Alcohol burner

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An aluminium alcohol burner
A glass alcohol burner

An alcohol burner or spirit lamp is a piece of laboratory equipment used to produce an open flame. It can be made from brass, glass, stainless steel or aluminium.[1]

Uses[edit]

Alcohol burners are preferred for some uses over Bunsen burners for safety purposes, as their flame is limited to approximately two inches in height, with a comparatively lower temperature.[2][3]

While they do not produce flames as hot as other types of burners, they are sufficient for performing standard molecular biology laboratory procedures and can be used for flame sterilization of other laboratory equipment.[4][5]

Operation[edit]

The burner's flame is capped like a candle to extinguish it.
A small amount of liquid is boiling above the alcohol burner.

An alcohol burner is filled with a flammable liquid (class IA) that has a flash point of less than 37.8 °C (100.0 °F) (e.g. acetone, ethanol, toluene, hexane, carbon disulphide, gasoline, camp stove fuel, kerosene etc.).[2][6] It uses a cap as snuffer for extinguishing the flame.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Griffin, John Joseph (1838). "spirit+lamp" Chemical Recreations: A Compendium of Experimental Chemistry, Part 1. Glasgow: Richard Griffin and Co. pp. 17–21. 
  2. ^ a b "Laboratory Burner Safety" (PDF). safety.ucanr.edu. University of California. 2007. Retrieved 2015-06-17. 
  3. ^ Braham, R (2002). "LOCAL JOINT HEALTH AND SAFETY COMMITTEE DEPARTMENT OF BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE" (PDF). ovc.uoguelph.ca. Retrieved 2015-06-17. 
  4. ^ "Low-tech Microbiology Tools". teach.genetics.utah.edu. Retrieved 2015-06-26. 
  5. ^ "EQUIPMENT AND EQUIPMENT STERILIZATION PROCEDURES" (PDF). water.usgs.gov. U.S. Geological Survey. 1997. Retrieved 2015-06-26. 
  6. ^ "Alcohol Burner PDF" (PDF). ovc.uoguelph.ca. Retrieved 2015-06-17.