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ChumpusRex

Buying Industrial Denatured Alcohol (Ida)

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Or is it legal?

I was under the impression that IDA could only be purchased by persons with a license to use it. Certainly, I tried to get some 5 years ago, and it was impossible. Briefly, HMRC were giving licenses for use as fuel for certain tools, but they stopped, stating that they would only be giving licenses for non-fuel use.

So, imagine my surprise when I walk into B&Q over the long weekend, and they have a shelf full of ">97%" ethanol, at about 25% of the cost of the purple methylated spirit.

Analysis using the traditional vintner's technique revealed the characteristic bouquet of methyl ethyl ketone with the delicate bitterness of denatonium benzoate, as is a common industrial formulation, and one generally far preferable to methanol containing formulations.

So, what is the loophole that this is getting sold under?

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Or is it legal?

I was under the impression that IDA could only be purchased by persons with a license to use it. Certainly, I tried to get some 5 years ago, and it was impossible. Briefly, HMRC were giving licenses for use as fuel for certain tools, but they stopped, stating that they would only be giving licenses for non-fuel use.

So, imagine my surprise when I walk into B&Q over the long weekend, and they have a shelf full of ">97%" ethanol, at about 25% of the cost of the purple methylated spirit.

Analysis using the traditional vintner's technique revealed the characteristic bouquet of methyl ethyl ketone with the delicate bitterness of denatonium benzoate, as is a common industrial formulation, and one generally far preferable to methanol containing formulations.

So, what is the loophole that this is getting sold under?

when i was a student we would only toke the spectroscopic grade lab ethanol. even "absolute" alcohol contains traces of benzene.

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So, imagine my surprise when I walk into B&Q over the long weekend, and they have a shelf full of ">97%" ethanol, at about 25% of the cost of the purple methylated spirit.

My Trangias were quite excited by this news

A quick scoot over to ebay and...

Best price for 5L meths - £13.40 + £6 P&P

Best price for 5L denatured alcohol (99%) - £22 + £6 P&P

Can you recall how much B&Q were asking? If they've fluffed their pricing I might pop in.

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From the ebay page selling the denatured alcohol...

For customers wishing to order this product who do not yet hold authorisation, an application form is available from HM Revenue & Customs website, you can call the National helpline on 0845 0109000 for futher information.

The form is article 19 in the list which can be downloaded from here. It is free of charge to get the authorisation, just fill out the form and post it.

http://customs.hmrc.gov.uk/channelsPortalWebApp/channelsPortalWebApp.portal?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=pageExcise_ShowContent&id=HMCE_CL_000263&propertyType=document#P760_57576

Once you have this, your application can be dealt with via the National Registration Unit, HMRC in Glasgow.There is no cost involved in obtaining authorisation and only takes a few minutes.

Hobbyists and small businesses may apply to receive 20Lt or less for their own use as a recognised category for authorisation.

Please ensure if you are a new customer you send Via email to medspek@yahoo.co.uk or post a copy of your HMRC letter to receive this product as we can not send out the IDA without this information.

Delivery to UK mainland only

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£5 for a 2 litre bottle.

It's in the "fires" section, and labelled "bioethanol fuel".

As I stated in the first post, it's MEK (probably 3%) and Bitrex denatured, rather than methanol. (I did actually e-mail the manufacturer and ask what the denaturants were, but they didn't know, so I'm guessing based on the smell and knowledge of the common formulations).

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Or is it legal?

I was under the impression that IDA could only be purchased by persons with a license to use it. Certainly, I tried to get some 5 years ago, and it was impossible. Briefly, HMRC were giving licenses for use as fuel for certain tools, but they stopped, stating that they would only be giving licenses for non-fuel use.

So, imagine my surprise when I walk into B&Q over the long weekend, and they have a shelf full of ">97%" ethanol, at about 25% of the cost of the purple methylated spirit.

Analysis using the traditional vintner's technique revealed the characteristic bouquet of methyl ethyl ketone with the delicate bitterness of denatonium benzoate, as is a common industrial formulation, and one generally far preferable to methanol containing formulations.

So, what is the loophole that this is getting sold under?

Just out of curiousity, what do you want it for (if you do indeed want it).

Does sound like B&Q have messed something up. Perhaps not the price, but the description of what it actually is - beware.

I am impressed with your olfactory talents, BTW.

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£5 for a 2 litre bottle.

It's in the "fires" section, and labelled "bioethanol fuel".

As I stated in the first post, it's MEK (probably 3%) and Bitrex denatured, rather than methanol.

Thx. Not bad at all.

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Just out of curiousity, what do you want it for (if you do indeed want it).

General cleaning solvent, electronics and car part degreaser, camping stove fuel.

I don't quite know under what law they're selling it, unless it's some EU harmonisation thing - i.e. if it's considered good enough to be suitable for sale to the general public in one EU country, it's suitable to be sold in all others. However, I think it genuinely is what it says it is. It evaporates and behaves like I'd expect it to, and leaves no residue, burns very cleanly and isn't as strong a solvent as pure MEK is.

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General cleaning solvent, electronics and car part degreaser, camping stove fuel.

i'm surprised B&Q are selling this since i've found it increasingly difficult to buy cheap solvents (ethanol, isorop etc.) in the UK even from chemists,

whereas abroad they are usually obtainable in large bottles from supermarkets.

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Just out of curiousity, what do you want it for (if you do indeed want it).

I remember someone telling me, in all seriousness, that if you pour meths through a slice of bread it's good to drink.

The meths in NZ has had the methanol taken out on account of so many people drinking it...

stuff: Meths drinking on the increase

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i'm surprised B&Q are selling this since i've found it increasingly difficult to buy cheap solvents (ethanol, isorop etc.) in the UK even from chemists,

whereas abroad they are usually obtainable in large bottles from supermarkets.

I think the key point is that they're not selling it as a solvent; there selling it as an "eco" fuel for posh, and pretty, but ineffective fireplaces.

Hmm. Looks like they're not alone. A quick ebay search for "bioethanol" reveals a whole host of sellers - although B&Q is cheaper unless you want 100 litres of it.

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I think the key point is that they're not selling it as a solvent; there selling it as an "eco" fuel for posh, and pretty, but ineffective fireplaces.

Hmm. Looks like they're not alone. A quick ebay search for "bioethanol" reveals a whole host of sellers - although B&Q is cheaper unless you want 100 litres of it.

incidentally, on the subject of camping stove fuel, you can buy big cans of naptha from panel beating specialist garages for a fraction of the price of Coleman fuel (although it's the same thing).

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incidentally, on the subject of camping stove fuel, you can buy big cans of naptha from panel beating specialist garages for a fraction of the price of Coleman fuel (although it's the same thing).

Sussing out the same product being sold for two different purposes at two different prices is my favourite.

Though I probably wouldn't stick naptha in a meths, rather than a Coleman, stove. Unless I was feeling spectacular.

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General cleaning solvent, electronics and car part degreaser, camping stove fuel.

I don't quite know under what law they're selling it, unless it's some EU harmonisation thing - i.e. if it's considered good enough to be suitable for sale to the general public in one EU country, it's suitable to be sold in all others. However, I think it genuinely is what it says it is. It evaporates and behaves like I'd expect it to, and leaves no residue, burns very cleanly and isn't as strong a solvent as pure MEK is.

electronics cleaner is what I would be interested in using it for.

Isopropyl is avalable from CPC Farnell if anyone is interested, BTW.

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Sussing out the same product being sold for two different purposes at two different prices is my favourite.

Audi relays for an Audi car from an Audi dealer are about half the price of the same Audi relays for an Audi-built Porsche from a Posche dealer. ;)

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i'm surprised B&Q are selling this since i've found it increasingly difficult to buy cheap solvents (ethanol, isorop etc.) in the UK even from chemists,

whereas abroad they are usually obtainable in large bottles from supermarkets.

My local Stater Brothers (supermarket chain that mainly sells food, plus a few household bits and bobs) here in Redlands, California, sells isopropanol at about $2.50 for a quart (of a US gallon, i.e. just under a litre). Bought some last week to clean some dirty car battery terminals.

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My local Stater Brothers (supermarket chain that mainly sells food, plus a few household bits and bobs) here in Redlands, California, sells isopropanol at about $2.50 for a quart (of a US gallon, i.e. just under a litre). Bought some last week to clean some dirty car battery terminals.

Nice one, got a Stateside spreadsheet on the go? I suspect your fuel costs will be somewhat reduced, even in Cali!

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Audi relays for an Audi car from an Audi dealer are about half the price of the same Audi relays for an Audi-built Porsche from a Posche dealer. ;)

If I remember correctly, a number of Fiat X1/9 parts were shared with the Countach, and are probably cheaper from Fiat than Lamborghini :).

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If I remember correctly, a number of Fiat X1/9 parts were shared with the Countach, and are probably cheaper from Fiat than Lamborghini :).

If I ever own an X1/9, I shall not get my parts from a Lamborghini dealership.

IIRC, a fair number of old Aston Martin parts were from the BMC/Leyland parts bin.

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Nice one, got a Stateside spreadsheet on the go? I suspect your fuel costs will be somewhat reduced, even in Cali!

Not much, actually. Petrol costs a lot less, but the typical car here drinks so much more of it per mile that it almost consumes the difference in terms of pennies spent on fuel per mile driven. With standard grade (88 octane) gasoline at between $3.80 and $4 a (US, i.e. 3.8 litres ish) gallon, my 2008 Honda Civic costs around $40 to fill up every 300 miles. My 2001 Fiesta in Britain cost about £36-37 every 350 miles or so. I haven't done the precise sum, but the fuel cost per mile is as near as dammit the same.

Purchase cost of car/depreciation: I bought the Civic (52k miles) from a friend of my wife's for $8k. I think that's roughly what the private sale of an equivalent car in Britain would be. I get the impression that used cars hold their value a bit better here during the 5-10 year from new period though, possibly because bodywork corrosion simply doesn't happen in this climate. It's quite common to see 1990s and even 1980s cars driving around looking like new.

Insurance - ouch. Policies are sold six-monthly here, and I paid $600 (compared to my last fully comp policy on the Fiesta, which was £290 for the whole year). I'm guessing that'll come down as I build up a NCB here, though the company I went with said that they did take my UK driving record into account.

Road tax ('registration', as it's called here) is cheaper - $90 for the Honda vs. £135 for the last tax disc I bought for the Fiesta. Here it's a strictly ringfenced tax: the income from car registrations pays for the California Highway Patrol (sort of British Transport Police equivalent, but all it does is to police freeways) and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DVLA equivalent), and is set at the level needed to cover those costs: it doesn't go into the general government pot.

Maintenance: the usual home servicing parts and consumables (oil, filter, spark plugs, HT leads, wiper blades etc.) are, I would guess, around 20-25% cheaper than their British equivalents. An example would be around $20 for a US gallon of brand name, 5W/30 semi-synthetic oil, compared to £30 for a 5-litre bottle in a British Halfords. The lower sales tax (VAT - around 9% here taking into account both the city and state component, compared to 20% in the UK) is probably part of the reason for that, though. I haven't had to pay for any professional maintenance yet, and so can't say what the labour costs are. Anecdotally, I've been told to avoid the local Honda dealer. It's called Spreen Honda, but is nicknamed Sodomy Honda due to their servicing charges. As we've got a nice big garage and I'll never be having to work in sub-zero temperatures, I intend to do most maintenance myself, anyway.

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incidentally, on the subject of camping stove fuel, you can buy big cans of naptha from panel beating specialist garages for a fraction of the price of Coleman fuel (although it's the same thing).

I think I've seen this mentioned on a Bushcraft forum, is it called Panel Wipe?

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