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hardware store methyl hydrate???

Old 03-04-2004, 11:37 AM
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ludovic
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Default hardware store methyl hydrate???

Hi!

I was wondering if methyl hydrate, strait from the hardware store could be used for model fuel. I know it's just another name for methyl alcohol or methanol...they are the same chemically.

it's really cheap and available everywhere, just need oil added for fai type glow fuel.

What do you guys think???
Old 03-04-2004, 07:11 PM
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Default RE: hardware store methyl hydrate???

There should be no reason why it wouldn't work other than there'd be no guarantee how much water might have been absorbed in it. The only other chemical I know of that could be in it is acetone and that's no problem anyway. From some quick experiments I've done there's one way to tell if there's too much water in the methanol. Mix up a small amount with whatever oil you're going to use then put it in the fridge. If the oil seperates and falls to the bottom it's got a fair bit of water in it (on the order of 1%).
Old 03-05-2004, 01:08 AM
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Volfy
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Default RE: hardware store methyl hydrate???

Doesn't the name methyl hydrate means there is already a good amount of water in the solution?
Old 03-05-2004, 01:27 AM
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William Robison
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Default RE: hardware store methyl hydrate???

Volfy:

Hydrate, Hydraulic, and hydrogen come from the same root. The only one of the three that means water is involved is hydraulic, although modern hydraulic actuating systems don't use water. The first hydraulic brakes on cars, though, actually used water as the working fluid.

Ethyl alcohol that we drink, and methyl alcohol that we burn, are both carbohydrates.

The word fraction "Hydrate" means the compound has hydrogen and oxygen in it, but not in the form of water. There are also Hydrite, and hydride, the different forms have to do with the number of oxygen atoms in each molecule.

Now if you say "Hydro," then whatever it is has water involved, but water isn't part of the compound. Hydrocephalic, for example, means water on the brain. You also have "Tincture" which means alcohol is the liquid. "Tincture of Iodine," for an example here. Maybe we could say you're "Tincto-Cephalic" when you're drunk. Haw.

Anyway, thus endeth the lesson for today.

Bill.
Old 03-05-2004, 09:29 AM
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Default RE: hardware store methyl hydrate???

I have used Home Depot and Canadian Tire methyl hydrate, both stated to be 99% pure with excellent results.
Old 03-06-2004, 12:57 AM
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Volfy
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Default RE: hardware store methyl hydrate???

Bill, I must disagree. See below:

http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionar...rate&x=10&y=17
Old 03-06-2004, 01:21 AM
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William Robison
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Default RE: hardware store methyl hydrate???

Volfy:

Dictionary.com is right, as far as they go.

H2O + SO3 -> H2SO4

Start with water and sulphur trioxide, if you combine a mole of each there's no more sulphur trioxide, and no more water. It's reagent sulphuric acid.

NH3 + H2O -> NH4OH

Start with gaseous ammonia and again, combine a mole to a mole of water, liquid ammonia is the result.

Just because water is used in preparation of a chemical, water is not necessarily in the result.

Methyl hydrate, also known as methyl alcohol, wood alcohol, and sometimes glow fuel, can't have more than about 1% remaining water for our purposes, or the engines wont run well at all.

A large part of the ehaust, though, is ordinary water. This holds whether the fuel is alcohol or petroleum based.

Petroleum fuels are hydrocarbons, alcohols are carbohydrates. Basic difference is the oxygen as part of the alcohol. Gasoline has to get all the oxygen for combustion from the intake air. This is also part of the reason alcohol fuels run with a much richer mixture than gas engines.

Clear as mud, right?

Bill.
Old 03-06-2004, 04:48 PM
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Volfy
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Default RE: hardware store methyl hydrate???

ORIGINAL: William Robison
Clear as mud, right?
Funny you should say that. Entire half of the company I work for deals with drilling fluids used in oil field - commonly referred to as drilling mud. I work in the other half that deals with solids control and pressure control equipment used on the circulating mud. You might say mud is my business.

Anyhow, I'm no chemical engineer, so I'll take your word for it. I've always thought when methanol absorbs water (e.g. from the moisture in the air), it forms a molecular bond with it. That's why it is so difficult to separate them out.

I keep thinking back to the story told to me by an engineer working on our Thermal Processing System. He said he once had to post a Technical Bulletin alerting our mud engineers to be careful with a particular mud treatment chemical, which was called XXXXX-decahydrate (forgot the exact name). The problem was that this chemical would be very similar to TNT in its explosive nature, if not for the ten H20 molecules attached to it. Well, everything is fine and dandy with it in the drilling mud, until the mud is passed through the TPS, whose extreme hi-temp strips off the decahydrate part. TNT and 2000deg F - you can imagine the result.[X(][X(]
Old 03-06-2004, 07:41 PM
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Default RE: hardware store methyl hydrate???

Volfy:

Believe it or not, your TNT-like (whatever)decahydrate shoud be perfectly safe so long as you do not pressurize the chamber it's burning in. In common with most explosives, when it's burning in free air that's all it does. Burn.

One of the best things for heating your MRE, when you're in the field, is C-4, common plastic explosive.

And our methanol, or methyl hydrate, has similar characteristics. In free air it burns with an almost invisible flame, but when pressurized in the cylinder of a glow engine the burn rate goes way up, burning fast enough to push the piston, which pushes the crank, which turns the propellor...

I'm familiar with your mud, I'm an old Texas boy too. Many years ago we had a good strike on our place west of Bridgeport, if you know where that is.

Bill.
Old 03-08-2004, 08:09 PM
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Default RE: hardware store methyl hydrate???

Hi guys!

Thanks for all the info, I really love learning new things!!!

Waco, what kind of oil do you mix with the CT methanol??? Looks like you have a lot of experience with cheap homebrews!!! Any clues as to what you use would be appreciated!!!

Thanks!
Old 03-09-2004, 09:24 AM
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Default RE: hardware store methyl hydrate???

My mix for 2 stroke engines is 5% Nitro, 10% Castor, 10% Klotz Original Techniplate, 75% Methanol. For 4 stroke engines- 5% Nitro, 5% Castor, 10% Klotz Original Techniplate, 80% Methanol. These fuels are for engines that are already broken in..
Old 03-27-2004, 03:52 PM
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Default RE: hardware store methyl hydrate???

[One of the best things for heating your MRE, when you're in the field, is C-4, common plastic explosive. ]

It is great fun to light a piece of the stuff around someone who does not know that

jess
Old 03-27-2004, 04:39 PM
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William Robison
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Default RE: hardware store methyl hydrate???

Jess:

DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!!

Another fun trick is telling someone it's just an old smelly cheese. Then light a SMALL piese and hit it with a hammer. Do be sure it's a small chunk, too large and it will take the head off the hammer, and possibly your hand along with the hammer head.

Or throwing .22 cartridges into your bonfire at the beach party.

Water can be separated from the methanol, it's part of the production process. How well it's done determines how useable it is for us. Common "Shellac thinner" methanol can have a lot of water in it, pure water will work as a shellac thinner, but not too well, so up to 10% or so wont hurt it for that use.

One of the reasons water is hard to remove from most alcohols is that the two don't mix volume to volume, the water and alcohol molecules sort of "Slip in among" each other. Mix one gallon of water and one gallon of alcohol the result is not two gallons of mix, it's more like seven quarts. Where did the other quart go? In and among the other molecules.

Another example is acetylene gas, used in welding. Pressurized much over 20psi it tends to self ignite and explode. Many welding hoses have been split by running the gas pressure too high. So how are the welding tanks pumped to 220-250 psi filled with acetylene? The tank is filled about 1/2 way with acetone before the acetylene is pumped in. The acetylene dissolves in the acetone, the acetone volume stays unchanged, and stabilizes the acetylene. When the gas is drawn off for use the acetylene's vapor pressure is so much higher than the acetone you get pure acetylene out.

This might help, or it might not. Anyway, I tried.

Bill.
Old 03-27-2004, 06:12 PM
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jessiej
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Default RE: hardware store methyl hydrate???

Gosh Bill, it sounds as though we have similar ideas of fun!.

My daughter says our family is like a cross between the Addams Family and the A-Team.

jess
Old 03-27-2004, 06:33 PM
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William Robison
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Default RE: hardware store methyl hydrate???

Jess:

For several years a model supplier in the upper midwest staged a show with r/c boats, cars, and planes. The main event was a small war, bombs exploding in the water beside the ships, and sometimes IN the ships. Usually there were one or two planes that had wings blown off in the air, an always some spectacular crashes.

A great old game I played as a kid was similar. I'd make a small fleet of boats from cardstock, slap a quick coat of paint on so the water wouldn't eat then up. Then when my buddy had his fleet ready we would go float them in the pond, and I'd toss cherry bombs at his boats while he tossed cherry bombs at mine. Winner was either the last one with a boat floating, or who had not run out of cherry bombs.

Sadly illegal most places now, Big Brother has decided we can't be trusted with firecrackers.

Bill.

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