What to do with 15 gallons of Isopropyl Alcohol?

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2,688
Location
Elderly County, Florida
Good afternoon fellow oilers: As the subject topic says, I just inherited 15 gallons of Isopropyl alcohol and 5 gallons of Methonal alcohol. How much of this can I add to my gas tank? I would probably use it in either my '93 Ford Taurus, (3.0 V-6), or 96 GMC (2.2 four banger). Thanks in advance! [Cheers!]
 
Messages
391
Location
Richmond, VA
What type of isopropyl alcohol do you have. The ones I'm familiar with are 50/50, 70/30, and 90/10. 100% isopropyl is also sold, but it's mainly for commercial/industrial applications and not readily available to your average consumer. I would use the 5 gallons of methanol as the alcohol ingredient in mixing up my own WSW solvent. I would not advise pouring methanol into the gas tank as it has been shown to corrode certain metal parts found in modern vehicles fuel systems. If the isopropyl is 100% pure, I see no harm in adding up to 16 ounces to a tank of gas as a combination gas dryer/anti freeze. If the isopropyl is one of the above mentioned consumer blends, I wouldn't use it in my gas tank. No sense ADDING water to your gas, even if it is a small amount.
 
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350
Location
Indianapolis, IN
Cut the iso 50% with water & pour it down the drain. And run water down the drain for about 5 minutes. Take the methanol to a poison/chemical collector depot for disposal. Methanol is some nasty stuff I wouldn't want sitting around my place.
 
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391
Location
Richmond, VA
quote:
Originally posted by Willy_G: Cut the iso 50% with water & pour it down the drain. And run water down the drain for about 5 minutes. Take the methanol to a poison/chemical collector depot for disposal. Methanol is some nasty stuff I wouldn't want sitting around my place.
Why on Earth would you pour perfectly good alcohol down the drain? And, methanol is no more dangerous than the denatured alcohol that is sold at hardware/home improvement stores. I have 2 gallons of denatured alcohol at the house now that I use for various things, and I'm not the least bit worried about it just "sitting around".
 
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6,379
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
Many denatured alcohols are merely spiked with a bittering agent. Something like the SD alcohol 40 (common in household products) isn't all that toxic compared to 100% ethanol. The NIH doesn't consider SD-40 any more toxic than straight ethanol. http://householdproducts.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/household/brands?tbl=chem&id=26 Now methanol is some pretty nasty stuff. I've got some windshield washer concentrate around. If I had kids I'd consider locking it up somewhere. http://householdproducts.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/household/brands?tbl=chem&id=281&query=methanol&prodcat=all Methanol can cause rapid blindness or even death. Methanol simply can't be used in gasoline without some powerful corrosion inhibitors added.However, the following says that the human liver breaks down methanol into formaldehyde and formic acid. http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/search/f?./temp/~xhIjyi:1:BASIC
quote:
The minimum lethal dose of methanol in the absence of medical treatment is between 0.3 and 1 g/kg. The minimum dose causing permanent visual defects is unknown.
So basically enough methanol to fill a shot glass could be enough to kill 250 lb man.
 

GreeCguy

Thread starter
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2,688
Location
Elderly County, Florida
The Isopropyl is %100 percent. I got it from my cousin who is moving to North Florida. He runs a chemical lab in Orlando and uses the stuff for his buisness and just doesn't feel like "hauling it all the way up there." So, guess who got it, (hey, that, and the head to a Willys Jeep motor, a magneto to a "D" model Case tractor AND - an ancient oil can!)
 
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2,698
Location
Silicon Valley
What's the Orlando street value of a gallon of pure isopropyl alcohol? Sounds like you've got enough fuel line anti-freeze to last forever, which is kind of ironic. If you can find him again after his 'getaway,' tell your 'cousin' to dispose of his own hazardous waste.
 
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39,805
Location
Pottstown, PA
Blend various % of the iso and H20 in gallon jugs (50%, 75%, etc.) and see how much water you can burn in your gas without difficulty. If you experience difficulty, besides cursing the clown that gave you the idea, you just add more iso to absorb it. [I dont know]
 
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391
Location
Richmond, VA
quote:
Originally posted by y_p_w: Many denatured alcohols are merely spiked with a bittering agent. Something like the SD alcohol 40 (common in household products) isn't all that toxic compared to 100% ethanol. The NIH doesn't consider SD-40 any more toxic than straight ethanol.
Most people don't realize exactly how much methanol is in your common hardware store denatured alcohol. The following write-up was taken from a website for people that run small scale steam trains that use alcohol as fuel. ------------------------------------------------- "There are as many “formulas” for denatured alcohol as there are manufacturers who provide it to consumers. Periodically (here in the States anyway) the long arm of the law reaches out to the producers of denatured alcohol and requires them to alter their proprietary formulas. When I first discovered the small-scale live steam locomotive hobby (1995) the denatured alcohol that I first used was Kleen-Strip’s version called S-L-X. It was then, as now, available by the quart and gallon can in the paint department of Home Depot stores throughout the States at about US$8.00 and change per gallon. In 1995 S-L-X was made up of nearly equal parts of both ethyl and methyl alcohol with less than 1% Methyl Isobutyl Ketone (MIK) added to keep the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) branch of the Department of the Treasury happy. A couple of years ago (1998?) the ATF “asked” Kleen-Strip to alter their proprietary formula. The result is that now S-L-X is composed of 80% methanol, less than 20% ethanol, and MIK not to exceed 3%. The other big producer of denatured alcohol in the states is Parks Corporation. Parks markets denatured alcohol under their own name, and they manufacture it for resale under “house brands” for other retailers. One such retailer is True Value Hardware. I was not able to obtain the proportions of ethyl to methyl alcohol that Parks uses in their denatured products, but since the ATF is involved is probably safe to assume that the ratio is very close to the Kleen-Strip formula. However, there is a heck of a difference in the additives that Parks inserts into their baseline denatured alcohol product. First they start off with MIK, as does Kleen-Strip, but then they add Rubber Solvent (I am unable to identify just what that is) and less than 1% each of both Toluol and Benzene. I am not a “tree hugger” and I do not have a problem with additives to products to improve their value or properties, but I do have a problem if these additives “seem” to affect the operation of our small scale live steamers; more on this subject in a later section . ------------------------------------------------ As you can see more than 3/4 of that particular brand of DA is methanol. Common sense while using alcohols/solvents will keep you and your family safe.
 
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6,379
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
quote:
Originally posted by TomH:
quote:
Originally posted by y_p_w: Many denatured alcohols are merely spiked with a bittering agent. Something like the SD alcohol 40 (common in household products) isn't all that toxic compared to 100% ethanol. The NIH doesn't consider SD-40 any more toxic than straight ethanol.
Most people don't realize exactly how much methanol is in your common hardware store denatured alcohol. The following write-up was taken from a website for people that run small scale steam trains that use alcohol as fuel. ------------------------------------------------- "There are as many “formulas” for denatured alcohol as there are manufacturers who provide it to consumers. Periodically (here in the States anyway) the long arm of the law reaches out to the producers of denatured alcohol and requires them to alter their proprietary formulas. When I first discovered the small-scale live steam locomotive hobby (1995) the denatured alcohol that I first used was Kleen-Strip’s version called S-L-X. It was then, as now, available by the quart and gallon can in the paint department of Home Depot stores throughout the States at about US$8.00 and change per gallon. In 1995 S-L-X was made up of nearly equal parts of both ethyl and methyl alcohol with less than 1% Methyl Isobutyl Ketone (MIK) added to keep the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) branch of the Department of the Treasury happy. A couple of years ago (1998?) the ATF “asked” Kleen-Strip to alter their proprietary formula. The result is that now S-L-X is composed of 80% methanol, less than 20% ethanol, and MIK not to exceed 3%. The other big producer of denatured alcohol in the states is Parks Corporation. Parks markets denatured alcohol under their own name, and they manufacture it for resale under “house brands” for other retailers. One such retailer is True Value Hardware. I was not able to obtain the proportions of ethyl to methyl alcohol that Parks uses in their denatured products, but since the ATF is involved is probably safe to assume that the ratio is very close to the Kleen-Strip formula. However, there is a heck of a difference in the additives that Parks inserts into their baseline denatured alcohol product. First they start off with MIK, as does Kleen-Strip, but then they add Rubber Solvent (I am unable to identify just what that is) and less than 1% each of both Toluol and Benzene. I am not a “tree hugger” and I do not have a problem with additives to products to improve their value or properties, but I do have a problem if these additives “seem” to affect the operation of our small scale live steamers; more on this subject in a later section . ------------------------------------------------ As you can see more than 3/4 of that particular brand of DA is methanol. Common sense while using alcohols/solvents will keep you and your family safe.

I'm thinking of alcohol as in household personal products. Manufacturers would be insane to use methanol in spray sunscreens or mouthwash - it would simply be too toxic. They just use a slight bittering agent to make it undesirable to drink the stuff.
 
Messages
391
Location
Richmond, VA
quote:
Originally posted by y_p_w: I'm thinking of alcohol as in household personal products. Manufacturers would be insane to use methanol in spray sunscreens or mouthwash - it would simply be too toxic. They just use a slight bittering agent to make it undesirable to drink the stuff.
I am aware of the alcohols you are speaking of. They are commonly referred to as SD (specially denatured) alcohols. However, these types of alcohols aren't generally available to the average consumer like the hardware store denatured alcohols are, which is why I didn't make mention of them in my earlier posts. ANY alcohol will kill/harm a person if ingested in sufficient quantities. My point was that, if handled properly, methanol is no more of a threat to your health than any other type of alcohol, and it can be pretty useful stuff if you know what to do with it.
 
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1,904
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Canada
Whats the issue? Its a component in methamphetamine production/concentration/purification? The catalysts used in producing the stuff are fairly nasty metals. Chromium and others. If you use home heating fuel, you could probably blend some in. As for blending with fuel, if you are going on a long drive, it probably is safe to blend some in, if you are going to just be leaving it in the tank temporarily, ie: 6 hours before refuelling.
 
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6,379
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
quote:
Originally posted by TomH:
quote:
Originally posted by y_p_w: I'm thinking of alcohol as in household personal products. Manufacturers would be insane to use methanol in spray sunscreens or mouthwash - it would simply be too toxic. They just use a slight bittering agent to make it undesirable to drink the stuff.
I am aware of the alcohols you are speaking of. They are commonly referred to as SD (specially denatured) alcohols. However, these types of alcohols aren't generally available to the average consumer like the hardware store denatured alcohols are, which is why I didn't make mention of them in my earlier posts. ANY alcohol will kill/harm a person if ingested in sufficient quantities. My point was that, if handled properly, methanol is no more of a threat to your health than any other type of alcohol, and it can be pretty useful stuff if you know what to do with it.

My only problem with methanol is that tiny quantities can be lethal or permanently damaging. I use isopropryl rubbing alcohol to clean the skin. If I spilled methanol on my skin, I'd wash it off immediately. The risk of serious harm is greater with methanol than most other alcohols.
 
Messages
391
Location
Richmond, VA
quote:
Originally posted by y_p_w: My only problem with methanol is that tiny quantities can be lethal or permanently damaging. I use isopropryl rubbing alcohol to clean the skin. If I spilled methanol on my skin, I'd wash it off immediately. The risk of serious harm is greater with methanol than most other alcohols.
No doubt! I agree that methanol can be dangerous if one isn't careful with it. However, I would NEVER suggest to someone that it's fine to use methanol as a substitute for isopropyl, they aren't even close!
 

GreeCguy

Thread starter
Messages
2,688
Location
Elderly County, Florida
Okay - so the Isopropyl is okay to use for a varity of things. Methanol is deadly, (I shouldn't have had that glass with the lemon twist). So I'm gathering that the best thing I could do is dispose of the Methanol is an enviormentally safe manner and burn the Isopropyl in my fuel tank in small amounts.
 
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335
Location
Colorado
Methanol is in great demand by individuals who convert waste vegetable oil into biodiesel. I would go to a biodiesel website forum and post the methanol for sale cheap or for free. Although this website is not strictly a biodiesel website, many VW TDI owners make their own fuel and would be glad to take the methanol off of your hands. As for the isopropyl, I'd use it to make windshield washer fluid: 3 Parts Isopropyl 2 Parts Water 1 Part Windex
 
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391
Location
Richmond, VA
As I stated, you could also use the methanol to make washer fluid. I make mine using denatured alcohol, but seeing as that's a high percentage of methanol anyway, the mixture will be the same. Here is my recipe for a gallon of really good fluid: 1 empty gallon jug 32 ounces denatured alcohol (methanol will work fine, it's what's in the blue parts store fluid you buy) 95 ounces distilled water or filtered tap water 1&1/2 tablespoons Parsons streak free ammonia (any other brand clear ammonia should work as well) Pour all ingredients into gallon jug and shake well. Carefully open top after shaking as the mixture sometimes creates a small amount pressure in the jug. If you desire, blue food coloring can be added to the fluid making it easier to see the level in the reservoir. You can also slightly increase the alcohol concentration (extra 10 ounces or so) for wintertime use. I've used this solution for several years now and much prefer it to the store bought stuff, even the specialty bug removing fluids.
 
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