View Full Version : Chem-o-lene?

11-22-2005, 12:32 PM
I am soon going to set up an O/A cutting outfit. The kids are giving me a Victor Super Range II for Christmas. It will complement my older Miller Thunderbolt ac/dc welder, and will be used mainly for working on tractor, implements, trailers, etc.

I have been checking into buying tanks, and one supplier is strongly recommending I go with chemolene instead of acetylene. He claims it is much safer, lasts five times longer (therefore cheaper), and performs just as well.

Do any of you have experience with it, and if so what would your recommendations be? Thanks in advance.

11-23-2005, 12:28 AM
Maybe nobody knows? Me, I'd have him put his money where his mouth is and pony up a sample bottle for a couple of days. Then you can tell us!:D

11-23-2005, 09:28 AM
I am aware that chemolene is an available fuel gas. I have never used it, nor do I know of any special properties that it has. Not exactly sure what he means by it being any "safer" than acetylene.

11-23-2005, 11:15 AM
I have never heard of the stuff, but just make sure you are comparing apples to apples. The fuel can be much more efficient, but it can also cost much more. See if you can get some info on how much it costs per linear foot to cut using one gas versus the other (or per therm...or something). Also consider the frequency of refills.

If chemolene is 5 times more efficient, it must be based on something. What are they basing these efficiency numbers on, i.e., can you cut 5 feet with chem versus 1 with ace, with the same volume of oxygen. If that is the case, then even if you pay 5 times more for chemolene, you will save money, because you only have 1 chemolene fill to 5 ace fills (time is money). You need to flesh out the claim about lasting longer and performing just as well. What did he mean by that? It might be true, but it still sounds a bit fishy. What is the stuff. I looked and some folks have said it is similar to propolene (just with a few additives to make it patentable). If that is the case, you might want to look at the claims made about propolene to see if it is also 5 times more efficient than ace. Since this is a generic fuel, I bet folks arent marketing it as heavily and dont trump up any claims, so you are likely to get a better picture looking there as to the REAL cost savings.

Take all this with the FACT that I know nothing of the stuff. I have just seen lots of claims made by marketeers and always view them with caution. My rule of thumb is the actual savings is inversely proportional with the enthusiasm of the salesperson, in other words, more enthusiam=lower actual savings. Good products, for the most part, sell themselves. If the stuff is good, there must be commercial users. Ask your supplier about his commercial users and contact them about their experiences.

11-23-2005, 09:10 PM
simliar to Chemtane? Howdy! I have seen results from demonstrations using Chemtane 2 and oxy. It was very impressive. Similar to propolene, with a lil kicker additive I think. supposedly puts out about 5 times heat per cost because the manufacturing process is so different. But it has no carbon in its makeup that can be transferred to steel during welding. so these alternatives are for cutting and shaping only. I think the safer part, is that they are not nearly as "explosive" or "unstable". The tanks hold alot more then a standard acetylene tank would for the same size also. No special handling required. this is all sales info stuff. I've read about. but the demo was very impressive. Brian Lee Sparkeee24

11-24-2005, 10:37 AM
It is 87 % up to 98 % propane. I think that you might be better off buying propane and using a fuel gas tip on your cutting torch. When you compare the price per pound I am sure you will feel a twinge from your pocket book. If you need to weld then acetylene is your only choice.

11-24-2005, 02:16 PM
Howdy! I agree with lotech. these are pretty much propane with a kicker additive. kinda like Chevron gas with techron. for the cost difference, you may be better off going with the straight propane. I know some folks use the natural gas propvided through there local utilities too. but pressures can be an issue. I saw a demo of chemtane, and I was impressed. all these "alternative fuels" run on tips other then standard acetylene tips. I myself will pay the difference for the cool guy stuff, even though I don't nead it. Partially cause I won't go through it that fast. My setup will have a rosebud, various cutting tips, and the stainless steel diaphrams in the regulators with T grade hose. the alternative fuels are alot more corosive on standard regulator diaphrams. Brian Lee Sparkeee24

11-25-2005, 01:07 AM
Howdy! I agree with lotech. these are pretty much propane with a kicker additive. kinda like Chevron gas with techron. for the cost difference, you may be better off going with the straight propane.

These things seem to run a cycle like many 'wonder' slicers and dicers but never really catch on. They reappear every ten years or so. Some years back I dug real shallow into one of the several "kicker" additives that were floating around then. Out of the three dealers in this area, one offered this particular additive/alternative. Basically at that time you could take in one or several of your favorite propane tanks and it would be fitted with a new valve with an injector port which would then allow them to inject the additive while the tank was being filled with propane. One guy was getting setup while I was there. These additives/alternatives supposedly solve many of the weld/braze compatability issues also.

Without even questioning whether these alternatives perform as claimed, do I really want to get locked into an alternative that has limited availability??

Not me. Right now I can cut and weld and braze and heat with O/A as well as get it from any of the few shops in town.

11-25-2005, 07:14 PM
I personally stick with acetylene or propane. On my rig I carry propane. But I do have acetylene tips incase the particlar job im on has acetylene. For I agree with Sandy that theres a huge risk in going out and doing something differnt, only to find lack of availibility, or increase in cost, ect. For me the propane is cheaper and easier to get. For me too, I can run the same bottle to BBQ with :D and you know propane has been arounf for years. Its nothing new. Its not going away as long as BBQ's are popular with gas. However, I dont know much about the propane welding. I have never done it myself. Been told you cant, and dont have the welding tips so I cant easily try. Just my two cents

11-25-2005, 09:22 PM
I've been meaning to post in this thread for days now, just couldn't get around to it.

I was interested in Chemolene, and after asking my welding metallurgy teacher about it who's never heard of it before,I set out to do some research.

First I much apologize as I wasn't able to find much information on this gas. I did however find the MSDS and the components of Chemolene.

Chemolene is classified as a Liquified Petroleum Gas, manufactured by Chemweld,Inc.

Its composition is as follows:
Propane- 87.5%-98%
Xylene- .0125%-.0250%
Ethane- .5%
Propylene- 0-5.0%
Butanes- 0-2.5%
Pentane- 0-2.5%

Looks to me like some hyped up propane. Supposidly it burns around 5800*F, (according to this site here Flamework (http://www.flamework.com/chem0lene.html))







Also a quick note on how chem-o-lene works.

Q. How does CHEM-O-LENE work?

* A. The temperature of the fire on your torch is determined by how many burnable hydrocarbons are present in the fuel. CHEM-O-LENE is a pure liquid, hydrocarbon solution. The "BLENDER" fits "in line" between your propane tank and your torch. The propane is taken to the bottom of the "BLENDER" allowing the propane to bubble up through the CHEM-O-LENE. The CHEM-O-LENE solution is a highly evaporative substance. The propane has room in it's bubbles to accept some of the CHEM-O-LENE vapors. As the propane passes through the CHEM-O-LENE they blend to form the new "turbo charged" gas. It's really very simple, more hydrocarbons = a hotter fire. The key is in the unique way the quot;BLENDER" releases the propane into the CHEM-O-LENE to get the correct blend and the unique clean properties of CHEM-O-LENE that makes the whole thing work.

Sounds like something that wouldn't hurt to try, but after seeing the prices I wouldn't bother switching from a gas that is already working fine for welding,cutting,etc.

The prices for a "baby-blender" dropped form $298.00 to $235.00 and a refill costs a whopping $145.00.

11-25-2005, 09:58 PM
I've used several of the mixed cutting gases over the years, starting with Mapp gas ,then propylene. and Chemtane. These particular gases are cost effective over acetylene, just as is propane. However, there is no free lunch here. These gases do not produce the heat that acetylene does, they use more oxygen in the cutting flame. They are not generally as suitable in pipe beveling machines. I use Chemtane sometimes when cutting up scrap, but I generally get my liquid oxygen tank filled for these bigger jobs, that more than offsets the higher oxygen consumption. They cut about as well on clean material as acetylene, but don't seem to do as well on rusted -scaly metal. Of course when salvaging scrap, neatness of cut is not important, and generally the tips and torches are MUCH larger than used in everyday welding and cutting operations.
I haven't yet used any system that injects any "kicker" into the fuel so I can't speak from experience there, beware of "sales gimmicks".
In the end ,nothing seems to have come along that is as generally as good as acetylene IMHO.

11-26-2005, 10:30 AM
Thanks to all for the replies. The company that is suggesting this to me mixes their chemolene ahead of time, and simply fills a standard acetylene tank with the fuel. They say one tank of chemolene will last as long as 5 tanks of acetylene, and the cost to fill the tank is $30 vs. $20 for the same size acetylene. I think I will ask them to provide a sample tank for me to try... if I like it I will go that way, if not I'll go with acetylene.

They swear by it for cutting... you do have to use propane cutting tips, however. They also feel it is much safer to store... more stable and not as poisoness as some of the contents in acetylene.

11-26-2005, 01:04 PM
acetylene use acetone I do believe as a stablizer inside the bottle....any who know what im talking abnout and now im off somewhere chime in here. Dont remember what its stablilzing for, but its some safety issue. But it means you dont get a full bottle of acetylene, whereas perhaps with this stuff you do. Its just a consideration. Though I have nothing really to base this on, just what I vaguely remember from my past edumacation...and for those who know I dont remmber much lol

11-26-2005, 03:23 PM
Howdy Howdy! Yes, the acetone, keeps the acetylene in a more stable state. I don't know much on the specifics either. but thats one reason why it's so important to keep your acetylene tank upright during use, and atleast a few hours before using, if it tipped over. I would be very very skeptical that a company would put a suped up propane mix into an acetylene tank. I would not have it done to my tank at any rate. With everything in this thread, I think I may just go with an acetylene setup myself. A fat rosebud, or two and victors journeyman setup. due to availability of tips. We'll see what kind of deals I can scrounge up. Brian Lee Sparkeee24

11-26-2005, 03:37 PM
What i reember along them lines was that there was a thick sticky syrup, which I have to assume from my memory was the acetone, but then I dont remember acetone being quite like that but then I dont remmber it too well either, been many eyears, well that syrupy liquid would get up into the regs adn foul everthing up. Clogs and I dont know what all the ramafacations are, but I do know its bad at a min, and more likely very dangerous.