Could Palcohol Powdered Alcohol be an Alternative for Backpacking Stove Fuel? - ITS Tactical

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Could Palcohol Powdered Alcohol be an Alternative for Backpacking Stove Fuel?

By Bryan Black


There’s a new product coming to the market this summer called Palcohol, which is powdered alcohol capable of being rehydrated with a little water to bring it back to its original state.

Palcohol’s original intent is to be consumed and comes in different flavors like Vodka, Rum, Cosmopolitan, Powderita and Lemon Drop. While not even on the market yet, Palcohol has become controversial to some who want the FDA to ban it for reasons like the potential to snort it, sneak it into places easily, spike someone’s drink and it being easily obtainable by kids.

The creator, Mark Phillips, does a good job to counter these concerns in the video below and also brings to light some interesting alternative uses for his invention. While I’m not going to address all the feedback Phillips brings up in the video, the main thing is that Palcohol will be taxed and regulated like regular alcohol. That being said, a lot of the concerns seem unfounded, especially considering that the volume of powdered alcohol is nearly the same as the volume of a shot of alcohol.

The potential that Palcohol brings to the outdoors community is very interesting. First off, I enjoy a good drink at the end of a day on the trail like a lot of you and I can certainly see the benefits of not having to carry the weight of liquid or worry about spills inside a backpack.

If you watched the video above, you’re hopefully as excited as I am by this invention, especially the industrial formulation that can potentially be used as an antiseptic to send to remote locations or areas affected by natural disasters where weight constraints for shipping are a concern.

There’s also the potential of Palcohol developing a fuel formula to use in backpacking and Alcohol Stoves, to cut down on weight for backpackers and the Military. Airlines are also interested in Palcohol to potentially save millions in fuel costs when transporting alcoholic beverages, due to Palcohol having just 1/3 of the weight when compared to liquid.

What’s Next?

In all, Palcohol seems to be an interesting leap forward and I’m very excited to see what develops. As mentioned, the concerns that have been brought up seem a bit unfounded, but with all game changing ideas, there’s bound to be some push back from lobbyists and initial reactions from the public.

I hope Palcohol can move past this and be able to bring some exciting evolution to the market. For more information and to keep up with news about it’s release, visit the Palcohol Website.

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  • Rob Council

    It does have the potential for the right application..backpack stove fuel..perhaps msr and their r&d crew will be all over this

  • Years ago, I rambled Europe with a canister butane stove that had about as many negatives and positives, including the questionableness of having a canister in any closed space such as a ship or airplane cargo hold. An alcohol stove and powdered alcohol would have been far better.

  • Austyn Pember

    It doesn’t cut down on any weight, it only adds to the weight. If you wanted to cut down on weight, take everclear. Adding a matrix to powder the alchohol and keep it powdered, depreciates the amount per liter/gram.

  • CarlMc

    When I first heard of this some time ago, I read up what I could find on the web.  Not much.  Wikipedia now describes it as liquid alcohol absorbed into, which renders a microdroplet of liquid trapped inside what is essentially a powder.  The water merely releases the alcohol by dissolving the cyclodextrins.

    Whether it will burn as it is I can’t tell, but adding water is no different than adding water to liquid alcohol, which, just like it sounds, waters down the alcohol concentration.

    If you’re going to carry around a powder as a fuel, I suppose one could think of other powders with a much higher BTU content than sugar molecules trapping a tiny droplet of alcohol.

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