Alcohol Lighter, What is it and how to choose it?

November 2, 2021

Like the bunsen burner and volumetric flask, the Alcohol burner is an inexpensive laboratory instrument being used in a wide variety of fields. It is a device by means of which many chemical reactions are achieved, using fire for it.

What is an Alcohol Lighter?

In simple terms, we know as an Alcohol lighter any container, with its interior filled with some type of alcohol . This last part is important, since the east will be the one that allows to generate a flame to generate heat or generate light.

As many of us should know, alcohol is a highly volatile and flammable compound . In this sense, it is a perfect substance for any lighter, since it works practically like a fuel.

Characteristics of Alcohol Lighter

The Alcohol Lighter is a laboratory item, extremely popular due to various reasons such as its ease of use , the multiple uses it has and many other characteristics. All this has achieved that this device has established itself as an excellent tool both inside and outside the laboratory.

To begin with, we have that it is an indispensable instrument for any laboratory, because the heating of many reactions depends on the low intensity and constant fire that this instrument has the capacity to generate. On the other hand, this tool generates energy quickly, because it emits direct fire to ignite.

Its uses are very varied as we could see, since it allows heating in specific places or great magnitude. To all this we must add that its shape can function as a light bulb that generates heat , so it works as a lamp. Other of its many characteristics are the following;

  • It can be used in situations where a large amount of heat is not needed.
  • It is an instrument that can be designed at home, that is, it can be handmade or homemade.
  • It has a lid made of metal, with which we can completely seal the container and prevent the alcohol from starting to be consumed.
  • It is a completely stable instrument, since it has a flat base that allows it to maintain balance.

It is important to mention that these are just one of the many features that this instrument has. However, knowing these characteristics we can better understand how to use this element to work with it.

Parts of alcohol lighters

To begin with, these instruments are made using glass or metal elements. This is because they are the only ones that can withstand the high temperatures that are generated to result in the reaction we need. Due to this, other materials such as plastic would not be able to withstand high temperatures .

Although these instruments have a very simple general structure, we must bear in mind that alcohol lighters have other parts that obviously we must know, among them we have;

  • Container ; This is basically the jar where we will put the alcohol. As we mentioned, it is made of materials that resist heat, among which we have glass and stainless steel.
  • Alcohol ; Another important component of the Alcohol lighter is the alcohol itself. As we mentioned, this will work like fuel, since being flammable allows the flame to be kept alive for a good period of time.
  • Lid ; The other important part of the lighter is the lid, which, as its name indicates, works to seal the container . This is important so that the alcohol does not evaporate, apart from making the flame much more powerful due to its concentration.
  • Wick ; Finally, the Alcohol lighters are made up of a wick, which as we can imagine is a kind of cord which is important to come into contact with the alcohol . This last point is important so that you can create the flame that will heat other compounds.

How Do Alcohol Lighters Work?

This labware works using a delivery system. For this, the fuel that we will use (alcohol) must be reserved in the container since it will serve to generate the flame and impregnate it.

That the wick absorbs the alcohol is a very important point, since it serves to supply the lighter constantly and keep the wick lit. Keep in mind that it is in this way that the flame is maintained for a long period of time or as long as we need.

The operation of the lighter continues, when the alcohol begins to escape to the outside. Keep in mind that it is at this point where the true combustion is generated, since the alcohol works as fuel it is gasified.

What is the Alcohol Lighter for?

This laboratory instrument works in all areas where warm-up is needed. Due to this, apart from specialized laboratories, this instrument can be used in different environments such as informal ones. In relation to the functions of these devices we have the following;

  • It serves as a lamp ; One of the functions of the Alcohol lighter is that it can supply light to small places. This is because alcohol is a perfect component for this task since it burns slowly and slowly.
  • It can be modified ; Something that stands out a lot about this type of instrument is that it can be modified in different ways. For this we only have to use a small-scale torch, heating in a specific place to modify it in a container.
  • It works in any laboratory and for any substance ; Another function of this type of instrument is that they can be used in different laboratories. At the same time it works to heat a good amount of substances in different chemical procedures.

To all this we must add that the Alcohol burner works as a stove , so it can heat drinks or any other type of food. Basically this type of instrument is used for heating.

In this sense, we can say that lighters have a wide variety of uses, so it can be given a global approach even on a daily basis . However, as we mentioned, the main place where this instrument is used is in the laboratory. All this to heat substances that are or are obtained by the flask, beakers and other containers.

Types of Alcohol lighters

As we have been mentioned, this type of instrument is used for heating. If we have this in mind we can say that the different types of alcohol lighters that we can find differ in their manufacturing materials and by the model of the lighter. In this sense, the different types of lighters that exist are;

  • Glass Alcohol Lighters; In this case we have a type of lighter that is distinguished by its manufacturing material, which, as indicated in its name, is made of alcohol. This is because glass is a very resistant material, so it can withstand high temperatures.
  • Alcohol Bunsen Lighters ; This lighter works by means of natural gas or gases originating from oil, differentiating this by the type of model. We must mention that this type of lighter can also be based on alcohol.
  • Stainless Steel Alcohol Lighters ; As its name indicates, this type of lighter is made of special stainless steel. In this way the material can withstand a good amount of heat and withstand the high temperatures to which these materials are subjected.
  • Tirril Alcohol Lighters ; In this case we have a lighter model, which has a key that allows to regulate the passage of fuel or air. Basically, they are characterized by being able to control the intensity of the flame.
  • Alcohol Fisher lighters ; To finish with the different types of Alcohol lighter, we have the Fisher model which is very similar to the Bunsen . However, in this we can find a much larger lighter. Thanks to the latter we achieve that the heat is generated more quickly and uniformly.

How important is the Alcohol lighter?

As we have been seeing, the Alcohol lighter is a tool used in a large number of jobs , so its importance is very great. Basically we can say without fear of being wrong that this instrument can be used for a good number of processes.

The Alcohol lighter can be used in specialized places such as laboratories, but also in other places such as companies and industries . In fact, there is even the possibility of using it in our daily lives.

In this sense, the Alcohol lighter is an instrument that is used in a large number of places and has a large number of functions. So we are talking about a tool that is widely recognized and not only in a couple of places, but it has a global character.

Because the Alcohol Lighter is a multifunctional instrument, easy to use and that we can even make in our homes. On the other hand, there is the fact that it has a good number of models, which have the same function.

Dr. Loony Davis5
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Born and raised in Brussels in an English family, I have always lived in a multicultural environment. After several work experiences in marketing and communication, I came to Smart Water Magazine, which I describe as the most exciting challenge of my career.
I am a person with great restlessness and curiosity to learn, discover what I do not know, as well as reinvent myself daily, someone who is curious about life and wants to know. I enjoy sharing knowledge.
This is my personal project but I also collaborate in other blogs, it is the case, the most important web on water currently exists in the US, if you are interested you can read my articles here.

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