Running a boiler on rum

Discussion in 'Boilers' started by JOHN DUNCKER, Dec 18, 2018.

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  1. Dec 18, 2018 #1

    JOHN DUNCKER

    JOHN DUNCKER

    JOHN DUNCKER

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    I am retired and live on a sailboat and often can be found in Clarks Court Bay Grenada. The bay houses the Clarks Court rum distillery. they produce a strong rum which is 87% alcohol.

    I am looking at a project which involves building something similar to a Stuart V twin Oscillator 7/ 16th bore and stroke. A simple copper vertical boiler These to be fitted to a model launch about 45 inches long.

    In the beginning I was thinking that I would use a butane gas system to heat the boiler. Then I had an epiphany, what about using this strong rum It would be a nice touch

    I spent an hour or so with Mr Google

    It looks like an unpressurised system is an east build but carries no easy hut down mechanism.

    Looking for a pressurized system I could not find any off the shelf system like this https://www.msrgear.com/stoves/whisperlite that would work with alcohol The bottle is attacked by alcohol [ they say ]

    So am I crazy or will rum work?

    Any plans around for a pressurised burner that I can experiment with.
     
  2. Dec 19, 2018 #2

    abby

    abby

    abby

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    John, I would say you are somewhat eccentric rather than crazy , you would be crazy after drinking 87% ethanol.
    However I presume the rum must be much cheaper in Granada than here in the UK.
    Spirit fired boilers usually have the spirit burning on wicks or ceramic beds ,gravity fed from a supply tank.
    Pressurising alcohol can result in an explosion.
    As an aside , you may not know that the remaining water in the spirit can be removed by epsom salts.
    The salts should be oven dried at 150°C and after cooling added to the spirit and allowed to stand for a few hours before filtering out.
    If this process is repeated almost all of the water can be removed making the spirit burn hotter and cleaner.
    Dan.
     
  3. Dec 19, 2018 #3

    vederstein

    vederstein

    vederstein

    Must do dumb things....

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    Appears to be alcohol abuse to me. :)

    ...Ved.
     
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  4. Dec 20, 2018 #4

    JOHN DUNCKER

    JOHN DUNCKER

    JOHN DUNCKER

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    More time spent with Mr Google has resulted in my finding the Classic Camp Stoves forum. These guys know EVERYTHING about little heating devices and which ones use pressurised systems to burn alcohol.

    An Optimus 111 T comes with the larger jet required to burn alcohol. It is a neat little unit with a brass pressure tank that is alongside the burner instead of underneath which will keep the height down. The flame can be regulated which is just as well as it boils a litre of water in 3 minutes [ longer on alcohol ] It should do the job very nicely.

    I will add a servo to turn the regulator and some kind of fuel shut off that I can control from my transmitter.

    So my crazy idea looks doable.

    Once a year the rum factory has an open day and the last one I went on they would fill up your containers at the rate of 25 EC a gallon that is less than 10 US.

    BTW I will not be running this regularly just a few times a year. So fuel costs will not break me.

    A foot note the airlines will not allow you to fly with this 85% rum. They say it is classified as an explosive.

    Am I an eccentric, well maybe. I used to race go karts then minis then stockcars [ much more fun ] moved on to hang gliding for 10 years and was a total fanatic. Took a seven year sabbatical at age 43 to go cruising on a sailboat, retired at 60 sold everything I owned, bought an RV and explored North America for 2 magical years. Sold the RV bought a boat and now cruise the Eastern Caribbean. Now I am 71 I still single hand my 44 ft sailboat and still go skiing usually in Utah. I am setting up a tiny workshop in my boat. a bench just large enough for a mini lathe and another narrow bench about 30 inches by 10 inches plus some locker space.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/8pBtDqCjV16usj2b6.
     
  5. Dec 20, 2018 #5

    goldstar31

    goldstar31

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    I cannot see any major problem with using alcohol. I used 'alcool a bruler' in mainland Europe because it was more available than paraffin/kerosene. This stuff was a by-product of the brandy industry and had a glorious smell.
    Here in the UK, toy engines were sold to run on either methylated spirits or metaldehyde tablets. The latter was supposed to kill slugs as well. On a more complicated matter, ancient copies of Model Engineer contained all sorts of engines and locomotives were run on meths. I acquired a Gauge 1 loco which had been made by a relative of non other than James Watt.

    His wife, also a doctor brought my late wife into the world and later, my wife was a consultant orthodontist and used a mouth blown meths filled gadget to silver solder appliances like braces. Probably someone has a design for one. Hers, I recall, was brass.

    And now it is Christmas and let's take time to pour brandy and to light it on the Yule time Pudding.

    So let's be Merry and I wish you safe sailing in 2019.

    Hic! and Bonne Fetes to All

    Norman
     

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