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raws Charles and Flash's attention with hand puppet motions as NYC makes a dash for it::
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Josh


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NYC
NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA
Member Since: 26th Aug 2001
Total posts: 9232
Posted:(Knuckleheads!)No Charles, It doesn't say that the burning point is close to gasoline, it says that the boiling point is. TOTALLY different concept. Boiling point has NOTHING to do with reacitivity or combustibility, only how much it wants to stay a liquid. For example Nitrogen has a boiling point MUCH lower than gasoline (by a few hundred degrees) whereas lead has a boiling point MUCH higher than gasoline (by a few hundred degrees) and both of those things are relatively inert.As a pretty cautious firespinner I think that whitegas is a good, second choice fuel for me. I didn't want it to get a undeserved bad rap.It's not as safe as lamp oil (or it's cousin torch fuel) because it will burn without a wick and burns pretty hot. But I don't believe it's explosive like gasoline. I've started using it for eating and trailing. I have seen it briefly catch a guys shirt on fire but he was from New Jersey anyway...
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As for the chemical composition of any fuel, it's tough to say as most fuels are a buffet of molecules which react similarly. Basically, they take petrolium and distil it. The cream is stuff like jet fuel and the sludge is more like motor oil. Everything we burn is just a category in between. I know that's how they get gasoline and kerosine and stuff. It's just a mix of stuff that distils at a certain temperature.And "Moderate: Cool temper and easy going" What board you been readin?! Flash would have been sent to the principal's office many-a-time if she was out here in my hood.
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Ade
Are we there yet?
Location: australia
Member Since: 14th Mar 2001
Total posts: 1897
Posted:I found some coleman fuel last night in Sydney. It was sold in 5 litre metal tins, and called 'coleman fuel'. So it is available in oz..... ade

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Charles
Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland
Member Since: 27th Jun 2001
Total posts: 3989
Posted:Thanks NYC.I thought I has misread that post, especially when I think about railing with white gas...(ouch ouch ouch).I'm a chemical knucklehead, and bow down to your superior knowledge....
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------------------Charles (INFERNO)newdolbel@hotmail.comhttp://juggling.co.nz


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PyroTech
member
Location: Norwich, norfolk
Member Since: 18th Sep 2001
Total posts: 8
Posted:Naphta, naptha, naptha, now where hve i heard that before. oh yes I remember! Thats what they threw over walls and onto ships in medieval times to light up the night! As far as i can remember its quite a thick liquid that coats easily and cant be put out with water, a bit like napalm, which you can make with petrol and polystyrene by the way------------------Embrace the power of firewith boths arms, then run screaming to the burns unit

Embrace the power of firewith boths arms, then run screaming to the burns unit

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Available
member
Location: ringwood,nj usa
Member Since: 18th Aug 2001
Total posts: 93
Posted:i've been using lamp oil now soley for a about a month and let me tell you out of towners finding the white gas is sooooooo worth doing. it burns with such a rythem loud and furousious very very vivascious. when used safely i much perfer it. its cleaner wicks don't get so sooty or charcoal like- if you practice new moves on white gas wicks not burning and hit yoself you won't get nearly as bad black smudgies on your clothes if you're wearing any
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the tin container it comes in is not safe to carry the fuel around in. before i learned of the dangers of it my camping buff friends at a festival went nutts when they found out i carried it in my trunk like that and explained to me if the sun hits the can just the right way its a bomb. and the tiniest spark of anything can result the same thing.aslo i feel safer when soaking because i know when i pour the remaining white gas into its special container found in camping stores the little drops left in my bowl will evaporate. my littl bowl now is full oil and it never fully goes away. this leads me to a ? can i now use my wicks that have been used with lamp oil with white gas safely? is there some kind of bad fuel mixing that would occur?


Better to Burn out than Fade out, Baby!

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NYC
NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA
Member Since: 26th Aug 2001
Total posts: 9232
Posted:Mixing white gas and lamp oil is fine. In fact some people prefer a 1:2 mixture of the fuels. It offers the combustability of white gas and the brighter flame/longer burn of lamp oil.

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.draevon
.draevon

member
Location: Androgen
Member Since: 12th Dec 2000
Total posts: 92
Posted:Howdy kids,Just thought I might pop in that, while white gas may be easier to light with (aka Shellite, Colemans, Lighter Fluid), it's also highly explosive. We've just had an incident in Queensland, Australia where someone put a slightly smouldering wick into the plastic bucket of Shellite they were using to dip their equipment. The fuel exploded and the person knocked the bucket over in their haste to get away from the explosion. What little Shellite was left in the bucket spread out into a roughly 3m x 3m fire, in a stage area that was 2m x 5m (ie, crowd space caught fire). Another performer was badly burnt across his entire face while doing his best to put the fire out.Now ... is it really worth the risks involved with using an explosive fuel. It obviously has specialist uses like transfers and maybe eating, but I don't think it's worth the risk to use it as a main fuel for twirling. The were other mistakes made that night, but the organiser was told countless times about the danger of using shellite, but really liked the way it lit up so easily. Now someone has rather extensive facial burns.There are lots of other fuels available ... I don't think a petrol additive is the best option. On a side note, anyone who tries breathing fire with white gas will end up with severe burns in a very short time ... there's no doubt about it.Anyway, maybe I'm ranting a bit because someone who wouldn't listen to people with more experience than him has put the entire twirling scene for the state in jeopardy (with police and workplace health and safety involved) ... but it's explosive people ... just have a think about it.raevonNote: I was not at the venue on the night this incident occured, so this information may be a little inaccurate, but the message is the same..

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Charles
Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland
Member Since: 27th Jun 2001
Total posts: 3989
Posted:Colors, you will always get a resdue in your tine when using the oils (kero, pegasol, firewater etc).I just have super-cheap teatowels that I use foir cleaning up with and give the tine a wipe before I put it away. Especially if the tin is warm there'll be no residue in the tin afterwards.------------------Charles (INFERNO)newdolbel@hotmail.comhttp://juggling.co.nz

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NYC
NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA
Member Since: 26th Aug 2001
Total posts: 9232
Posted:Draevon, wow, always important to hear the mistakes people make. I never use a poi fuel that will light on a surface. I don't think my mix of whitegas and lamp oil is as dangerous as pure whitegas but I will certainly test it out.I can't imagine why someone would have an open bucket of fuel on stage anyway. I usually soak in a small thermos into which I pour fuel. I have also always poi with lamp oil. I only use small amounts of whitegas to trail and eat (not breathe.)The fire should never be near the fuel dump. Ever.

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Available
member
Location: ringwood,nj usa
Member Since: 18th Aug 2001
Total posts: 93
Posted:nyc is sooo right about the soaking dancing distance. as an extra measure i have my main safety mate by me so that while i'm spinning excess fuel off wicks they can return the fuel back to its safe container and then we go to the playground. if my wicks are even slightly warm to the touch i wait for the next burn. for any white gas or "explosive" fuel users these are two good things to keep in mind.best of luck to your friend for a speedy recovery Draevon.and thanx for the mix and wipe tipsmuch love sara

Better to Burn out than Fade out, Baby!

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Stone
Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:Try this site for info on camping fuels: http://members.iinet.net.au/~mbuckler/fuel/fuel32.htmHa,
I started with shellite (whitegas), but I find is a tad dangerous as it seems to set my clothes alight. So, I just mix in some lamp oil to calm it down a bit.All the dudes in Oz go for Shell Sol T. I brought 20L for about A$60, but I haven't tried it yet. Shell Sol T is solvent and you get it from the shell depo rather than a petrol station.
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Ade
Are we there yet?
Location: australia
Member Since: 14th Mar 2001
Total posts: 1897
Posted:Having had such a dumb morning - I've now had a revelation:white gas in oz = shellite<slaps forehead>A good fuel listing can be found at:http://www.msrcorp.com/fuelinfo.htm

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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:Alrighty then...I think I will say this....Naphtha is also what is also known as lighter fluid. I fill my Zippo with it, and as such goes by many brand names, including Zippo Lighter Fluid and Rosnal (or something to that effect).The reason why it is sooooo explosive is because it has a low flashpoint, it's fumes are highly flammable, which is why it works for trailing and eating. Fumes ignite and go back to the liquid, the liquid goes Kapow! Nice huh?Using White Gas simply requires extra caution. I will say that it doesn't stay lit as long, has a more noticable burn down (ie it goes from big flame to little flame pretty quick) and is not as smokey as other fuels we use. I also think it is quicker to smack off on your clothing. The friend in New Jersey NYC was talking about hit himself in the chest with it and it left a flaming spatter on his chest. The oils don't tend to do that as much. Just my two cents.....------------------Pele Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir...http://www.pyromorph.com

Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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Ade
Are we there yet?
Location: australia
Member Since: 14th Mar 2001
Total posts: 1897
Posted:Thanks Pele, that was going to be my next question - naphtha = lighter fluid, I've been thinking this for a while
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<back, Pele, back, get out of my brain, stop reading my thoughts..... ahhhh>


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kmactane
member
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 25th Apr 2001
Total posts: 97
Posted:One other note about naphtha (lighter fluid, Zippo fuel, Ronsonol fuel, etc.)... Someone said it was a viscous, thick liquid. It's not. It's very fluid, even a bit more so than water. (Note that this means it splashes easily as you're pouring it.)Actually... a second note, just 'cause I'm a copyeditor: it is spelled naphtha, not naptha (note the extra H), and pronounced "NAFF-tha", not "NAP-tha".

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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:But Ade, it's soooo nice in here, and cozy and colorful.......::looking around in Ade's mind::The thin viscocity is what makes it so easy to smack/drip off on you. The flashpoint is what keeps it alight.I will also say that White Gas does evaporate much faster than any of the oil fuels, so you can't leave it open. It reacts to heat even when not lit, so it has specific storage requirements.However, it doesn't lose it's potency as easy as the oils either. I have had Kero and Lamp Oil turn rancid on me, which means they taste terrible, smell worse and light with extreme difficulty, if at all. My Kero actually went from clear to yellow! (bleh!)White Gas has a much longer shelf life, but the tins that it comes in rust, which you have to look out for. As I said, it is not an unreasonable fuel if you are cautious.
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------------------Pele Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir...http://www.pyromorph.com


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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kmactane
member
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 25th Apr 2001
Total posts: 97
Posted:I've never had kero or lamp oil sitting around long enough to go rancid -- in fact, I hadn't known until now that they could do that.Yuck!

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Dr. Sally
member
Location: Bellingham WA USA
Member Since: 23rd May 2003
Total posts: 5
Posted:humm what about denatured alcohol?
i use it for fondue never tryed with poi.
know anythign about it?


The ever-lementabal Dr. Sallly

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darkpoet
darkpoet

Irish
Location: Dallas.........ish
Member Since: 14th May 2003
Total posts: 525
Posted:i dunno about denatured alchohol except that it doesnt burn very bright
and on the "i dont think that white gas is explosive" on the contrary
straight white gas(not stove fuel) is extremely explosive-almost like vaporized ether........
learned that the hard way.....
you can start a flash fire (where vapors ignite and trace back to the gas) very easily with white gas so be careful
the most i use white gas for is a starter because it burns very very hot....other good starters are acetone, mineral spirits, terpintine, but then again i think those are poisonous and i know they are volatile to the extreme....so yeah.........
if your looking for pure white gas go to a propane dealer and ask around.....


Jesus saves sinners and redeems them for cash and
prizes

Co-Founder of Keepers of Light

Educate yourself about the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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jono
newbie

Member Since: 4th Jul 2006
Total posts: 2
Posted:hey guys,PLEASE be bloody careful using shell lite,ive tried to use it for breathing,just before a show in brisbane.lucky for me,abit unsure bout it-i tested it out,out the back parking lot& had to deal with a severe flashback.it came back & i only just managed to get my mouth shut in time,(if i hadn't i'd be dead)but had a wicked blue goatee to take care of. Ive been doing fire breathing shows for about 4years now&did it full time for2,& that was my only accident,it was my own fault cause i didnt give fire the respect it deserves--AS MUCH AS YOUR LIFE IS WORTH! it only takes 1slip up! weavesmileyif i hadnt had a barrier cream on my face i would've suffered severe burns &i know how bad cause ive seen someone go up like a match----not pretty!! try using pegasol 3440,heaps safer,doesnt taste so bad,but im havin trouble finding it in NZ if ya know where any is can ya let me know? jonofish@hotmail.com &i'll let off a few & post the pic's.. cheers weavesmiley
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Cody
Cody

That guy from Reno
Location: Reno, Nevada USA
Member Since: 3rd Sep 2003
Total posts: 556
Posted:Lots of good stuff mentioned here but I wanted to throw my 2cents in. Naphtha is a bit of a general term meaning Rhonsonol (lighter fluid) and white gass (coleman fuel) are both naptha but have different properties. Rhonsonol is a bit more viscous and oily, white gass is watery.



All fuels are dangerous, lampoil can explode given the right situation. Educate yourself on the properties before trying something out.



I use allot of fuel and cost is a factor, I can buy generic white gass (Ozark trail camping fuel) by ther gallon for about $4.30 or I can buy a little bottle fo ultrapure lampoil for the same amount or more. We can go through 10 to 15 gallons a night at practice or a show. If you know how white gass works it is an acceptable fuel for fire spinning. It's actuially prefered for indoor performances because it isn't smoky.



We use denatured alcohol for colored flames or if you need a cooler/smaller flame.



IMHO it's a good idea to burn white gass on your kero wicks before taking them on a plane because it will remove the fuel smell. (in theory)



All my beginner spinners use lamp oil because it is a "safer" fuel, but they are all educated on the properties of all fuels. smile



Edit: I forgot to mention that many contact fire people use denatured aclohol. You may need to change to a larger wick style because the flame is more subtle, but it may expand your use of fire. The flame is cooler so you can put more on smile

EDITED_BY: Cody (1157745395)


Cody Canon
Controlled Burn, Reno Nevada

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