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Emptying Butane bottles


nirvana

Question

nirvana

I couldn't unscrew the top so I sawed it a bit and whacked it off with a sledgehammer :Jumping:

It's been in a wheelie bin for over 3 days (weighted down) and then when I let it rise a bit some butane bubbles out.....in the pic it's still floating in the wheelie bin

It's still not empty and I'm bored now so what'll happen if I light the hole with a match? A small blue flame until it burns away?

I'm planning on making a hole in the top with a circular saw for a rocket stove 

 

IMG_20210410_145557.jpg

Edited by nirvana
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Herby

Please be super careful. Several people have been killed or maimed cutting into barrels that previously had flammable materials in. Probably best to fill it with water when the top allows.. force all gasses out, and drain before cutting... 

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jm51

I saw a wood stove conversion on ebay some years ago. It was a blue calorgas bottle.

He'd made the stove look like R2D2 and said it took him 40 hours. It went for over £400.

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onlyme

Reckon worst case I presume is when you have perfect flammable mixture of gas and air remaining in the tank, bit like a bomb at that point would have thought.

You could help drive out gases by raising the temperature of the tank - leave it in the sun / or boiling water over the tank for a few hot / cold cycles. 

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nirvana
17 hours ago, onlyme said:

You could help drive out gases by raising the temperature of the tank - leave it in the sun / or boiling water over the tank for a few hot / cold cycles. 

it's been empty outside with the valve open and even spent time upside down for over 9 months!

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dgul
9 hours ago, nirvana said:

it's been empty outside with the valve open and even spent time upside down for over 9 months!

Great.  So that's let the air in so that it can form an explosive mixture.

[It probably won't explode.  'probably' doesn't get your arm back if it does explode]

[Fill it with water to cut.  It is a tried and tested approach.]

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nirvana
4 minutes ago, dgul said:

Fill it with water to cut

the water is emptying now, very slowly.....I figured I didn't want to use the electrical handheld circular saw with it full of water O.o

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dgul
1 hour ago, nirvana said:

the water is emptying now, very slowly.....I figured I didn't want to use the electrical handheld circular saw with it full of water O.o

Experts might well cut with it full using a pneumatic tool.

If you're using electricity the risk of electrocution is probably higher than the risk of explosion after purging with water.

Some people purge using welding gas after the water (or even a car exhaust -- anything without oxygen).  

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Chewing Grass

I used a 1mm drill to put a small hole in the 'empty' bottle to let the gas disperse, once I had left it for a few days I put a bigger 5mm hole in the bottle, once the smell has gone they are then ok to treat more roughly.

No air in the bottle (1mm hole) = no bang.

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Bobthebuilder

Butane/ Methane becomes explosive at 15% mix to air. If you light the top of the cylinder it will burn like a pilot light until the contents of the vessel becomes 15% gas, then it will explode. Basic stuff, go on, give it a go.

Edited by Bobthebuilder
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Chewing Grass
6 minutes ago, Bobthebuilder said:

Butane/ Methane becomes explosive at 15% mix to air. If you light the top of the cylinder it will burn like a pilot light until the contents of the vessel becomes 15% gas, then it will explode. Basic stuff, go on, give it a go.

Video it as well for posterity.

Edit: - Somebody else has had a go.

 

Edited by Chewing Grass
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Rave

The evaporation temperature of butane is -1C. It's heavier than air so if you just turn it upside down and leave it for 24 hours any remaining butane should just fall out.

If you're really, really paranoid then poking a length of hose (via something like a ballpoint pen case as a nozzle, if necessary) into the hole and filling the bottle with water completely will get rid of any trace of it.

But gaseous butane in small quantities is not particularly dangerous anyway- it'll burn but is very unlikely to explode. Pressurised liquid butane (or propane, or any LPG mix TBH) is dangerous in a fire because if the pressure vessel bursts you can get a BLEVE.

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nirvana
8 hours ago, Chewing Grass said:

Video it as well for posterity.

Edit: - Somebody else has had a go

it didn't explode, hurrah!

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