In fact, dry alcohol does not belong to alcohols at all. This substance is called dry fuel or urotropine. It is freely sold in any hunting store in the form of small tablets at a low price.
The history of the emergence of dry alcohol
Dry alcohol was first obtained by the outstanding Russian chemist A. M. Butlerov, who synthesized more than a dozen useful organic compounds. This substance is a mixture of urotropin with a small amount of paraffin. The scientist obtained it in 1859 by the interaction of formaldehyde with an aqueous solution of ammonia. Why did the name "dry alcohol" catch on so well? The thing is that urotropine, when burned, does not form soot, smoke and soot. In this way, it is very similar to ethyl alcohol.
Until 2010, urotropine was used in Russia as a food additive (E239) for the production of caviar and other fish products. It significantly increased the shelf life of perishable foods. Studies conducted by scientists have shown that urotropine, when interacting with any acids, forms dangerous formaldehyde, which can cause cancer. It was banned for use in the food industry, nevertheless, unscrupulous companies still add it to their products. Before buying caviar or canned fish, be sure to check the composition.
Today, urotropine is used only for the manufacture of dry fuel. It has a lot of advantages, which makes it so popular among fans of hunting and just outdoor recreation. Dry alcohol burns well and burns for a rather long time. One tablet can maintain a stable flame for up to 15 minutes.
Dry alcohol is especially useful in those places where it is impossible to get any fuel: mountains, steppes, rocky areas. It can be easily ignited even during light rain. This is used by soldiers in the field. It is not for nothing that each soldier is supplied with dry alcohol. It is kindled on a small metal stand.
The price of this fuel is low (about 25 rubles per package). It comes in small tablets that take up very little space in your backpack and you can take them with you on a hike.
The disadvantages of dry alcohol include too low a flame. It is not enough to cook food, but it is enough to warm up tea. It is better to use a gas burner for cooking. The flame is sensitive to the wind, a strong gust can easily extinguish it. Dry alcohol smells very unpleasant. If it gets wet, it immediately starts shooting sparks. Despite all the disadvantages, dry fuel is gaining popularity among hiking enthusiasts.