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Denatured alcohol in Europe.

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Denatured alcohol in Europe.

Postby CastillejaMiniata » Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:51 am

I would like to use my tiny alcohol stove when I go to Europe this summer (Alps, possibly Balkans) instead of buying a new one to use canister gas. What can I use to operate my stove that should be widely available in Europe? Do many countries have the equivalent of denatured alcohol or something else of high alcohol content? (yes, strong booze, but that's rather expensive). I couldn't find anything remotely equivalent in Mexico and suffered as a result.
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Re: Denatured alcohol in Europe.

Postby dmiki » Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:01 am

It should be widely available. In Hungary you can buy it in paint/chemicals shops, DIY stores, pharmacies and petrol stations. Also via numerous webshops.

And pretty cheap.
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Re: Denatured alcohol in Europe.

Postby Kai » Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:27 am

it's called methylated spirits in the UK.


Heet gas additive is denatured alcohol. Per the heet website, it's sold world wide.

http://www.goldeagle.com/international/default.aspx

http://www.goldeagle.com/brands/heet/default.aspx

The heet in the yellow bottle is what you want. Don't get the red bottle.
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Re: Denatured alcohol in Europe.

Postby DanTheMan » Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:48 pm

These are all different English names for the same (or similar enough) alcohol fuel:

ethanol
ethyl alcohol
grain alcohol
denatured alcohol
denatures spirits
methanol
methyl alcohol
methylated spirits
"meths"
wood alcohol

You might find it as a stove fuel, general solvent, paint remover, gas line antifreeze, fondue fuel, or hard liquor (190 proof). Be careful of rubbing alcohol as it typically has a high water content. The Yellow HEET is nice because it comes in a convenient quantity and can be found in a lot of gas stations.
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Re: Denatured alcohol in Europe.

Postby CastillejaMiniata » Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:11 pm

Yes, I'm very familiar with HEET and use it all the time in the US. I couldn't find a comparable item in Mexico though, presumably due to the complete absence of sub-freezing temperatures in the lowlands. Apparently when I got asking around in Mexico, high alcohol spirits are illegal there and only backwoods versions can be found. I'm glad it's widely available in Europe. I will take note of all the different names and try to do some translations. I used to live in Germany and don't remember encountering it (HEET or denatured alcohol in general) there, but for some reason I never really looked. Thanks.
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Re: Denatured alcohol in Europe.

Postby rgg » Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:45 pm

In German, denatured alcohol is called "Brennspiritus", often shortened to just "Spiritus". It's mostly ethanol, but with some additives that make it highly poisonous (and, from what I understand, make it taste very bad too, but I'm not inclined to try it). Because it's undrinkable, the heavy tax on ethanol is not applicable. Sold cheaply in supermarkets, drug stores and some hardware stores.

In case of confusion, explain that you want to use it for cooking. That helped me out in various parts of the world. If still without luck, explain that some people use it for cleaning. You may well find it in the row of cleaning products.


If your travels ever bring you to The Netherlands, we call it "Brandspiritus" or "Spiritus". Even the small neighborhood supermarket around the corner sells it and it's cheap. Too bad that I can't take it with me when I fly somewhere :(.


I can relate to your Mexican experience. I had that the first time I went to Scotland. Eventually I found an outdoor store that sold some sort of gel that I could use in my stove, or I would have resorted to gasoline. That will work in my alcohol based stove, but it smells bad and the soot quickly makes my pots go black. I never really figured out what that gel was, but it worked fine. Pretty expensive though. And when I wanted to take the remainder back to Amsterdam, I wasn't allowed to take it on the plane (I didn't try to smuggle it, I simply asked and they said no).
Later in Scotland, I first found a hardware store in Edinburgh that sold it, and after that several supermarkets in various cities and villages that did so too. It wasn't dirt cheap, but not overly expensive either. However, I forgot what they called it.
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Re: Denatured alcohol in Europe.

Postby CastillejaMiniata » Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:48 am

Vielen Dank! I guess now if there were some more eastern European knowledgeables who could chime in, that would be great. I'm seriously thinking about the Carpathians and/or Balkans if there is too much snow in the Alps to climb without skis or snowshoes when I'm going.
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Re: Denatured alcohol in Europe.

Postby bassbone_mh » Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:36 pm

I'm in living in Germany now for 2 years. What you (or anyone else traveling in the country) are looking for is called 'Bio-Ethanol'. It's manufactured by Wilckens and is packaged in a 1 liter clear white bottle with a red cap. You can find it in the paint department of either Baumarkt or Hela and is about 5.99 euro. It is usually shelved right next to the German equivalent of denatured alcohol called 'spiritus' (currently in a green bottle). The Bio-ethanol has a higher alcohol content (96%) than the Spiritus (94%) which makes it more ideal for alcohol stoves. I've been using it with great success. Hope this helps, I know your original post was a couple years ago ;)
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