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Burners: Choose and Use Guide

When choosing a burner, it is most important for you to know the gas type or BTU content of the gas supplied to your lab. This will help you choose a burner designed to give maximum efficiency for that particular gas.

The 3 Gas Types are:

  • Artificial Gas. Low BTU content: 300-800 BTU per cu ft.Includes manufactured gases, such as coal, water, and Blau gases, and manufactured/natural gas mixtures.
  • Natural Gas. Medium BTU content: 800-1200 BTU per cu ft. Includes most natural gases.
  • Bottled or Cylinder Gas. High BTU content: 2000 to 3000 BTU per cu ft. Includes bottled gases, such propane or propane/butane mixtures.
    If in doubt, contact your local gas supplier and ask for the BTU content of the gas you are using.

How To Light A Burner

  • Gas Burner - Close the air intake, then turn on the gas. Squeeze the arms of a gas lighter to move the flint over the file to produce sparks. The sparks light the gas, making an orange flame that is not very hot. To obtain a hot blue flame, slowly open the air vent and adjust the gas flow.
  • Butane Burner - Open the gas valve slightly or the fast-flowing cold gas will not be ignited by the sparks. Light the same way as described above. The flame can be adjusted by rotating the valve to change the gas supply.
  • Alcohol Burner - USE ONLY WITH ETHYL ALCOHOL. Burning alcohol produces an almost invisible flame. Students should be sure that the flame has been completely extinguished before handling the burners after use. Add a little sodium chloride to the alcohol to make the flame more visible.