Earlier the invention of alcohol lamps was a simple means of using fire to heat up the food or serve the culinary inclinations. The usage of it was considered as alcohol was available easily. Many people had the interest of turning the forest waste products into fuel. Slowly the modified versions were used in chemical and biological lamps and today the variety is seen in metal stands, rings and compact case that are effective and easy to operate. Many serve the decorative purpose to enhance an ambience too.
The use of alcohol lamps is of immense ease in laboratory experiments. This aids burning and the consistency of the flame is constant. This is also great when bacterial or fungal based biological experiments are to be undertaken. Many scientific laboratories do not have a gas supply and hence the alcohol lamps are easy to aid in these kinds of science experiments. Alcohol lamp or the spirit lamp is also safe compared to the other gas burners or stoves.
Alcohol lamps also come with a range of design and appearance. Suiting the space and use, there are fabulous ranges in the type of alcohol lamp you can choose. These can be with the wick or wickless categories to suit ones preferences. The butane flame is broad and is portable to suit external experiments. This can be used instead of the bunsen burner. The range of ring stands is also admirable and also gives enough support to hold a beaker or can.
The fuel cartridge is usually ordered separately and the usage can be gauged as per use. The normal time of a cartridge is usually four hours and a controlled usage will give you more fuel. The earliest discovery of the alcohol lamp is the wick styled one where the modification is done with the shape of can or beaker and is usually in glass. This is easy to carry and also found easily in many wholesale shops. The metal ones are chrome or nickel plated that adds to the efficiency.
One can also use the special stands designed for wickless burning so that the flame is distributed evenly and the burning is uniform. This also helps to burn the item in use effectively and economically. Ethyl alcohol or methyl is another fuel option among others. The best part of the new-age stands are that they come with easy adjustable stands to support any size of beaker or can. The screws are actually easy to adjust and hence they can be looked upon as an option to the usual gas burners. The stands are wickless and also all metal forms which provides durability.
The alcohol lamps can also be used at home. In case one is using wick based alcohol lamps then adjusting the wick to the right size is very important so that there is no overheating and also that the beaker is uniformly heated. This is also a great way to aid home projects for. E.G. Heating a knife to cut thermocol or other needle instruments for batik, heating wax or twilling hobbies.
The igniter in case of wickless lamp is another splendid use and it also helps in the process of cleaning. Many times the assembled parts are portable and come in package that can be dismantled and assembled only at the time of use. The usual alcohol base is ethanol or ethyl alcohol.
While making an alcohol lamp one must do it with a bit of patience. The is a fun hobby too and surely can help in most home based jobs. Making this 'spirit lamp' is quite easy and one must be taking a few precautions. The primary concern is the thickness of the wick and the length available for ignition. Another is filling it appropriately. The glass knob has to be a perfect fit so that the spirit does not escape and cause wastage.