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Old 12-30-2018, 11:46 PM   #1
DHR Darren
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Default Methanol shelf life?

I have a barrel of methanol in the shop that I bought in late 2015. It has had 5 gallons pulled from it but been capped tightly ever since.
Would it still be good?
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Old 12-31-2018, 12:50 AM   #2
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Default Re: Methanol shelf life?

Has it been stored directly on concrete? Does the shop stay at a pretty regular temperature? Does the barrel expand and contract as temperature changes (you hear the barrel popping)? As cheap as methanol is, why chance it?
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Old 12-31-2018, 08:18 AM   #3
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Default Re: Methanol shelf life?

That's why I was asking, I will just dump it and get a fresh Barrel.
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Old 12-31-2018, 08:43 AM   #4
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Default Re: Methanol shelf life?

If remained sealed it wont have the ability to draw moisture into the barrel. I know this might sound odd but when alcohol goes dead when you sniff the jug or barrel it wont burn your nose. If you want to test Alcohol for not being pure mix it 50-50 with pure distilled water in a clear jar shake it and watch it it will go back crystal clear if it does not have contaminants or additives in it. If fuel has top end lube already added it will fail water test. Of course the water test does not work for water................
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Old 12-31-2018, 09:51 AM   #5
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Default Re: Methanol shelf life?

It has been sealed with the factory Barrel caps with the gaskets on them since day one.
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Old 01-14-2019, 08:57 PM   #6
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Default Re: Methanol shelf life?

Darin, assuming your drum has not leaked at all since you dumped 5 gallons of methanol you replaced it with 5 gallons of air.

Say it was a really hot humid day, if so that air could contain from 1-1.25 ounces of water. Since methanol is very hygroscopic almost all of that water is now part of the alcohol.

How much water is required to degrade methanol I am sure but you for sure have some in the alcohol now.

Most everyone knows you should only use brake fluid from a sealed bottle, yet these same guys will dump fuel from a 55 gallon drum on a 85% humidity day and not worry about it.

I have always been surprised that no one makes a kit to either add inert gas to the drum as you use the alcohol, or a kit to insert a bladder/balloon into the large bung that would be sealed to the cap opening to allow air to replace the missing volume of methanol yet not contaminate the methanol with atmosphere.

Sure an uncapped or loosely capped drum is much worse since it (the drum) continues to breath as it heats and cools but why add any air/moisture to the methanol to begin with?

Last edited by bottlefed1; 01-14-2019 at 09:00 PM.
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Old 01-14-2019, 09:55 PM   #7
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Default Re: Methanol shelf life?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bottlefed1 View Post
Darin, assuming your drum has not leaked at all since you dumped 5 gallons of methanol you replaced it with 5 gallons of air.

Say it was a really hot humid day, if so that air could contain from 1-1.25 ounces of water. Since methanol is very hygroscopic almost all of that water is now part of the alcohol.

How much water is required to degrade methanol I am sure but you for sure have some in the alcohol now.

Most everyone knows you should only use brake fluid from a sealed bottle, yet these same guys will dump fuel from a 55 gallon drum on a 85% humidity day and not worry about it.

I have always been surprised that no one makes a kit to either add inert gas to the drum as you use the alcohol, or a kit to insert a bladder/balloon into the large bung that would be sealed to the cap opening to allow air to replace the missing volume of methanol yet not contaminate the methanol with atmosphere.

Sure an uncapped or loosely capped drum is much worse since it (the drum) continues to breath as it heats and cools but why add any air/moisture to the methanol to begin with?
and just how do you think its transported??? Yes sir nice big tanker trucks in any weather at any time. Then delivered to the bulk plant and the tanks there are never kept full...........starting to see the flaw in the advice you gave yet?
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Old 01-15-2019, 01:45 PM   #8
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Default Re: Methanol shelf life?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vyper View Post
and just how do you think its transported??? Yes sir nice big tanker trucks in any weather at any time. Then delivered to the bulk plant and the tanks there are never kept full...........starting to see the flaw in the advice you gave yet?
Not at all, just because something is treated poorly during delivery is no reason to continue the trend.
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Old 01-15-2019, 01:59 PM   #9
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Default Re: Methanol shelf life?

I just went through this, I had 3 5 gallon jugs that lasted less than 6 months, sealed since purchased during the summer in Arizona, very little humidity if any.

Turned out it was the supplier, first and last time using, I've stored alcohol from my normal supplier for a lot longer than 6 months and was still good.

BTW, the bad alcohol didn't smell as strong and left small puddles of water in the scoop after trying to run the motor.
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Old 02-10-2019, 06:40 PM   #10
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Default Re: Methanol shelf life?

I've had some methanol over 1 1/2 years old with no problems. I store the drum on a couple of 2x4s and make sure its sealed up tight. I always use a hydrometer to check the quality, I record it when new and retest after its been in storage. For me its always tested and ran good.
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Old 02-11-2019, 08:10 PM   #11
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Default Re: Methanol shelf life?

Get a water tester and know for sure. I would suspect that it is fine if it was sealed well.
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Old 04-02-2019, 09:36 AM   #12
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Default Re: Methanol shelf life?

I build a lot of go kart engines, heads and carbs, and I dyno each carb before I ship. Most are for methanol, I have yet to have any methanol go bad, and I have left the lid off for a few days (I just have a fuel line running into a gallon jug, so I can swap between gas and methanol easily). My small engine dyno repeats numbers very well, I would see if something was wrong for sure. I have been told you can pour methanol through a chamois cloth to be sure it hasn't absorbed water, but haven't tried it.
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Old 07-21-2019, 08:26 AM   #13
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Default Re: Methanol shelf life?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bottlefed1 View Post
Darin, assuming your drum has not leaked at all since you dumped 5 gallons of methanol you replaced it with 5 gallons of air.

Say it was a really hot humid day, if so that air could contain from 1-1.25 ounces of water. Since methanol is very hygroscopic almost all of that water is now part of the alcohol.

How much water is required to degrade methanol I am sure but you for sure have some in the alcohol now.

Most everyone knows you should only use brake fluid from a sealed bottle, yet these same guys will dump fuel from a 55 gallon drum on a 85% humidity day and not worry about it.

I have always been surprised that no one makes a kit to either add inert gas to the drum as you use the alcohol, or a kit to insert a bladder/balloon into the large bung that would be sealed to the cap opening to allow air to replace the missing volume of methanol yet not contaminate the methanol with atmosphere.

Sure an uncapped or loosely capped drum is much worse since it (the drum) continues to breath as it heats and cools but why add any air/moisture to the methanol to begin with?
could a person hook a vacuum pump and pull a vacuum on he drum
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