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Oil flame and temperature

  1. Jan 24, 2007 #1
    One time I made an oil that burned cooler than normal (or so I think) and has a persistant flame (in light wind it would not go out when a candle flame would). Burns better than Regular canola oil. I made it by melting sulphur in the bottom of a metal dish then pouring canola oil on top then heated until it boiled and it started to flare (little blue flames on top every time a bubble popped). Then I took it off the heat and waited until it bubbled again. Then I poured off the liquid floating on top and let it cool (if it wasn't poured out I would have had to scrape it out because it was exactly like molasses including color and viscosity but excluding smell). That was diluted consideribly with more canola oil. The final product was a blood red oil. Inital sulphur and oil volumes near a 1:1 ratio, diluted product was about a 10 to 15:1 of the regular oil to the molasses like oil. What may this possibly be?:confused:
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 25, 2007 #2
    dunno, but sulphur turns blood red when it melts and gives off blue flames when it burns.
  4. Jan 26, 2007 #3


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    The unsaturated fatty acid profile for Canola oil is:

    Oleic (C18:1) 53-60%
    Linoleic (C18:2) 19-23%
    Linolenic (C18:3) 8-12%
    Eicosenioic (C20:1) 1-2%
    Erucic (C22:1) 1-2%

    The number in parenthesis is the carbon chain length (C18, C20, C22, for example) and the number of double bonds (unsaturation). Oleic acid has one double bond and Linolenic has three.

    Since we know that sulfur adds to double bonds (vulcanization), we can surmise that this happened to some, if not all, of the double bonds in the oil. Notice that over 80% of the fatty acids that make up canola contains at least one double bond. The form of the sulfur in the crosslinked product ("like molasses" you said) may be sulfide (R-S-R) or disulfide or higher (R-SS-R, R-SSS-R, etc...). These compounds can act as a solvent for elemental sulfur which can color the oil.

    The product you formed is referred to as a "sulfurized vegetable oil" and it is not new. These products find utility in high pressure lubricants and in metalworking applications. Some of the drawbacks of the process you described are that you don't know exactly the amount of sulfur added to the material and you don't know it's chemical form. These materials generally thicken with time to a rubbery mass. Dilution with base oil is possible but dilutes the benefit as well.

    I don't know how well it would burn but the sulfur content would eliminate any serious use from an environmental hazard perspective. Sulfur emissions are tightly regulated in Texas, for example.
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