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GELLED COMPOSITIONS FOR FIRE LIGHTER FLUIDS

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000010393D
Publication Date: 2002-Nov-26
Document File: 12 page(s) / 86K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Related People

Erik Kelderman: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Fire lighter fluids can be very efficient means of starting a fire. The low viscosity of these fluids can, however, impede a practical and safe usage. Gelation of these fluids is an elegant way to overcome these disadvantages. Currently such systems already exist for ethanol based systems and are highly successful. However, the low flash point of ethanol is still a point of concern, both in production as in application at the consumer level. This invention presents the possibility of generating a gelled fire lighter system based on mineral oils and other fuels with a much higher and therefore safer flashpoint using various polymeric gelling agents.

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GELLED COMPOSITIONS FOR FIRE LIGHTER FLUIDS

ABSTRACT

Fire lighter fluids can be very efficient means of starting a fire.  The low viscosity of these fluids can, however, impede a practical and safe usage. Gelation of these fluids is an elegant way to overcome these disadvantages.

Currently such systems already exist for ethanol based systems and are highly successful. However, the low flash point of ethanol is still a point of concern, both in production as in application at the consumer level. This invention presents the possibility of generating a gelled fire lighter system based on mineral oils and other fuels with a much higher and therefore safer flashpoint using various polymeric gelling agents.

A.                 Background

Efficient fire starters may be as simple as wood kindling or paper, slightly more sophisticated products such as wax coated wood chips, pitch soaked wood cubes, fat wood, impregnated card board and gelled alcohol, are common. Because of the cost to produce fire starters, they are not considered as primary fire fuel. Fire starters are designed only to initiate the burn of the wood logs, coal, charcoal or other fuel in the fireplace or barbeque grille. The effectiveness of a fire starter may be measured by efficiency in relation to the ignition of fuel in a particular setting. To be effective in a fireplace a sufficient quantity of fire starter must be supplied to accomplish the relatively slow process of fuel ignition.

Accordingly, there is a need in the art for a fire starter which effects fuel ignition rapidly and efficiently under a variety of burning conditions. In addition there is need in the art for methods of manufacturing such effective and efficient fire starters. The present invention fulfills these needs and provides further related advantages.

B.                 Gels

The gelled fire lighter fluids as disclosed herein contain gellant, solvent that is gelled by the gellant, and optional ingredients.  The gel is preferably homogeneous and is easily applied to a fireplace or barbeque grille before ignition.  Suitable gellants, solvents and optional ingredients, as well as methods to manufacture the gels, are described below.

1.                  Gellants and solvents

The following are exemplary gellants and solvents that may be used to form a gel useful as a fire lighter fluid.

A suitable gel may be prepared from ester terminated polyamide (ETPA) gellant as disclosed in U.S. Patent No. 6,111,055 to Vivian Berger, et al.  ETPA gels disclosed in that patent are prepared from one or more solvents mixed with ester terminated polyamide resins.  In one aspect, the EPTA resin has the formula (1):

                                                (1)

wherein n designates a number of repeating units such that ester groups constitute from 10% to 50% of the total of the ester and amide groups; R1 at each occurrence is independently selected from an alkyl or alkenyl group containing at least 4 carbon atoms; R2 at each occurrence is independently selected from...