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Coleman fuel is a petroleum naphtha product marketed by The Coleman Company. Historically called white gas (not white spirit), it is a liquid petroleum fuel (100% light hydrotreated distillate) usually sold in one gallon cans. It is used primarily for fueling lanterns and camp stoves. Additionally, it is a popular fuel for fire dancing. Originally, it was simply casing-head gas or drip gas which has similar properties. Drip gas was sold commercially at gas stations and hardware stores in North America until the early 1950s. The white gas sold today is a similar product but is produced at refineries with the benzene removed.[unreliable source?]
Though Coleman fuel has an octane rating of 50 to 55 and a flammability similar to gasoline, it has none of the additives found in modern gasoline and should not be used as a substitute for gasoline. While it will function as a fuel for gasoline engines, its high combustion temperature and lack of octane boosting additives could damage engine valves, while its low octane rating and lack of anti-knock agents can produce knocking that could lead to bearing and piston rod damage, so such use should only be considered for emergencies and/or very short distances. And like gasoline, it should not be used as a substitute for kerosene or diesel fuel. However, it is quite popular as a fuel for model engines, where the low octane rating is not a problem, additives are unwanted, and the clean burning, low odor and longer shelf life are considered advantages.
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