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Re: [TCML] Subject: Overheated Secondary

Hi Marko, all,

Yes, I would agree that gasoline has gotten quite expensive
as a primary fuel source, but at ~$3/ gallon in the US, it's pro-
bably still one of the most economical choices as a *solvent*. I recently had to purchase a one gallon jug of plain, off-brand mineral spirits from Wal-Mart and it was over $6! The cheapest current source of kerosene that I've been able to locate is at the
local Exxon station where I pump my own. I just purchased
some about a week ago and it cost about $4.70/ gallon. Kero-
sene runs considerably higher than this in the prepackaged jugs
at the depratment stores. Examples: 2.34 gallon jug at local
Wal-Mart - $15 and some change. 5 gallon can of kerosene
at Home Depot - ~ $36. Non-petroleum based solvents (ace-
tone, toluene, MEK, ect) tend to run even higher at Home Depot or Lowes (generally $10 to $12 for a gallon).

As a professional firefighter for nearly 20 years now my obvious
main concern with gasoline is not its economic feasability as a
solvent but its high volatility and flammability when handled care- lessly. Although nearly everyone is well aware of the flammability of gasoline, some people tend to forget that the heavier-than-air fumes can spread out a considerable distance from the liquid fuel
source and can find any source of ignition that could have easily
been overlooked (i.e. water heater pilot light), and ignite explo-
sively. Remember, gasoline has a flashpoint of -45*F, so it will
produce very ignitable vapors at virtually any ambient operational temperature. And once gasoline is ignited, it burns with a thermal yield of approximately 34 MegaJoules/ liter (which is actually LESS thermal yield than that of less refined petroleum products like kerosene, heating oil, or diesel) but since gasoline ignites so readily, thanks to its very low flashpoint temperature, and since it burns so rapidly once ignited, this makes it a solvent choice of considerable danger, from a fire safety point of view. Sorry for the run-on sentence but the bottom line is that if you do choose to use gasoline for this purpose (I've been guilty of doing it myself),
then please be very fire safety conscious!

David Rieben

 I have been a mechanic
of one kind or another for most of 50 years, so gasoline is no strange solvent for me, but it is rather expensive.

later later,


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