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Last-minute thoughts on kerosene.

COUNTRYSIDE: In the July/Aug. 2006 issue a reader asked if you could rejuvenate kerosene. He has K-1 kerosene, which is more refined and will last a long time, especially in sealed plastic containers. With kerosene, the biggest villain is an open container, which allows oxidation, and water to enter. I am using up my reserve of K-1 that is 10 years old and was stored in tightly sealed five-gallon containers with no additive added. It is still 90% clear and works fine and has not hardened the wicks of my lamps. When it starts to yellow then your performance goes down. When I now open a container I add a kerosene additive from American Wick (1-800-USA-WICK) that disperses water. It contains methyl alcohol, which is used in some gasoline additives to dry out your gasoline in winter. The claim on the bottle is that it contributes to extended wick life, reduces odors, and inhibits corrosion. I cannot say if it does or does not. I have not used enough to tell if there's any difference from the untreated kerosene.

K-1 clear kerosene is the best lamp and wick-type heater fuel I have used. The kerosene with red dye (even K-l) has given me large carbon deposits on the wicks and more soot when lighting and extinguishing. Lamp oil is mostly paraffin and has not "wicked" well for me, and is more expensive for the amount of light given. Diesel fuel of any grade is just not good in lamps or wick heaters at all, in my book. Diesel fuel will actually grow bacteria in storage if not treated.

--Maki Serkahn, makimn@lcp2.net

COUNTRYSIDE: In response to "rejuvenate kerosene," July/Aug. 2006, pg. 20. I have never used old kerosene, but years ago I often used old gasoline from cars being strapped out.

Old gasoline smells different and is described as being "varnishy" and will gum up the needle valve in a carburetor if used too much. Needle valves set a carburetor's fuel air mix.

However, that is not the only problem you have. Plastic burns; to store a flammable liquid in a flammable container is dangerous. The kerosene should be stored in a metal container, preferably steel drums, but copper or aluminum containers will also work.

A flammable liquid in a flammable container is an accident waiting to happen. Flammable liquid should never be stored in a dwelling where people or animals live or sleep.

My advice is if the kerosene isn't going to be used up soon, is to take it to a hazardous waste disposal site to be disposed of properly.--J. Sweeny, Arizona
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Title Annotation:The wood carver
Author:Serkahn, Maki; Sweeny, J.
Publication:Countryside & Small Stock Journal
Date:Sep 1, 2006
Words:438
Previous Article:Whittling twigs and branches.
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