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Re: [TCML] Subject: Overheated Secondary

David is dead on here.  A long time ago, outdoors, I poured some gasoline
on a pile of old rubbish we stacked up to burn.  It was a hot day, around
88 degrees.

I stood about 10 feet away from the pile --- which I thought was a safe
distance, and threw a match at the pile.  What I didn't know what that the
invisible gas/air vapor mixture, within a period of 60 seconds, had spread
out to within 1 foot of where I was standing.  When the match struck the
pile there was a huge "woof" sound and the flame front blasted out to
within 1 ft. of where I was standing.  It scared the H out of me but
fortunately didn't burn me.

This incident ingrained forever in my head the serious nature of gasoline
vapors --- especially how they can spread to great distances.

The bottom line is NEVER EVER USE GASOLINE for any type of solvent work.

The few dollars you save per gallon will in no way equal the pain of the
slowly healing burns.  A burn lasts a long time and it's just simply not
worth the risk.


Dr. Resonance

> 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,
>> Marko
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Dr. Resonance

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