Budget Bunsen Burner

More in this series »

If you are designing a school science lab, you may elect to work with a class set of mounted butane torches or some commercial butane burner and eliminate the expense installing, maintaining and securing gas lines. These options offer a safe, much less expensive source of concentrated heat.

The burners and canned butane fuel can be safely stored in a fire-resistant cabinet and allow the classroom to be safely used for other purposes, such as math lessons or other classes, without the worry of students being tempted to mishandle the gas taps in the absence of a supervising teacher.

Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines as to how long the torch may be used in a single experiment. (Some can go for approximately 30 minutes before shutting off for safety.) As always, observe all safety protocol when working with any heat source.

The orange butane torch is advertised inexpensively in tool catalogs and sold through hardware and cooking supply stores. You may purchase canned butane for fuel in hardware stores, newspaper stands, drug stores, camping and hunting supply shops, grocery stores and virtually any shop that sells cigarettes or tobacco products. The commercial burners can be found in a hardware store or marine supply store.