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Posted: 12/25/2003 5:01:30 PM EDT
cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3647797079&category=2020

I saw this on Ebay. Can anyone give me the 411 on Trioxane fuel?

Thanks,
JR
Link Posted: 12/25/2003 5:04:52 PM EDT
Trioxane is a compressed, solid fuel, used for cooking food, boiling water, or heating MRE's, otherwise known as military rations. They were made mainly for survival and military use and usually come packaged 3 bars to a box. Each bar is individually sealed in a coated, water proof, foil wrapper and every bar is scored so that you can break it into thirds to vary the amount of fuel burned. There's nothing to spill and they are reasonably lightweight. Except in the exact chemical makeup and burn times, they are pretty similiar in use to esbit tablets. One bar will burn for about 7 to 9 minutes at over 14,000 BTUs, which is plenty long enough to bring a small amount of water to a boil. They burn so hot that you will probably only need to use one full bar to make a good cup of java. Designed for outdoor use, (not for use inside a tent), Trioxane is (very) easy to light, and can be used in a variety of ways. They can be used in an esbit type of stove, in a specially designed trioxane stove, or if you have nothing else, simply place one on dry dirt or a rock, and hold your pot or canteen cup over the flame for cooking. I've used them in emtpy cans, and in my sterno stove in the past. As with most fuels, when cooking with trioxane be sure to allow the fire enough ventilation to breath, but you will probably need to protect the flame from the wind. One drawback to using this type of fuel is that there isn't any real practical way to vary the heat intensity. Once you ignite the fuel bar there's only one real heat setting - High. The only practical way to vary the heat that I've found so far is by varying the distance between the fuel and the cooking pot. This of course can be easier said than done when out in the backcountry or on a trail somewhere. They do leave a little residue after burning and the instructions indicate that you should wash your hands if your skin comes into direct contact with the tablets. Personally, I take that to mean that they are probably somewhat toxic. They seem to have a slightly toxic smell when burning so I would suggest that you try to avoid inhaling the fumes while cooking if you can. As mentioned earlier, they are really made more for survival type of cooking. They are best at heating or boiling small amounts of water (for a single person. A task at which they seem to work rather well at, but probably not much else. I haven't actually tried to cook anything with them, but they seem too hot for anything else but boiling water to me. The advantages to this type of fuel is that they are extremely lightweight, there's no liquid fuel to spill, and there's nothing mechanical that can malfunction. For backpacking purposes they can be usefull if you mainly rely on dehydrated foods that only require boiling water for a few minutes, or making coffee or tea. In other words if you are a minimalist, or an ultra-light hiker, then they will probably get the job done. If not, then they should be used more for a backup fuel source, as opposed to using them as your main source of cooking fuel. At the very least, I would suggest that you try them out on a one or two day trip to see if you like them before heading out on any longer excursions.
Link Posted: 12/25/2003 5:18:39 PM EDT
Thanks for the quick reply. Would one fuel bar be sufficient to bring a canteen cup of water to a boil or would it require several?
Link Posted: 12/25/2003 5:22:46 PM EDT
Great post Tras. The Ebay price seems high, especially if you already have something to boil water in, and the $6.95 for shipping!! Sportman's guide used to sell small sealed bars a while back, and I bought some of the large ones Tras refers to. I only use them to boil water in a metal cup. Trioxane is the cyclic trimer of formaldehyde. When it burns, small amounts of formaldehyde are produced, so you do need good ventilation. Wipe your hands if you handle them and then intend to handle food. Even though it is a solid, trioxane will 'evaporate' if exposed to the atmosphere. In this way, it is similar to moth balls. That is one of the reasons it is packaged so well. If there is an opening, it will eventually evaporate. Have you ever used the hexamine (? esbit)tablets? Trioxane ignites much more easily and burns more fiercely. Hexamine will not evaporate if the package is slightly open to air.
Link Posted: 12/25/2003 5:24:36 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Johnny_Reno: Thanks for the quick reply. Would one fuel bar be sufficient to bring a canteen cup of water to a boil or would it require several?
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You would likely need several with water starting at or below room temperature.
Link Posted: 12/25/2003 5:29:20 PM EDT
Originally Posted By C-4:
Originally Posted By Johnny_Reno: Thanks for the quick reply. Would one fuel bar be sufficient to bring a canteen cup of water to a boil or would it require several?
View Quote
You would likely need several with water starting at or below room temperature.
View Quote
Are you speaking from experience or are you guesstimating?
Link Posted: 12/25/2003 5:41:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/26/2003 6:38:32 PM EDT by GunLvrPHD]
These heat tablets are precious if you do any winter camping. You can use them to heat up the generator on your gas stove so it will operate when it's 20 below zero/ GunLvr
Link Posted: 12/25/2003 5:49:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/25/2003 5:52:47 PM EDT by TomJefferson]
Use them all the time..... One bar will take a canteen cup to a low boil but not roaring boil. It's good enough for coffee or freeze dried food. There is three to a box. Breaking them up into halves or thirds make them stretch farther but takes a bit longer time. The price is high compared to some deals on the discount sites. Suggest Cheaperthandirt.com or Sportsmansguide.com. Tj
Link Posted: 12/25/2003 5:56:55 PM EDT
Originally Posted By TomJefferson: Suggest Cheaperthandirt.com or Sportsmansguide.com. Tj
View Quote
Hehehe...already beat ya there. I was just trying to get a little info from those that have used them before. Thanks to all who responded.
Link Posted: 12/25/2003 6:31:47 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Johnny_Reno:
Originally Posted By C-4:
Originally Posted By Johnny_Reno: Thanks for the quick reply. Would one fuel bar be sufficient to bring a canteen cup of water to a boil or would it require several?
View Quote
You would likely need several with water starting at or below room temperature.
View Quote
Are you speaking from experience or are you guesstimating?
View Quote
If you are trying to make a cup of tea or hot chocolate, you can bring a cup (literally--250ml) to a near boil (not rolling) if the conditions are optimal--the water is starting at or slightly below room temperature (70F). If you are melting snow, you will definitely need more than one bar to bring to a near boil. If you throw in wind, cold outside air temperature and a cold metal cup, you will need more than one bar. I've never tried to boil a canteen's worth of water, but you cannot rely on these tablets to bring that much water to a rolling boil to, for instance, sterilize it. If you want to sterilize a small amount (150ml) of water, that's fine. If you want to melt snow to body temperature, then that's fine as well. Warm 70F water to near boil for tea or hot cocoa, that's fine. They are meant for emergencies or very short stays in the woods. If I know I'm spending some time out there then I'll bring my Coleman stove. I made tea on three occasions during deer season this year using one table each time.
Link Posted: 12/25/2003 6:38:31 PM EDT
Originally Posted By C-4:
Originally Posted By Johnny_Reno:
Originally Posted By C-4:
Originally Posted By Johnny_Reno: Thanks for the quick reply. Would one fuel bar be sufficient to bring a canteen cup of water to a boil or would it require several?
View Quote
You would likely need several with water starting at or below room temperature.
View Quote
Are you speaking from experience or are you guesstimating?
View Quote
If you are trying to make a cup of tea or hot chocolate, you can bring a cup (literally--250ml) to a near boil (not rolling) if the conditions are optimal--the water is starting at or slightly below room temperature (70F). If you are melting snow, you will definitely need more than one bar to bring to a near boil. If you throw in wind, cold outside air temperature and a cold metal cup, you will need more than one bar. I've never tried to boil a canteen's worth of water, but you cannot rely on these tablets to bring that much water to a rolling boil to, for instance, sterilize it. If you want to sterilize a small amount (150ml) of water, that's fine. If you want to melt snow to body temperature, then that's fine as well. Warm 70F water to near boil for tea or hot cocoa, that's fine. They are meant for emergencies or very short stays in the woods. If I know I'm spending some time out there then I'll bring my Coleman stove. I made tea on three occasions during deer season this year using one table each time.
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Roger that. Thanks for the info. [;)]
Link Posted: 12/25/2003 7:02:05 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Johnny_Reno:
Originally Posted By TomJefferson: Suggest Cheaperthandirt.com or Sportsmansguide.com. Tj
View Quote
Hehehe...already beat ya there. I was just trying to get a little info from those that have used them before. Thanks to all who responded.
View Quote
Sorry about that, it has been two weeks since I used any. Tj
Link Posted: 12/25/2003 8:44:11 PM EDT
Did you know the powerful military explosive RDX is just nitrated hexamine? I wonder what nitrated trioxane would be like.
Link Posted: 12/25/2003 8:52:42 PM EDT
It sells for $.50 a box, carry out at the gun shows around here.
Link Posted: 12/25/2003 10:24:48 PM EDT
We used to get them with our C-rations. You can get them at any gun show, cheap. They work great but the fumes are strong.
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 2:56:26 AM EDT
I picked up a bunch some time ago from CTD when there was some type of special on them. In addition to what has been said above, they work great in getting campfires started quickly.
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 4:58:09 AM EDT
Originally Posted By raven: Did you know the powerful military explosive RDX is just nitrated hexamine? I wonder what nitrated trioxane would be like.
View Quote
As I mentioned in my post above, trioxane is the cyclic trimer of formaldehyde ie. three formaldehyde molecules bound together chemically in a 'ring'. It is very resistant to most chemicals with the exception of strong concentrated acids. The latter will break it down to the monomer formaldehyde. If you tried to nitrate it in a flask, most of it would break down to formaldehyde gas which would escape out of the top. The rest would be oxidized to formic acid which is what ants use to sting you. If you want to use trioxane as a source for formaldehyde gas, I would recommend you use sulfuric acid which would not oxidize it. Run the gas into water for a formaldehyde solution, dilute to 4% (formalin) and use it to preserve whatever animal/tissue you like (make sure the animal is dead first or it will get messy[:D]).
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 3:52:46 PM EDT
Haven't tried cooking with them yet, but have been carrying them for YEARS as an emergency fire starter. Keep a couple-or more-tabs in all my packs, tackle box, truck, etc. They can be real life savers when the wind is high or your wood (and tinder) are a little damp. I buy a box or two every time I go into a Gov't. surplus store. Think I have about 10 boxes in stock myself.
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