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Different Types of Stoves

One would think that a burning stove would be simple enough. Add fuel, light fuel, receive heat. Well, the concept really is that simple, but inventors have managed to find a way to turn just about anything into a fuel for burning. That’s where the main difference in stoves lies. For starters, there’s three major kinds of stoves; those that burn solids, those that burn liquids, and those that burn gases. We’ll go through them in order.

First up for discussion are the solid-fuel stoves. They are the oldest and most traditional form of stove, and the oldest and most traditional type of stove among them is the wood-burning stove. Advances in technology have made these stoves very clean and efficient, however; for example, the wood-pellet stove burns almost without smoke or ash, and they incorporate an automatic feed mechanism which means all an operator needs to do is top up the pellets of compressed sawdust, and the stove takes care of the rest. Great stuff, wouldn’t you say? Then there are things like the charcoal-burning stoves, which are cheap, but rather dirty. Still, cost (or a lack thereof) can be a big selling point. Finally there are fuel tablet stoves, like hexamine camping stoves. Those tend to be very small but burn very hot, and they are (unsurprisingly) suited for camping.

Then we have the liquid-fueled stoves, which burn flammable fluids like methylated spirits and the like. The fluids can be pressurized or non-pressurized; pressurized liquid fuel stoves can usually have the intensity of their flames adjusted, and because their fuel tends to be contained, are less affected by outside conditions. Of course, pressurized fuel stoves also tend to be more dangerous because a can of pressurized liquid fuel is, for all intents and purposes, a bomb. Non-pressurized liquid fuel stoves are much simpler, and tend to be a dish of flammable fuel with a wick in it. Lower tech, but that has its advantages too.

Finally, we reach the topic of gas-fueled stoves. These tend to be similar to the pressurized liquid-burning stoves, since flammable gas is usually stored in a pressurized canister as well. They bear a host of advantages; they generally need no priming, they are simpler to operate, they can provide high heat with little notice, and like pressurized liquid stoves, they have adjustable flames. Gas-filled stoves are also quite commonly used to power camping stoves, like the Primus stove, since the gas canisters are easily stored and carried.

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