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[TCML] solvents


I did an experiment involving gasoline, tar, and a 55 gallon drum with good hot fire in it.
Here is what I found:

the gasoline that had tar in it acted much like diesel fuel.

Of course, the obvious question is how much tar is dissolved in the gasoline.

I melted the tar out of a large NST and cleaned everything over a period of days using about 3.5 gallons of gas. Gunk was precipitating out of the gas. Gas was evaporating, even though ambient was about 40 F average. After all cleaning, rinsing with fresh gas, was done, I had about 2 gallons of black s__t.

So happens there was a fire barrel established, so I began to dispose of the blacksh_t about a pint @ time.
found that it did not flash, no hint of detonation.
gas would made me a crispy critter. Why was I brave (foolish)? because i witnessed an attempt to start the barrel using the black sh_t. It is not volatile like gas. I had a big clue, please don't call me stupid.
I still walk and talk.  No coincidence.

I set the rest of the tar solvent on a grill resting over the barrel. It boiled, but did not light. I lit it off with an aerosol spray, nothing of note, the light ends were gone, basically a heavy diesel fire, a bit smokey,
nothing like gas.

Not disputing, just reporting

Absolutely sincere,


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

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