View Full Version : 4 ounce diesel fuel stove?

SGT Rock
12-02-2002, 20:52
Imagine this:

A stove that weighs 4 ounces, burns diesel fuel that you can buy at almost any gas station, and only costs $14. Impossible you say? Check out this link:


I've got to get one. Diesel should have twice the BTUs of alcohol, and at 4 ounce, this stove would ROCK! I bet there is something wrong with it.

12-03-2002, 00:51
hey rock,

i took a look at the website. interesting stove! just a few words about diesel fuel. i spent 26 years on ships burning the stuff internally (diesels engines, not related to burning in stoves) and externally (boiler fuel burners, more related to stoves).

only one way to burn diesel efficiently and cleanly in a stove. that's with good atomization (ie. thru a pressure nozzle) and a forced air supply. the stuff ain't volatile at all! don't know where the little stove is gonna get pressure to force fuel thru a nozzle or get power for forced air supply. otherwise it'll stink and smoke like crazy (ie. wasted fuel, sooty pots and stinky food). i've seen diesel stoves and heaters on sailboats which seemed to do a pretty good job of burning the stuff (with forced air and a pressure supply), but these never used direct flame and cleaning the "smoke" stacks was always fun.

cold weather ignition will be a problem with less than a blow torch i expect (for the same reasons as above and diesel's fairly high vapor point). also in really cold weather the paraffin content begins to gel, clogging up everything. though i expect highway fuel has additives to cure that.

on the other hand, maybe they've cured all these problems. it is intriguing since the stuff has about 18,000 btu/lb if you get one one, i know i'd love to hear about your results.

ps - eight years since retirement and i still have clothes that smell like diesel.

12-03-2002, 00:58
Chief is exactly right in what he said. Diesel fuel has a higher ignition point. It takes a hotter flame to ignite it. I know guys that you to throw there cigarettes in a bucket of diesel fuel to put them out. I would not recommend doing it but I have seen it done.

SGT Rock
12-03-2002, 01:15
I'm sure there is a drawback. If it is Army, then it is probably built backwards. But I hope that this is one of those gems. I've done some research and found very little except a persoanl web page for an employe of Natick Labs that is working on them. I have e-mailed him asking for some details.

I also found the company that is developing them, but it appears their specialt is coal ovens that burn clean and have low emmissions, not backpacking equipment. They had absolutley ZERO info about the stove. But it is the same company and name of the guy in charge of the design team.

And I'm very used to diesel - I'm in Armored Cavalry, everything runs on diesel.

12-03-2002, 10:25
I'm holding out for the 3oz. cold fusion "MSR Solar Flare" :D. With an optional 6 oz. foil chamber, you can roast a 15lb. turkey in 22 seconds.

12-03-2002, 15:04
It says on the site you linked to that it takes 10 min to heat two cups of water 100 degrees F. That's pathetic! With water boiling at 212 F or so, then you have a long wait to get your Ramen!
Sorry, doesn't seem like it would be useful...

Gravity man

12-03-2002, 15:40
My dad was infantry in WWII (wounded twice). He said they heated food on the front line using a mixture of gasoline and mud in a tin can. He doesn't remember the proportions, and I'd be afraid to experiment with it. Anybody else heard of this?

SGT Rock
12-03-2002, 15:54
The boil time isn't very fast, but I'm not in a hurry either. The thing actually said it raise the water temp 100 degrees in 10 minutes. According to the e-mail I got, it boils if left on longer. At that rate, I assume it would take about 15 minutes to boil a pint of water and that is using only 10ml of diesel fuel. Here are some intesting points about the stove, but not the whole e-mail:

... we're now working with Cascade Designs (maker of MSR camping stoves) on a similar project, so the final product might differ quite a bit from what we've done so far with the Pocket Stove...

+ Burns diesel and JP-8 (1/3 ounce per use)
+ Heats 16 ounces of water by 100F in less than 10 minutes
+ Stove and stand weigh 6 ounces (only a 4-ounce increase vs. current
+ Long life, no maintenance wicking system
+ Operates at -25F to 115F, sea level to 10,000 ft altitude

Part of what makes the technology exciting, both for the military and
commercial markets, is that it doesn't require a pressurized fuel
source. This stove is ignited with an MRE match, and has a special
wick, made of a ceramic fiber material that is not consumed or plugged
during operation. It has been tested to last for hundreds of uses
without significant performance degradation. Fuel is drawn from the
reservoir to the surface of the wick, where it can be ignited. Heat
feedback from the flame warms the wick and begins to vaporize the fuel, producing a clean and vigorous flame. Within 30 seconds to a minute, the flame is fully developed. Depending on the amount of fuel initially added, it will burn for 10 to 25 minutes. It performs similarly to the trioxane fuel bar, heating a pint of water by 100 degrees in less than 10 minutes. It will boil the water if the canteen cup is left in place longer.

A couple of points I should mention - the canteen cup is a very innefficient pot, also, the pot support/windscreen is typical Army bombproof equipment, the weight could be shaved drastically. An aluminum or Ti pot like us backpackers use would get better performance.

Since the stove uses a ceramic wick, the next question is how does it work. Suppose it is a 2 micromn ceramic block - a water filter is too. So what if you could build one by getting an replacement filter and putting it into an aluminum can fuel resivoir? I imagine one could be built at about 1.5 - 3 ounces. Heck, maybe the ceramic piece could even serve as the stand for the pot.

12-09-2002, 01:10
In trucking school we had these heaters called salamanders
they were about 3 feet high and had a large tub type tank at the bottom and the rest was like a smoke stack. they ran on diesel fuel and I drew the short straw once to clean em out. Ive never seen anything with so much soot in it!! lol i was using a putty knife to scrape the soot out. Erik

12-09-2002, 09:52
i have this old kerosene lantern and last night wondered how it would do with diesel. so i tried it! got some highway diesel from nearest gas station. filled the tank and gave the wick a chance to get wet. took a while, i guess because it was fairly cold. tried to light the thing with a match. no good, so i used my barbecue butane lighter. finally got a smoky flame. i left the globe open for 2 or 3 minutes to see if the wick would heat up and sustain a better flame. not really! tried adjusting the wick up and down. down seemed to work best, i think because the wick was mostly shrouded by the metal guard and possibly was picking up some heat from the flame. so i lowered the globe and just let it burn. what i ended up with was a black, sooty, oily globe. totally unscientific test, but it reminds me how hard it can be to get the stuff to burn cleanly. maybe the ceramic wick that Rock talks about conducts heat much better and will vaporize the diesel as advertised. still don't know where the stove will get enough air to burn cleanly (ie, completely). personally i doubt this stove will be anything more than a last resort. still a skeptic and still burning coleman!

12-10-2002, 01:18
Sgt. seems like you are in the business and will know when this stove becomes available, let me know and I will experiment with it (I am sure you will, probably even got the letter to the manuf. off already!)

SGT Rock
12-10-2002, 07:24
About 4 letters actually, but they are not available for testing yet :(