Alcohol burner

November 1, 2021

The alcohol lighter is an iconic instrument, it provides the ideal setting for the achievement of many chemical reactions , using fire to achieve its goal. On this occasion, I will tell you a little about this tool so valued in the laboratory.

Alcohol is a highly volatile and flammable compound, which makes it the best fuel to supply this lighter, given these and other particular properties.

In the next few lines, I will tell you about other details of this alcohol lighter, so that you can know everything you need to know for better use and handling.

What is an Alcohol Lighter?

An alcohol lighter is considered to be any container that has some type of alcohol inside and that serves to generate a flame that allows heating or the generation of light.

They are made from glass or metal elements , since they are the only ones that have the ability to withstand the high temperatures generated by the heat of the flames.

Parts of an Alcohol Lighter

The alcohol lighter in general terms in terms of structure, is an extremely simple instrument. The parts that make it up are the following:

  • Container

It is the bottle that contains the alcohol, it can be made of glass or stainless steel.

  • Way

It is the object that allows the container to be properly sealed , so that the alcohol does not evaporate and thus the flame is more powerful due to its concentration and unique outlet to the wick.

  • Alcohol

It is the fuel, which has the flammable capacity and allows the flame to stay alive for as long as necessary.

  • Mecha

It is a kind of cord that has direct contact with alcohol and absorbs it to make the flame that will heat other compounds.

As you can see, it is very simple, to the point that on the internet you find a large number of tutorials to make this lighter in an artisanal way at home.

What is an Alcohol Lighter for?

The alcohol burner is an instrument that has a wide functionality, in all areas where it warrants heating, whether in informal places or specialized laboratories. The functions of this tool are as follows:

  • It works as a kind of lamp to give light to a small place , alcohol is the ideal component, this is because it burns slowly and steadily.
  • It is used as a lighter in any type of laboratory, that is, it allows to heat different substances in chemical procedures, generally, it is used with a tripod and a rack.
  • It can be modified to be used as a small-scale torch , which is ideal for site-specific heating.
  • If the alcohol burner is extended, it can function as a stove to heat drinks or any other food.

As you can see, all its activities are related to the heating of substances, therefore, it becomes an instrument of first necessity within the laboratory.

How does an Alcohol Lighter work?

The alcohol lighter works under a supply system , the alcohol that is reserved in the container is the flammable fuel that permeates the wick.

Then, once the wick of this lighter is lit , it will be constantly supplied with fuel, in such a way that the flame can be maintained for a long time.

When the alcohol leaves to the outside, it is gasified, which is what really generates the combustion, that is, the capillarity. This in essence is what keeps the flame alive.

In itself, it has an extremely simple mechanism and is applicable to all types of existing alcohol burners, you just have to be careful when handling, as you work with fire.

Uses of the Alcohol Lighter?

The uses of the lighter are universal, they have an applicability that encompasses aspects on a daily basis, as in the most specialized sites.

The main place where this instrument is used is in the laboratory, to heat substances that are contained in flasks, beakers or other containers, which are related to distillation, separation of substances, among others.

It is also used as a lamp, for camping sites and in hiking activities It can even illuminate spaces on a small scale.

The alcohol lighter is a necessary tool in any field, which is why it is considered an auxiliary for people who work in laboratories every day.

Types of Alcohol Lighter

It is considered as I mentioned before, as an alcohol lighter to all that container that stores alcohol and lights a wick . Starting from this premise, I can mention the general classification of this type of lighter below:

  • According to the manufacturing material

Glass Alcohol Lighter

The bottle that contains the alcohol is made of glass . As you may know, glass is a resistant material, capable of withstanding high levels of heat. This model is the cheapest and the most commercial.

Stainless Steel Alcohol Lighter

In this case, the bottle is made from a special stainless steel, which allows it to maintain heat and withstand the extreme temperatures to which it is subjected.

  • According to the model of Lighter

Alcohol Bunsen Lighter

This is the laboratory model that is commonly used for the heating of substances, although the Bunsen burner works with natural gas or gases originating from petroleum, however, there is also this model based on alcohol, whose operation is based on a flame made with great precision, so that it can generate heat quickly.

Alcohol Fisher Lighter

It is very similar to the Bunsen burner, only differentiated by the fact that this Fisher model has a larger burner , in order to create a wider flame to generate heat quickly and evenly. It is ideal for heating large containers and is made primarily of metal.

Tirril Alcohol Lighter

This is a lighter that meets the same characteristics as the previous ones, only it has a key that allows you to regulate the passage of fuel or air, in order to control the intensity of the flame.

In short, alcohol lighters are any lighter you know that works with any type of alcohol, even the ones you probably have in your home.

Characteristics of an Alcohol Lighter

The alcohol lighter is a very iconic element since it has a series of particular characteristics that allow it to establish itself as an effective and powerful tool. Its main characteristics are:

  • It is an instrument that is indispensable in any laboratory, since almost all reactions depend directly on their heating.
  • The fire produced by the alcohol burner is of low intensity and of constant time.
  • It allows the production of light or heat.
  • It can generate energy quickly , since when it is turned on it emits direct fire.
  • It is used for the heating of elements in specific places or at great magnitude.
  • In general, they have a rounded shape, alluding to the geometry of the bulbs.
  • Its base is flat, so it can stand upright and completely stable.
  • The lid is made of metal , to be able to completely seal the container and prevent the alcohol from being consumed.
  • The alcohol lighter can be made in an artisanal or homemade way.
  • It is used in situations where the generation of large amounts of heat is not warranted .

These are the main characteristics of the alcohol lighter, however, it has many more, which allows a better understanding of the general concept of this element.

Importance of the Alcohol Lighter

The importance of these lighters lies in the fact that they are an instrument that intervenes in almost all processes within a laboratory, company, industry and even in our daily lives.

In addition, it is transcendental because it is used for multiple tasks and in a large number of places around the world, thus being one of the most recognized and universal materials .

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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