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My BP Smells Like Rum--Tasty!


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#1 SharkWhisperer

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Posted 08 March 2020 - 09:56 AM

So it's a nice sunny day and I had some BP waiting to be granulated. Many use water but I like to use isopropyl alcohol, normally 70% when dextrin granulating so there's sufficient water for dextrin activation and 91% for fast-drying unbound rocket fuel.

 

Well, alcohol stocks (apart from overpriced Home Depot denatured alcohol) are essentially nil in the Walmarts and Walgreens of my region these days, due to the virus scare hoarding. But I had an old bottle of Bacardi 151 rum, whoo hoo, 75.5% ethanol that's been sitting around a long time (think they stopped making it awhile back). So I sacrificed some of it for wetting/granulating my BP batch. Worked just like any wetting agent and is drying nice and fast. And smells strongly of rum, hah ha! Will be a hoot if the rocket exhaust smells like a tavern...


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#2 SharkWhisperer

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Posted 10 March 2020 - 07:45 PM

Oh this stuff burns like wildfire. No complaints. It still smells like rum in granules, but that disappears upon ignition...

 

Crude but effective



#3 FrankRizzo

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Posted 13 March 2020 - 09:35 AM

If your local gas stations still carry E85, that stuff works great as well. It has a scent a lot more noxious than rum, but at $2/gal it's tough to find a cheaper solvent. The characteristic odor does stick around for a while, but drying during an afternoon of good hot sun will get rid of most of it.

#4 SharkWhisperer

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Posted 13 March 2020 - 12:41 PM

If your local gas stations still carry E85, that stuff works great as well. It has a scent a lot more noxious than rum, but at $2/gal it's tough to find a cheaper solvent. The characteristic odor does stick around for a while, but drying during an afternoon of good hot sun will get rid of most of it.

Very good point. At least for rocket fuel. Likely would have to add 10-15% water if using for dextrin activation/binding for lift granules. That shouldn't be a problem, though because the water would be completely miscible with the ethanol. I'll have to look around; never used the stuff or known anybody that does; I abhor any ETOH in my gasoline (tough luck) and so do the rubber gaskets in my motorcycle carburetors. So unsure about current local availability.

 

The price point is super attractive. The E85 admixture solvent stank might not be quite so pleasant as my Bacardi BP's fine Caribbean aroma, though !!!



#5 cevmarauder

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Posted 11 May 2020 - 01:45 AM

Strange, I would think that it would, at least nominally, slow it down, due to the sugars in rum.  Probably NBD for rocket fuel, though.

And to think, we used to make "rocket fuel" in the Army by mixing Tang with vodka :D  It's what the Cosmonauts drink!



#6 SharkWhisperer

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Posted 11 May 2020 - 06:18 PM

Strange, I would think that it would, at least nominally, slow it down, due to the sugars in rum.  Probably NBD for rocket fuel, though.

And to think, we used to make "rocket fuel" in the Army by mixing Tang with vodka :D  It's what the Cosmonauts drink!

Dunno how much residual sugar or other components there is after evaporating away the rum (bottle long gone now) but the BP works great for lift and for rocket fuel (EB and CB). I'm sure there's some residue in there because, though kept well sealed, what's left still smells like rum a month later! It was pretty hot willow powder to start with, and I can't discern a noticeable change in burn rate, though there might be expected some minor effect.

 

There's Everclear or similar available in liquor stores at 95% EtOH that makes a great pyro solvent or diluted with Tang or lotion/glycerol for internal/external antisepsis. Kinda pricey for dedicated pyro work, though essentially nothing would be expected as residue. Might still be able to find gallons of isopropyl at Tractor Supply (antiseptic and liniment/rub-down for horses)--they were around $30 for 91% gallons about a month ago. Always denatured alcohol at Home Depot, but read the MSDS before purchasing--some of it has relatively high proportions >10% of various denaturants that you might not want in your comps. Their "Green" Klean-Strip brand denatured alcohol has only methanol as the additive to ethanol. Or there's good ol' water for those who have patience or don't mind firing up the drying box!






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