How to make alcohol based gel fuel

Written by trish popovitch
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How to make alcohol based gel fuel
You will grind ingredients together into a paste. (koosen/iStock/Getty Images)

Fuel cans for cooking and catering events can be pricey and may not be the right size for your needs. Making your alcohol-based fuel gel can save money and provide a custom heat source for all your cooking and camping needs. The instructions below should be followed only by a competent adult adhering to basic safety rules.

Things you need

  • Pestle
  • Mortar
  • Spoon
  • Chalk
  • Vinegar
  • Container
  • Funnel
  • Filter
  • Jar
  • Pen
  • Alcohol

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  1. 1

    Use a pestle and mortar or a plastic bowl and the back of a metal spoon to crush 15 g (1/8 cup) of plain white chalk into a powder or as close to a powder as possible. Crushed egg shells are a reasonable alternative to crushed chalk.

  2. 2

    Add the crushed chalk to just under 118 ml (1/2 cup) of plain white vinegar and stir. Use a sturdy plastic container and metal spoon. Be sure to stir for five minutes to ensure that all the chalk is dissolved, or as much as possible.

  3. 3

    Place a plastic funnel containing a coffee filter in a clean glass jar and pour the vinegar chalk into it. Alternatively, use a piece of paper towel instead of a coffee filter. The idea is to remove excess chalk granules from the mixture.

  4. 4

    Make a mark on the outside of the glass jar level with the liquid inside. Use a marker pen to prevent the mark from fading or melting off.

  5. 5

    Allow half of the mixture in the glass to evaporate by placing the jar on a window sill in direct sunlight or outside if the weather is fair. Use the mark you made on the jar to help you determine when half the mixture is gone.

  6. 6

    Pour 29.6 ml (1 oz) of pure alcohol into the mixture. You can use ethanol or methanol, which can be purchased at large chemists shops.

  7. 7

    Allow the chemical reaction to occur without stirring the ingredients together. The gel-like mixture should form naturally.

  8. 8

    Pour away any excess alcohol and place a lid on the jar before storing in a cool place.

Tips and warnings

  • Wear safety goggles to avoid splashes.
  • Keep the mixture out of children's reach during the evaporation process.
  • Store fuel under lock and key to prevent accidental swallowing.

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