RC Fuels Nitromethane, Castor Oil, Synthetic, heli fuel, 4 stroke, etc...Fuel Q&A is here!

Source for methanol

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Old 10-02-2015, 08:58 AM
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JPMacG
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Default Source for methanol

For any who are searching for a source of methanol for making glow fuel... I was surprised to learn that a local fuel oil / propane dealer has methanol for sale. He sells it for $4 a gallon, dispensed from a pump, much like a gasoline pump. He doesn't advertise methanol - I only found out through word of mouth. So if you are searching for a source of methanol, start checking with your local fuel dealers.

I have no idea what his customers want the methanol for. I'm surprised that he can sell enough to make it worthwhile.
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Old 10-04-2015, 06:27 AM
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Most fuel/propane dealers have methanol available. I'm surprised he has it dispensed from a fuel pump. I would be suspicious of water content. I would prefer to purchase it in 5 gallon buckets. On the other hand, maybe he sells so much the time spent in the pump storage tank is short enough for the moisture issue not to be an issue.

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Old 10-04-2015, 07:55 AM
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The place I get methanol from has it in above ground tanks. They sell a lot of race fuels and is stored in the same building as those other fuels.
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Old 10-04-2015, 05:11 PM
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Many years ago I read a magazine article about a study performed, concerning the affect of water in glow fuel. The person conducting the test added water to fuel in small measured amounts to determine the point at which engine performance was degraded and the amount of degradation to be expected with increasing concentrations.

The bottom line is that the water had very little affect until it reached very high concentrations, much higher than we would ever see.

I wish I could find the article. Probably in RCM.
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Old 10-05-2015, 03:47 PM
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Good point about the water absorption. I don't think the tank of methanol is vented to the atmosphere. But I don't know if the tank can breathe with atmospheric pressure changes.

For that matter, I don't know how damp air is kept out of a 55 gallon drum of methanol. I guess ideally it is broken down into smaller containers all at once the first time the drum is opened.

I'm going to try a few gallons from the pump and see how it runs.
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Old 10-07-2015, 08:04 PM
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I buy methanol in 55 gallon drums. We usually use 25 to 30 per year in the blown alky cars. The trick is to jug the entire barrel into 5 gallon jugs when you open the barrel. I usually top the jugs with argon or nitrogen to keep the air ( and moisture) off of the methanol. I have kept it for years with no problems.
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Old 10-08-2015, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by 049flyer View Post
Many years ago I read a magazine article about a study performed, concerning the affect of water in glow fuel. The person conducting the test added water to fuel in small measured amounts to determine the point at which engine performance was degraded and the amount of degradation to be expected with increasing concentrations.

The bottom line is that the water had very little affect until it reached very high concentrations, much higher than we would ever see.

I wish I could find the article. Probably in RCM.
I believe he tested a control line engine, which does not need to idle. However IMO most of the time people blame water it is actually evaporation of methanol that is the problem, that increases the percentage of oil and nitro, both can cause problems. When it is warm outside the methanol will raise the pressure of the jug above atmospheric and will excape when opened. When left open it will evaporate out and decrease the chance of water contamination. Only when it is cold outside or a gust of wind would allow water to get in the fuel.
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Old 10-10-2015, 04:20 AM
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I always split a fresh gallon of fuel into quart containers which I then take to the field as needed. This insures I always have fresh fuel.
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Old 03-17-2018, 07:27 AM
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I venting is a good question it would be easy enough to have a one way pressure relief valve that only allowed outgoing when pressure became dangerous, the big question to me is how to get methanol out with out letting air in ? maybe use some sort of dryer n the inlet, or an inert gas???
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Old 03-20-2018, 07:37 PM
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Since my original post I have returned to the dealer for more methanol. I learned that he back fills his tanks with nitrogen and keeps a slightly positive pressure so the tank does not breath. Apparently nitrogen gas is relatively inexpensive and has a moisture content of close to zero.
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Old 09-11-2018, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by JPMacG View Post

I have no idea what his customers want the methanol for. I'm surprised that he can sell enough to make it worthwhile.
Thanks JP..I'm definitely going to query propane dealers for methanol. VP near by (up state NY) sells M1 for over $50/5gal pail but seems like a lot. To answer your question auto racers use methanol by the barrel..I might start hanging around the tracks to learn their sources..
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Old 09-11-2018, 05:25 PM
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When I mixed my own fuel, I got gallon jugs from the hardware stores. Now they are about $10.95 CDN. That way I knew it was fresh. I only ran .15s so I didn't really need much. It is used as a paint thinner for shellac I think, for the most part. Gas line antifreeze for the DIY guys. Maybe I should check around for a cheaper source now that glow fuel is more rare and costly. It is possible to use no nitro. The oil is a pretty penny too. It would be nice if a cheap hardware store synthetic would mix with the methanol and be usable at maybe 10% or so.
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