Diggers meths not suitable for spirit burners

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Diggers meths not suitable for spirit burners

Postby BarryK » Sat 07 Aug, 2021 7:12 pm

I have just bought Diggers methylated spirits from Bunnings, and was alarmed to read this on the label:

"Not suitable for used in spirit burners. Use of this product in spirit burners could lead to serious burn injury."

Did a quick search of this forum, couldn't see any information about this warning, but Mark F posted about the chemical composition:

https://bushwalk.com/forum/viewtopic.ph ... 81#p383181

Quoting:

"Diggers brand does not have methanol but is 95% ethanol, 4.9% water and 0.1% non-toxic bittering agents."

I found a discussion on Trailer Sailor Place forum about the warning on the Diggers bottles:

https://www.trailersailerplace.com.au/p ... =2&t=15513

...so, it seems that the Diggers meths is the same as before, but they are now putting the warning on the label so as to protect themselves legally.

I found this:

https://www.smh.com.au/business/consume ... tfkk5.html

...so, it looks like the problem is "decorative alcohol burners". I didn't know there were such things!

Has anyone got any thoughts on this? Is Diggers still OK to use?
Last edited by BarryK on Sat 07 Aug, 2021 7:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Diggers meths not suitable for spirit burners

Postby crollsurf » Sat 07 Aug, 2021 7:24 pm

Its fine, just the legal department making sure they don't get sued.

Interestingly, alcos used to drink the stuff before they added the bittering agent, because it was cheap. Curiosity got the better of me, so I taste tested Metho and I can assure you, the bittering agent works a treat. That horrible taste lasted for hours.
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Re: Diggers meths not suitable for spirit burners

Postby EGM » Sat 07 Aug, 2021 8:31 pm

I remember buying it from different shops at a similar time and one label had the warning and one did not.
I wonder if they added it to encourage people to purchase their Bio Flame product as well as for legal reasons.

+1 it's extraordinarily bitter
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Re: Diggers meths not suitable for spirit burners

Postby michael_p » Sat 07 Aug, 2021 10:23 pm

BarryK wrote:Has anyone got any thoughts on this? Is Diggers still OK to use?

The warning is just so they don't get sued. Can't see any reason not to use it.

Those "decorative alcohol burners" look dodgy as. No wonder they caused problems.
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Re: Diggers meths not suitable for spirit burners

Postby ChrisJHC » Sun 08 Aug, 2021 8:37 am

I’ve used it regularly in my “tuna can” burner with no problems.

Also used it in a pressure-burner.
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Re: Diggers meths not suitable for spirit burners

Postby ggorgeman » Sun 08 Aug, 2021 9:49 am

EGM wrote:I remember buying it from different shops at a similar time and one label had the warning and one did not.
I wonder if they added it to encourage people to purchase their Bio Flame product as well as for legal reasons.

+1 it's extraordinarily bitter



Interest to hear what their Bio Flame is? Anyone know?
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Re: Diggers meths not suitable for spirit burners

Postby ofuros » Sun 08 Aug, 2021 9:54 am

Hard to see when ignited, hence the accidental burns if you spill some. Whooshka ! Smartly followed by the smell of burnt hair. :wink:
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Re: Diggers meths not suitable for spirit burners

Postby EGM » Sun 08 Aug, 2021 10:37 am

[quote="ggorgeman"

Interest to hear what their Bio Flame is? Anyone know?[


It's the denatured alcohol they sell intended to be burnt. I've unsuccessfully tried to find some to test and compare to regular methylated spirits in the past but given up.
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Re: Diggers meths not suitable for spirit burners

Postby Gadgetgeek » Sun 15 Aug, 2021 7:22 pm

There is a lot of interesting history and hysteria regarding "methylated" spirits the world over. It seems that many of the urban legends are pretty regional as well.
As someone who came into contact with "bittering agents" as a pretend vehicle service person I can tell you that they do as they say! As far as I know, diggers has had that label since at least 2018 or so, maybe before, again because they are not selling it as "fuel" and due to aussie liability and product laws. (you need a SDS for pretty much every possible use case, makes it impractical)
There may also have been versions that were primarily methanol as well. I know that in the US and Canada, the common fuel source is a brand of gas-line antifreeze, and the color of the bottle codes to methanol, ethanol or isoprolyl, depending somewhat on region, as they have slightly different properties and vastly different cost.
The important thing is to hunt down that SDS sheet and make sure you know what you have. As far as I know, visibility of the flame is related primarily to water content, and not so much the actual alcohol (though iso does some odd stuff due to its differing properties)
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