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Alcohol as a fuel for cooking By: Brandon Graham.

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1 Alcohol as a fuel for cooking By: Brandon Graham

2 Introduction Over the millennia, people have used different fuels for cooking. The first were solids such as wood and coal. As technology has advanced, fuel usage has migrated to liquids and gases such as: oil, petroleum, alcohol, propane and natural gas. My focus will be on alcohol because of its simplicity and elegance.

3 Properties of alcohol Clean Safe Sterile Simple Easy to find Easy to control

4 Combustion of alcohol C n H 2n+1 OH + O 2 CO 2 + H 2 O C n H 2n+1 OH(the generic formula for alcohol) Ethanol: CH 3 CH 2 OH or C 2 H 5 OH Methanol: CH 3 OH Isopropyl: CH 3 CH 2 OHCH 3 or C 3 H 7 OH


6 Different types of alcohol Denatured –100% alcohol, ethanol denatured with methyl Isopropyl –Usually a mixture with water. 70%-90% Anti-freeze –HEET –Either pure isopropyl or methyl

7 Different types of stoves Open Vent Chimney Pressurized Each design has there own benefits and tradeoffs. Some are be easier to construct, while others are complicated but efficient.

8 Open vent Extremely simple to build Can use about anything Not very efficient compared to other designs Can use a wick

9 Chimney Very efficient Fairly simple to build Forgiving Burns hot and clean Can be modified or choked down to simmer

10 Pressurized Usually made from pop cans Very light weight Difficult to construct well Delicate Finicky Require great skill and patience

11 Building a cat stove Gather and clean the materials Cut center hole Make church key holes Punch inner wall holes Insert insulation and screen Push together and light

12 Commercial designs Varga Triad –Titanium alcohol –$30 JetBoil –Liquid gas –$70 Primus multifuel –Whatever is available –$100


14 What you Need Pot Stand Wind Screen Pot Priming pan Matches Lighter Grabbing tool Alcohol Emergency supply of alcohol Measuring device Burn time chart Snuffer Multi-tool

15 Pot Stand Strong Stable Can be integrated into the wind screen Made for specific job: –Single pan –Adjustable size

16 Wind screen Helps block wind from disturbing flame Concentrates heat Concentrates flame Can be used as base for pot stand

17 Cooking Pot Choosing a pot is more about compromises than finding the perfect one. Titanium Steel Aluminum Size Shape Cost



20 Priming pan Used to jump start pressurized stoves Can double as a open vent stove

21 Bananas Foster 3-5 Bananas1 stick butter1 cup Light Brown sugar ½ tsp cinnamon½ cup banana liqueur1 tsp. Vanilla ½-3/4 cup Dark Rum Slice bananas into desired size. Melt butter in skillet, add brown sugar and cinnamon, and cook over low heat, stirring until thick paste. Add vanilla and Liqueur and stir well. Cook ~3 mins. Add banana and cook over low heat, basting well with the sugar mixture. Cook ~5 mins. Heat rum in metal cup over very low heat. Pour into mixture and ignite. Stir well until flame is completely gone. Remove from heat and serve on ice cream.


23 Bibliography Pictures from

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