How do gas lanterns work?


Do they run out of gas eventually? I thought they did but recently I heard somewhere they don’t and I don’t quite understand how

In: Technology

They do run out of gas. There’s a wick that pulls the gas up and evaporates it. It pulls air in and runs it past the wick to burn the vapors. Many have special materials around the flame that glow really bright when they get hot.

Imagine it’s like a cup of liquid gas. That gas soaks up into a cloth, then that cloth can burn without fading away. Eventually though all the gas gets burnt.

If you are talking about old City street lights, natural gas pipes run underground to them instead of electric wires. otherwise yes same principle as campground style mantle lanterns.

Gas lanterns, like a Coleman lantern, run off of gasoline. The gasoline is kept in a storage tank under a bit of pressure which forces the fluid up into a tube which goes to a nozzle. When the lamp is lit, the heat from the flame causes the gasoline in the tube to boil and vaporize, and that vapor is forced through the nozzle by the pressure generated by its evaporation. Often there is a mantle around the flame which incandesces from the heat to make the light much brighter. The evaporation also serves to contribute to pressurize the tank, and the lamp will stay lit until all the fuel is gone.

Gas streetlights are simpler, as they’re fed by an underground gas line just like a home which has a gas stove or furnace. Historically they were fueled by coal gas but today are fed usually by propane or natural gas. The line is already pressurized and so the lamp is simply a nozzle, above which the gas is lit.