Butane Safety

Hi ya’ll! Have ya’ll been watching the folks blowing themselves and their homes up using butane extraction techniques, thus leading you to believe that such an attempt is suicidal?

Thank Gawd (Great Spirit) that paying attention to details reduces the odds to limits that you might embrace, after being thus enlightened. May we discuss, before you give up all BHO extraction attempts in deference to your family and home?

Clearly Butane is inflammable and can be explosive, if confined in a small space and supplied with about 1.86 to 8.41 percent butane to atmospheric air content and an ignition source.

In addition, ignition sources come from a number of different unexpected sources, so let’s discuss that issue.

For starters, I never personally do a butane extraction indoors or any confined space! None at all, zero, zip, forget about it! It is important to keep it below explosive limits!

I do it all outdoors, with a non sparking plastic fan blowing, not sucking, the butane evaporation away! Butane loves self abuse and will clump together and pool, being that it is heavier than air.

I use three fans to keep any free butane dispersed below ignition limits of 1.86% and from it pooling and accumulating in low spots like through my basement window to my basement, chock full of ignition sources.

The central point is that concentration of the butane boiling off can be kept diluted below combustion limits, by blowing the accumulating vapors away using a fan.

Butane liquid expands 288:1 when changing from a liquid to a vapor, and Henry’s law tells us that the butane vapor and the air it combines with at 1.86%, expands in direct proportion to their temperature change. Butane in open air has a flame temperature of 1970C/3578F, so for instance if the butane vapor ignited at an ambient temperature of 291 Kelvin (18C/65F), it would expand about 7.2 times.

A 300 ml can of butane occupies about 18 cubic inches, X 288 = 5184 cubic inches.

5184 cubic inches divided by .00186 mixture = 2,787,097 cubic inches

2,787,097 X 7.2 = 20,067,098 cubic inches, or 11,613 cubic feet. With 8 foot ceilings, that is a 1452 square foot house. That expansion occurs in the blink of an eye, so you can see why a room incapable of containing a 1452 square foot house would have to expand its ceiling and walls outward to accommodate it.

It also doesn’t take much imagination to realize what 3578F flame temperature does to organic matter like skin and eyeballs, so except for the prestige of having been immolated, it has little to recommend it.

Secondly, let’s talk about stupid ignition sources. Despite previous discussions, I have literally grabbed the hands of cigarette smokers poised to light a cigarette while extracting. What can I say about addicts whom go on automatic pilot and forget where they are? Leave your cigarettes and lighter elsewhere

Lose the lighter and cigarettes (bong?) if you are an addict! Once the pin is pulled on a 5 second grenade, it is not your friend!

All pretty simple, but lets talk about subtleties! How about sparks?

Starting simple, dragging your feet on concrete with gravel imbedded in your shoes can create a spark.

Wearing plastic clothing, especially socks, can also build up and discharge a static electricity spark, especially on cold dry days.

Unless it is an explosion proof fan, always blow, instead of suck the vapors away, not only for efficiency reasons, but because the sparks from an electric motor slip ring can ignite the vapors.

Always use plastic or other spark proof blades, because a grain of sand can spark when hitting a steel blade, and be propelled into the concentrated vapors.

Always keep a fully charged and recently inspected fire extinguisher on hand. Shit sometimes happens and less shit is better, as I see it!

Never had to use one at home, though I have in industry, and they can’t be beaten when they are called for!

If you get inadvertently sprayed with butane, stop, and go change clothes. Immolating as I sees it, is highly overrated!

Keep a blanket on hand, and if you do get unexpectedly ignited, immediately wrap yourself in it to extinguish the flames.

The good news is that none of the above has ever happened to me, or any of my friends who pay close attention and try their very best to avoid it.

Ohmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm mmm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

55 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Gage on October 18, 2016 at 6:41 AM

    I have created a prototype of a Pyro System but cannot seem to get the ignition source to, well, ignite the Butane. I use a nozzle from a grill lighter to chanel the Butane and a 7kv electric spark for the ignition. The spark does not ignite the Butane when it directly hits the nozzle, nor does it ignite it when arching over the nozzle. So my proposed question to you is how can I make the spark ignite the Butane? Would I need to have a larger nozzle or a larger spark? The fuel source is a butane refill canister.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Indra on September 9, 2016 at 9:06 AM

    To all of them, there are so many mistakes and misunderstandings in them its best to start over. the ones with the long big pipes all have the bad characteristics and built in problems, third party approvals mean nothing. they are crude and unsafe, look at all the failures over 350 a year to make my point. My patented system has been in operation all over europe and USA for over 11 years with NO problems from start day onwards. that’s because it is designed correctly and covers all the bases that are left uncovered in all of those the pipe people are making now called safe good systems.you think safe because it is made by the rules, but the rules are drummed up by who ever thinks pipes are the way. WRONG.I beat every engineer and chemist of earth with it, ALL THIRD parties as well.I have been at it for 20 years, do you think you know more? My aggregate experience tells me these machines are rudimentary and crude and if they go on more accidents will happen. I will now bring mine forward and offer it in many configurations that will make this business safe for a change.Look at the foolishness on the recovery catch, how long does it take to recover? Hours is your answer, minutes is mine.I have seen all manner of using dry ice and other nonsense, but all who use these machines know it takes, Forever.I can write a book on how bad they are from design onwards. If they were designed right, for use by people who do not have long experience, accidents would net be happening. I posted the BHO method in 1998 and have seen the damage first hand. it breaks my heart.I was paying it forward or so I thought. I am sorry for that, but all who do so, please reconsider, do not buy these big useless systems, My attorneys have been set to work to shut down these bogus patent infringers anyway and letters have been sent to them shutting them down or allowing them top obtain a license and training to use it and manufacture it, if we all are to carry on we must show complete safety and efficiency for our works.Each time an accident happens, they use it against us.if we use to much power they use it against us.they keep changing the rules as well, using engineers, engineers are not the dreamers, they are the guys who work out a model according to the rules and the rules are not necessarily the best, or the right way to do things. also those who are infringing are really THIEVES who use my work in original form from 20 years ago, want to buy a 20 year old anything? yesteryear tech. stolen from someone else. me. some when confronted want me to be polite to them after they have been ripping me off for years now? imagine finding some one in your house stealing from you? all good eh> you engineered a safe stolen system, congrats guy.

    Reply

    • Your arm waves and ranting tell me that you are not a technically gifted person, making it difficult to believe anything else you’ve said.

      Put up or shut up, but stop posting threats on this blog and denigrating our readers. If you continue to do so, you will be excluded.

      GW

      PS: For the record Indra did respond with more self serving BS, so his rambling reply went to spam.

      Reply

    • Posted by Sb on November 8, 2016 at 4:08 PM

      I dont know why your so mad indra this tech of “yours” is about dead anyways. And its just all around stupid
      Only dumb fuck kids that dont know what extract is smoke it. Just becuase its marketed to them.
      You invented a rediculous method to extract wax and fat leaving the door open for obsurd defatting and winterizing tech.
      5 days in a drying oven burnt to a crisp to get the poison out and call it shatter. Yeah thanks buddy. All your invention did was make a generation ignorant about concentrates.
      If you were a real chemist you would know the best ways to extract thc oil.
      It only takes a sophmore chemist to tell you the Best most efficient safet ways
      H2o, etoh, no solvent at all
      Just you laying claim to being the inventor of bho makes you sound like an idiot and totally uncredible. Its like saying you invented herpes

      Reply

    • Posted by Macsta on December 1, 2016 at 5:50 AM

      Indra. If you are the Erowid poster, I hope you recognise your original posted tek (or invention) involves no vacuum and a PVC blasting tube…

      Reply

  3. Posted by Indra on September 8, 2016 at 2:24 PM

    never have I been so bummed out by people after paying it forward in 1998 by posting the BHO method online. I wanted to give folks honey oil again, not fires and explosions.I have many many times tried to wake folks up about it. $ seems blinds ones vision and folks fool themselves with this GEM. given so freely then. I hope before I pass, people stop blowing up homes and use their heads, TREAT IT LIKE COBRA VENOM. its more dangerous that that.

    Reply

  4. Posted by john davis on September 6, 2016 at 11:44 AM

    ricardomontalbanthe3rd,
    your a fuking idiot sahitforbrains, Boffo is a 1920’s word for way cool, stick it up your ass dikwad and leave me alone.stop posting your lying BS on facebook and hash church you fuking nitwit.
    and I mean this in the nicest way possible. STFU

    Reply

  5. […] frequently attempt to educate interested amateurs as to the dangers of improper extraction and actively discourage any use of butane indoors. (Read the blogpost, Booming BHOtards: The Explosion of Explosions from SkunkPharm Research […]

    Reply

  6. […] Butane Safety […]

    Reply

  7. So many things wrong with these statements, it is actually hard to blow yourself up with butane and measuring butane content in the air with a hundredth of a percent is not probably. I feel your regurgitating information you don’t truly understand.

    Reply

  8. Posted by Robert on September 20, 2015 at 2:28 AM

    Still studying, but noted an simple mathamatic error in your post. 1.86% is not a devider by 0.00186 but 0.0186. So an 300 ml butane will saturate at 1.86% an 161 square feet (about 4 feet wide, 5 feet deep, 8 feet high) room which will expand 7.2 times at ignition. The pressure wil dislocate door, windows and even damage walls, but the heat will generally cause the most serious injuries.

    Reply

  9. I think this post is very help full and I will be recommending this to all my friends and clients

    Reply

  10. Posted by Mint Greninger on August 12, 2015 at 8:05 PM

    Is there some reason that more people don’t wear a nomex flight suit gloves and socks, with a 3M 6800 gas mask with anti-static puma Silverstone shoes? Or am I being to careful.

    Reply

  11. Posted by General Grant T.H.C. Traverse Hydroponics Co. on February 23, 2015 at 3:02 AM

    Got it!
    Thanks GrayWolf!
    “Keep up the Hard Work”
    Have a BHOmb day!
    Peace!
    General Grant

    Reply

  12. Posted by General Grant T.H.C. Traverse Hydroponics Co. on February 19, 2015 at 8:56 PM

    Please give best advice for Elite canned butane?
    I’ve been looking at MSDS list & was wondering any thoughts or recommendations for a brand or 2?
    Thanks! ⛽️

    Reply

  13. Hello GW, Question for YA. When flushing system with INERT gas(you recommend Nitrogen) any reason I cannot use CO2? Vapor not liquid.
    Purpose for this is to displace O2 with a non combustionable gas. I cannot see a reason not to use it. That’s why I’m asking!

    Reply

    • Posted by Eric Catuccio on May 5, 2015 at 2:20 PM

      Keep in mind that if you displace indefinitely in a closed space you can displace the air in the room and suffocate.

      Reply

  14. Hi, I’ve read through your blog looking for this information, but I can’t find it. Have you ever done a fire safety analysis of a closed loop butane extractor as opposed to open blasting into a tray? Your blog says to educate, educate, educate… well I need to educate a DA, judge and maybe a jury. I’m not sure if you recall our last conversation, but I was asking for pointers on my set up, but I was raided before I could even do a run. I’ve found out that a neighbor may want to testify as to the fire dangers of what I was doing (living in a forest area). I want to be prepared with a defense for this and was wondering if you had any information.

    Reply

    • Posted by jasonbutane on December 25, 2014 at 10:04 PM

      your an idiot

      Reply

    • I had a third party registered professional Mechanical Engineer review and certify the Mk III, IV, and V designs meet ANSI/ASME. Whether they meet NFPA is highly dependent on how and where they are installed.

      How and where did you have yours installed?

      Reply

    • Posted by Daniel on June 25, 2015 at 2:38 AM

      it should be a certification to do extraction. I would think just copying what he wrote about would help you out then you just need something stating that your grow lights are not a fire hazard which could always be inspected by a licensed electrician or a journeyman The same is any electricity in A house is inspected for fire hazards

      Reply

      • Posted by Indra on September 8, 2016 at 2:12 PM

        correct, soon a Union will open to those interested, a school to teach the patent for it will be held several times a year and grads will get a lease to use the patent, currently in the whole world held rights soon to be enforced.

        Reply

  15. Posted by Jody on August 21, 2014 at 8:57 PM

    Hi, I’ve been desperately looking for information from a confident individual in the know about BHO being administered as medicine for a stage 4 lung cancer patient. I’ve heard both sides of the story when asked about its safety for consumption, but overall the vibe was negative. As a limited option, I would like to know how I could identify it as safe for consumption having not been self-produced. I had read about testing for residual butane by lighting it and listening for crackles, hisses, etc. This test came out negative. Also, I’ve been told that THC content could be negligible in BHO. I would be so grateful if someone could help me out. Also, I’ve been informed that the product has been decarboxylated. Again, any way to confirm this having not been in charge of production. I’m hoping for replies to the questions I seek, as I’ve mostly received replies pointing me in other directions, while I do not currently have that luxury.

    Sure do appreciate!

    Reply

    • Posted by JSK on September 3, 2014 at 5:34 PM

      First thing I would do is go straight to Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) rather than BHO. The best information on that can be found at http://www.phoenixtearsfoundation.com/

      Everything you want to know can be found on that site including how to make it. Best of luck.

      Reply

      • Hats off and a salute to Rick for his contributions to medical cannabis, especially at its personal cost to him. Without his groundwork and sacrifices, medical cannabis would not have advanced as far as it has in this time span.

        As I discussed with Rick on their radio program, I don’t agree with the use of Naphtha or Isopropyl for extracting pharmaceuticals. A small matter given the number of things we do agree on, but not one that I can compromise on.

        Reply

    • Hi Jody!

      Theories and well intended proponents abound, but my own extraction of a split lot of material five different ways, didn’t show enough gas chromatograph variance to fall outside the general scatter from the error of measurement process. Specifically they were Naphtha, n-Hexane, n-Butane, Isopropyl, and Ethanol.

      That, and our own experience supplying end of life patients with cannabis oil, suggests that the “cults” dancing around the “only-real-cure” are deluding themselves.

      Clearly anyone saying butane doesn’t extract the THC, is not up to date on the overwhelming mass of GC and HPLC/MS data that flies in the face of their theory.

      You can tell if it is purged and decarboxylated by placing a container of it into a 250F hot oil bath and watching the bubble activity. Read https://skunkpharmresearch.com/decarboxylation/

      As far as telling what else might be in there, I know of no other way to tell if there are other chemicals present from the growing/handling/storage operation than a GC/MS.

      Reply

    • Posted by Sppete13 on September 8, 2016 at 12:12 PM

      The best way to make sure there is no additional residual butane, would be to winterize it. .

      There is a section on here on how to do it .

      Keep in mind Butane and 190 alcohol are opposite polarities… so if you put your oil into alcohol… any Butane residuals will immediately exit since they can not exist in the semester environment. .

      Winterizing also further concentrates your oil.

      Decarboxolating is very important … so if the oil you have is Decarboxolated it can usually be somewhat spotted by how viscous the oil is…. but is in no way a perfect test…

      Furthermore if the oil is properly purged… it will absolutely work for cancer patients… I’ve done it… personally no heard about it… so you’re safe…

      Hope that helps

      Sppete13

      Reply

    • Posted by Indra on September 8, 2016 at 2:09 PM

      BHO invented by me can be completely purged in a vacuum oven or a rotavap, confirmed many times by NMR test, the best

      Reply

      • Posted by andrew marshall on November 18, 2016 at 1:37 AM

        hey indra i have some questions for you if possible shoot me a message and let me know if you are into helping me out with a few answers. your knowledge is much appreciated sir

        Reply

  16. We are easily been able to remember who those people were.
    If we consider the role of news channel and printing house,
    they are the main players who provide us deep knowledge of the
    happenings in country including the international news.
    People’s intentions should always be questioned when money
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    Reply

  17. […] as seen appropriate but of course read as much as you can and do yourself a favor and read Skunk Pharm’s Butane Safety Article immediately after […]

    Reply

  18. […] https://skunkpharmresearch.com/butane-safety/ I shared a few tips on how to extract using flammable solvents like butane, without immolating […]

    Reply

  19. Posted by Joe C on February 23, 2014 at 11:37 PM

    Does anyone know if S.T. Dupont Butane is any good ? http://www.elegantlighters.com/product-p/dupgasx.htm … I cant find a MSDS however ive been told its 96% and my current 5x is 95% on its MSDS… So just hoping someone has used it can confirm if its good? Thanks.

    Reply

  20. Posted by SPPETE13 on January 10, 2014 at 9:34 PM

    Hello GW ES and family….
    Wanted to share a couple links:

    http://capitalbutane.com/

    That is a link to a new company IN AMERICA… that uses N-butane and then iso-butane as a propellant in place of propane and they claim to be the cleanest… all info on their site…

    http://www.4aceswholesale.com/

    This is a great resource for Vaporizing Nails and Glasswork and basically anything in a head shop… I dont think they have minimum orders and Ive been to their warehouse in bakersfield cali so I know they are legit… They have K.O. Domeless nails for $25…..

    As soon as I possibly can I will come up to visit…. I have A LOT to tell you and share!

    Much Love~!

    SPPETE

    Reply

  21. Posted by Dean (503) on January 3, 2014 at 3:03 AM

    so i just was turned on to this knowledgeable community from a friend who swears by you guys. he wants me to have the ability to outsource questions to a team who’s truly honest and who’s in the industry for the patients and the medical benefits cannabis posses. I have been making concentrates for a year now and the unthinkable happened. during my C4H10,R100 or butane hahaha and this was commercial butane(n-butane) obtained by a friend who uses it in his business and he likes my medical salves and tinctures for his back pain, fare trades lolz🙂. I was using a simple flow through method and collecting in the pyrex dish when it combusted. I was outside being as safe as i could. after a detailed inspection of the cause if ignition, seemed to be a short in my chemistry grade hot plate? or possibly static shock?. but after it caught fire the flames reached my 10ft ceiling and it was starting to concern me about the fire hazard, I was in a very large, wide garage attached to my home. so i proceeded to try and smother it with a piece of plywood to try to save the medicine .but it wouldn’t go out so i left it covered and ran to get my ABC fire extinguisher (active compounds go as followed) the msds says it is Ammonium Hydrogen Sulfate. it exists as a mixture of powder, it did not seem to dissolve in the non polar butane but has made a very thick goo of oil and Ammonium Hydrogen Sulfate which leads me to believe that its “AHS” is Polar or water miscible in the best scenario. (**** so my plea for help is how would you go about removing this foreign compound that is Ammonium Hydrogen Sulfate “AHS” from a butane concentrate. i’m a hobby botanist and would like the simple way if it is safe, a intermediate fix or a advanced way but I’m looking to not spend more 50$ so i can keep cost low and pass it on the the patients if its safe. thank you for you deliberation. from Oregon to skunk pharm with respect.

    Reply

  22. Posted by paul on October 9, 2013 at 11:37 AM

    HI. I need to say thank you like so many others here. The information here is astounding…life changing for me as I make my own meds. Personally, I am deeply deeply grateful for your work as well as your sharing so freely. Thank you so much.
    My question is this and it just baffles me. In the end the concentrates are often not vaped or consumed, but placed on a nail that has been heated with a butane torch (inside usually). While this all looks good and works very well, does the indoor butane exposure from a torch cause any health issues. I have just tried this and yes it works very very well :)– however I have also turned on a fan to blow the fumes from the torch out the window. Do you feel comfortable commenting on this practice and it’s safety? Thank you. Peace to You.

    Reply

  23. Posted by scott zcollett on May 17, 2013 at 9:36 AM

    Has anyone ever used sparks butane. I saw them at hemp con and tried a can with good results. They gave me a too good to be true price and I was interested in checking on the quality of the product.

    Reply

    • No we haven’t, but you can test it yourself by reviewing their MSDS sheet for content, and then spraying half a can or so, on a mirror to see what is left behind.

      It it is suitable butane for our purposes, only paraffin will be left behind, which will be odorless and mostly tasteless. Sniff and taste the deposit for the presence of ethyl mercaptans.

      If excessive wax is left behind, but the contents are otherwise OK per the MSDS, you can winterize the extraction afterwards and remove the paraffin at the same time that you remove the plant waxes.

      Reply

  24. […] Some light reading to get you started and then feel free to ask questions. https://skunkpharmresearch.com/butane-safety/ https://skunkpharmresearch.com/bho-extraction/ Reply With […]

    Reply

  25. […] attached link on butane safety, followed by the one on various methods of extracting with butane. https://skunkpharmresearch.com/butane-safety/ https://skunkpharmresearch.com/bho-extraction/ As Guz notes, for bragging rights quality, breaking […]

    Reply

  26. […] starting with not imolating oneself. Also one explaining how chlorophyll may be picked up. https://skunkpharmresearch.com/butane-safety/, and https://skunkpharmresearch.com/bho-extraction, plus […]

    Reply

  27. […] more information on getting clean flavorful BHO extractions, you might check out the following: https://skunkpharmresearch.com/butane-safety/ https://skunkpharmresearch.com/bho-extraction/ https://skunkpharmresearch.com/gettin…ut-afterwards/ […]

    Reply

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