Apr 20, 2013 at 8:48 am #1301955
My interest in solid fuel tables has been rekindled, and I'm doing some patio testing of pot diameters, windscreen design, and tab-to pot distance. I bought a bunch of the Firelite tablets from BPL back in 2006, and most of them were vacuum sealed for hopefully better shelf life. This is what I've been using for my tests.
I am amazed at how much liquid "wax" is formed while using these tabs, and it doesn't seem to burn off. It just leaves a thick deposit once it cools, which is easy to scrape off the burner (I'm using an inverted small Pepsi can bottom for the stove, to contain this waxy liquid). A wing stove and a gram cracker clone didn't contain the liquid, which dripped onto the base plate. Messy…
I then bought some real Esbit tabs, as well as some of Coghlan's solid fuel tabs, and neither of these produces the same silly liquid. So, what I'm wondering about here, are those Firelite tabs known to produce lots of liquid, or are mine simply too old and have degraded somehow? Anybody have an answer?
Edit–spellingApr 20, 2013 at 9:11 am #1978670
Hikin’ JimBPL Member
@hikin_jimLocale: Orange County, CA, USA
The old Firelite tabs contain parafin wax in addition to the hexamine. The up side of the wax is that the Firelite tabs have a higher heat content than plain hexamine. The down side is of course all the residue they leave behind. Nothing apparently wrong with your tabs though.Apr 20, 2013 at 9:38 am #1978686
Thanks very much, Jim. That explains the "waxy" residue. I wonder why it doesn't burn off better than it seems to. I can actually see where the liquid wax is bubbling, and maybe some of it does actually burn off. Right now I have an Esbit tab burning on top of that waxy residue from the last Firelite tab. I am curious to see if the Esbit will help burn up the wax it's sitting on top of.
Thanks for your help, Jim. I read every one of your posts, and you are a wealth of information. I appreciate how you offer your knowledge and experience to us.Apr 20, 2013 at 9:46 am #1978688
You might try putting a very small amount of a cotton ball under the tab before you light it, and as you add any additional fuels. I've found that the cotton ball acts like a wick in a candle, does not just burn up, but sucks up the residues and allows them to be burned. This trick also works for the Weber cubes that are sold as grill fire starters.Apr 20, 2013 at 9:55 am #1978694
That's very clever, Jim. I'll try that out…Thanks.Apr 20, 2013 at 11:05 am #1978720
Dustin ShortBPL Member
Nice idea Jim, I'm going to have to tuck that nugget away!Apr 20, 2013 at 1:20 pm #1978759
@fluffinreach-comLocale: no. california
i have on one occasion attempted to burn the "country crock" brand of "margarine" in it's plastic container.
(sooo.. off thread.. but hell, we're day drinking , right ? )
of note was that the plastic bottle burned quite nicely in the campfire, but the "product" if you will…) just lay there and bubbeled.
i have never since that time allowed any of a country crock product to enter my body.
i simply thought ya'll might like to know that … i need to go buy some more postage stamps.
v.Apr 20, 2013 at 1:53 pm #1978771
Dustin ShortBPL Member
Peter, have you ever tried to burn water? It does the same thing as the country crock. Maybe you shouldn't drink any more of that either…just stick with your day drinking. Ethanol certainly does burn ;)Apr 20, 2013 at 3:07 pm #1978791
"i simply thought ya'll might like to know that … i need to go buy some more postage stamps."
We really need to have a drink together soon….
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