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Author Topic: What are firelighters made from, and how do they work?  (Read 27935 times)

Offline neilep

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Dearest Chums Who Raise My Eyebrows !!

Firelighters !!..those white blocky things of incendiary burning joy that when lit burn slow and forever !!...what are they made from ?...and why do they burn so slow !! ?


Thank EWE !!
« Last Edit: 16/12/2006 11:52:38 by chris »


 

Offline Karen W.

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Re: What are firelighters made from, and how do they work?
« Reply #1 on: 29/11/2006 19:57:45 »
Your not talking about fire starters are you? I don't think I know what kind you are talking about. Are they a substitute for wood heating? I make my own firestarter fron old eggcartons and saw dust that people just sweep away and wax. You melt the wax . while thats melting you por sawdust and small wood chips into the eggcartons, cardboard, that is! Then when the wax is melted you fill each egg cup with the wax over the top of the saw dust! Then you cut the cups apart when cooled and voilla! You put 1 or two in the fireplace or stove and layer your wood kindling criss cross over the wax, then a pile of log. Light the cardboard sides of each of your starter you put in stove and instant fire and no messing around with the bellows forever to get it going!

Is this stuff your talking about like compressed with other stuff or is it a chemical compound of somekind?
 

Offline neilep

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Re: What are firelighters made from, and how do they work?
« Reply #2 on: 29/11/2006 20:25:06 »
Your not talking about fire starters are you? I don't think I know what kind you are talking about. Are they a substitute for wood heating? I make my own firestarter fron old eggcartons and saw dust that people just sweep away and wax. You melt the wax . while thats melting you por sawdust and small wood chips into the eggcartons, cardboard, that is! Then when the wax is melted you fill each egg cup with the wax over the top of the saw dust! Then you cut the cups apart when cooled and voilla! You put 1 or two in the fireplace or stove and layer your wood kindling criss cross over the wax, then a pile of log. Light the cardboard sides of each of your starter you put in stove and instant fire and no messing around with the bellows forever to get it going!

Is this stuff your talking about like compressed with other stuff or is it a chemical compound of somekind?

LOL !!!..well I don't know do I mam ?..That's why I am asking !!  ;)...BUT...it sounds just like it !!..WOW !!...EWE make wonderful fire making joy Mam !!....fantastic that ewe have a recipe too....was it handed down to ewe ?...sounds great. :)

Thanks Mam
 

Offline Karen W.

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Re: What are firelighters made from, and how do they work?
« Reply #3 on: 29/11/2006 21:20:08 »
Your not talking about fire starters are you? I don't think I know what kind you are talking about. Are they a substitute for wood heating? I make my own firestarter fron old eggcartons and saw dust that people just sweep away and wax. You melt the wax . while thats melting you por sawdust and small wood chips into the eggcartons, cardboard, that is! Then when the wax is melted you fill each egg cup with the wax over the top of the saw dust! Then you cut the cups apart when cooled and voilla! You put 1 or two in the fireplace or stove and layer your wood kindling criss cross over the wax, then a pile of log. Light the cardboard sides of each of your starter you put in stove and instant fire and no messing around with the bellows forever to get it going!

Is this stuff your talking about like compressed with other stuff or is it a chemical compound of somekind?

LOL !!!..well I don't know do I mam ?..That's why I am asking !!  ;)...BUT...it sounds just like it !!..WOW !!...EWE make wonderful fire making joy Mam !!....fantastic that ewe have a recipe too....was it handed down to ewe ?...sounds great. :)

Thanks Mam

OH dear!!! LOL LOL LOL, That did not occur to me.... SORRY! :o I guess if I was better I might have thought that's why you asked the question WHOOOOOOPSI!!!!  OH DEAR!!! ;D   The white stuff you refer to sounds different then mine as mine is more pinkish red.. but that would all depend on what the wood you were using was, Mine are oak, pine, alder, fir, spruce, some redood, which is a soft wood and is not good to burn, it works but doesnt burn rel hot! Hardwoods produce a hotter fire and last longer of coarse! and whatever wood sawdust I rake up after they cut all the firewood.. It is a matter of not wasting the cut products as I am a recycler. I recycle the cardboard egg cartons, then the wood chips and stubby candles. That leaves me to buy 10 lb blocks of wax, as I never have enough stubby candles left!  But it works well. Actually the recipe came from me neighbor of thirty years. I have been using them about 10 years.. They are nice for camping as you don't need a ton of paper to start your fire!

Sir, Do you have a Fireplace in you home you use..? They would work well there also! If you do you should make yourself some. A carpenter would probably gladly rid himself of sawdust if you asked at a shop! Did you know you can make your own wood putty fill with white glue and sawdust also! Its a cool trick and it sands down nicely to fix gouges it wooden furniture and such! Just useless trivia I guess but I have used it and it is remarkable. ;D

Wax is usually in most firestarters that I have seen, But I hate chemical ones have used them on occassion when out of mine! THey are FANTABULUS! :) ;)
 

Offline daveshorts

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Re: What are firelighters made from, and how do they work?
« Reply #4 on: 29/11/2006 23:19:09 »
I think the white ones are basically made of big lumps of wax. I guess they have to play with the wax very carefully so that it doesn't melt too easily but will still burn easily.

I think they are similar to the Hexamine tablets the army uses to run little solid fuel stoves with.

Here is a diagram I found on wikipedia.

This has a melting point of 280C so won't melt too easily
« Last Edit: 29/11/2006 23:20:57 by daveshorts »
 

Offline Karen W.

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Re: What are firelighters made from, and how do they work?
« Reply #5 on: 29/11/2006 23:32:36 »
OH thats cool!What do you mean by playing with the wax.. ? Do they add things to it to slow down the burn time? Chemicals or such?  I have never heard of Hexamine tablets. I was going to buy a hearth mostly for looks for my back bedroom, but it was fueled by these funny little cans of fuel I think they must be like stern fuel or something! I don't know if they can produce enough heat to warm a closed room! Burn time is about 4 hours per little can of fuel! They don't really tell you if you can actually heat the room...Do you know..??? I know in small stoves you can cook with it!
 

Offline daveshorts

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Re: What are firelighters made from, and how do they work?
« Reply #6 on: 02/12/2006 14:58:18 »
The waxes you find in cheap candles are mostly long chain alkanes eg:
CH2-CH2-CH2-CH2-CH2-CH2...
long chains of carbon molecules.
The longer the chain the more the chains get tangled and the higher the melting point, but it will burn less well.

I was thinking that possibly they could mix a very long chain wax that has a high melting point with a shorter chain one that will burn really easily, so instead of melting like a candle it would form a jelly like structure, held together by the long chains, but mostly burning the short ones.

However after looking into it the play with it my using lots of nitrogen atoms as above which increase the melting point by sticking the molecules together.

I guess the fuel you are talking about is some form of petrol/diesel/paraffin type substance, these mostly have very roughly 30-40MJ/l assuming your can is about a litre and it is burnt in 3600 seconds (an hour)

 it is going to be burning about 10 000J/s or 10kW which will definitely heat up your room!
« Last Edit: 02/12/2006 15:05:49 by daveshorts »
 

Offline Gaia

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Re: What are firelighters made from, and how do they work?
« Reply #7 on: 02/12/2006 16:12:01 »
Your not talking about fire starters are you? I don't think I know what kind you are talking about. Are they a substitute for wood heating? I make my own firestarter fron old eggcartons and saw dust that people just sweep away and wax. You melt the wax . while thats melting you por sawdust and small wood chips into the eggcartons, cardboard, that is! Then when the wax is melted you fill each egg cup with the wax over the top of the saw dust! Then you cut the cups apart when cooled and voilla! You put 1 or two in the fireplace or stove and layer your wood kindling criss cross over the wax, then a pile of log. Light the cardboard sides of each of your starter you put in stove and instant fire and no messing around with the bellows forever to get it going!

Is this stuff your talking about like compressed with other stuff or is it a chemical compound of somekind?

Hey Karen, yours sound like these. At those prices you should be selling yours!
http://www.witchwoodworkshop.co.uk/firelighters.htm
 

Offline Karen W.

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Re: What are firelighters made from, and how do they work?
« Reply #8 on: 02/12/2006 16:51:28 »
GAia,
 I wonder if she they use wax as the binding agent in their products! I use wax.. It must be something like that as it seems to be white or wax like.

Dave,
  Well That is interesting so those flmes will produce heat... Hummm I have to check out the can size.. I can't be sure if it was 3 hrs or 4 hours burn time! That is interesting though! Thanks Dave!
 
 

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Re: What are firelighters made from, and how do they work?
« Reply #8 on: 02/12/2006 16:51:28 »

 

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