Date: Fri, 29 Jan 2010 15:43:54 -0600
Reply-To: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: John Meyers <Jmeyers150**At_Symbol_Here**AOL.COM>
Subject: Re: Ether - Motor Priming Grade
In-Reply-To: <4B62DE5E.A76E.0029.0**At_Symbol_Here**>
Heat contains Methanol and is used in Meth labs, mainly to remove the
Pseudoephedrine from the other tablet components. Diethyl ether is used as a
solvent, but is obtained from cans of starting fluid. The cans are inverted
and the pressure released. The can is opened from the bottom with a 'church
key' and 12 oz. of ether is removed.

John A. Meyers

-----Original Message-----
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**] On Behalf Of
Mark Cameron
Sent: Friday, January 29, 2010 3:11 PM
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Ether - Motor Priming Grade

For what it's worth, meth cookers routinely buy "heat" (engine starter) as a
solvent. It usually contains diethyl ether, which make it a good starter
fluid because of its high VP. You could try to get a MSDS from Humco.

Mark Cameron, MS, CIH
Sr. Industrial Hygienist
Health and Safety Program Manager
California Criminalistics Institute
Bureau of Forensic Services
(916) 227-5956

>>> "Yarrow, Gary"  1/29/2010 12:31 PM >>>
Must be Friday afternoon....I still use it in my snow blower (as an

Ether in the glove compartment brings back memories of "Fear and Loathing in
Las Vegas" by Hunter Thompson......"never trust a man in the midst of an
ether binge!"...those that have read it will understand.

I remember the blue flames also, but coming out of a 1970 or so VW Bug!
Lost my facial hair (including eyebrows) once there!


Dr. Gary L. Yarrow,  Director
Environmental Health & Safety
Shepard Hall 059; Bldg 2202
South Dakota State University
Brookings, SD  5700-7-0896

From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**] On Behalf Of
William Hirzy
Sent: Friday, January 29, 2010 12:49 PM
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU 
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Ether - Motor Priming Grade

Back in the day, when I worked in the lab and had access and drove a 1959
Volvo in the frigid midwestern winter, parking on the street, I would take
the battery out, bring it inside to keep warm for the next morning, then
re-install it, pour about 10 mL of diethyl ether onto the strangely vertical
carbeurator air filter, and that baby fired right up every day--no
problem........Then one night a cop stopped me because I had a tail light
out, some heavy anti-war literature stuck all over the trunk, and quite a
pony-tail and full beard. He looked at me, and then into the glove
compartment where I kept the ether (didn't want it in the apartment) and
almost busted me for having it. After I explained it, he relaxed, but still
gave me a ticket for the tail light................Petroleum ether might
have worked as well, but, but that diethyl variety sure did the trick!

J. William Hirzy, Ph.D.
Chemist In Residence
Phone: 202-885-1780

Sent by: DCHAS-L Discussion List 

01/29/2010 12:15 PM
Please respond to
DCHAS-L Discussion List 





Re: [DCHAS-L] Ether - Motor Priming Grade

My experience with "ether" used for motor starting (AKA starting fluid)
is usually a composition of petroleum "ether" which is typically but not
necessarily an ether as we chemists know it, but is really a composition
of short chain aromatic and aliphatic hydrocarbons. This material is
typically used in starting diesel engines that lack glow plugs in cold

Thomas Wrona
Equipment Systems Manager
Radiation and Chemical Safety Officer
Southeastern Michigan Location
Ohio Michigan Division
Office Phone: 313 494-2894
Facsimile: 313 833-2799

-----Original Message-----
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**] On Behalf Of
Roberts, Jerilyn C.
Sent: Thursday, January 28, 2010 5:39 PM
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU 
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Ether - Motor Priming Grade

Does anyone have any information on Humco Laboratories Ether Motor
Priming Grade?  We are working on moving to a new building and it was
found in a cabinet.  All it says is "ether", but I am not familiar with
motor priming grade.  I am treating with extreme caution.  Any
information would be greatly appreciated.


Jerilyn Roberts
Environmental Health and Safety Director
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
501 East St. Joseph Street
Rapid City, SD 57701-3995
605 394-6729
605 394-6131 FAX

CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This communication with its contents may contain
confidential and/or legally privileged information. It is solely for the use
of the intended recipient(s). Unauthorized interception, review, use or
disclosure is prohibited and may violate applicable laws including the
Electronic Communications Privacy Act. If you are not the intended
recipient, please contact the sender and destroy all copies of the

Previous post   |  Top of Page   |   Next post

The content of this page reflects the personal opinion(s) of the author(s) only, not the American Chemical Society, ILPI, Safety Emporium, or any other party. Use of any information on this page is at the reader's own risk. Unauthorized reproduction of these materials is prohibited. Send questions/comments about the archive to
The maintenance and hosting of the DCHAS-L archive is provided through the generous support of Safety Emporium.