The most common types of lighter fluids include Naphtha, Butane and Charcoal lighter fluid.
A colorless and odorless alkane, Butane is a gas obtained from the fractional distillation of natural gas. Butane has a very high calorific value and does not produce harmful gases when burned, it is therefore a clean fuel which can be sued as lighter fluid. In commercial circles, this gas is commonly known as LPG or Liquefied Petroleum Gas. While it may be highly flammable, Butane is safe to use when sold as lighter fluid.
Refilling a lighter effectively when the lighter fluid is exhausted requires some skill and a lot of practice is needed. Before refilling, make sure that the flame setting is at low and turn the butane lighter upside down. Connect the far end of the fueling can to the adapter of the lighter and proceed to fill the lighter. After filling up the lighter, turn it upright and let it sit still for a while so that the Butane can settle.
Unlike butane lighters, Naphtha-based lighters use a wick. When Naphtha burns, the flame produced is not as hot as butane flames. These lighters are reusable and can be refilled with some skill. The wick used in such lighters are made of cotton and can be clearly seen in the lighter.
Charcoal Lighter Fluid
This is popularly used for lighting charcoal in barbecue grills. This lighter fluid is a combination of Phenol distillates which vaporize easily. They can be used with both briquettes and lump charcoal. In fact, some stores have briquettes infused with this type of lighter fluid for sale.
It is important to note that some people have reservations about the use of such lighter fluids for cooking meals. Some people are concerned with the toxicity of charcoal lighter fluid and the odor it leaves on food cooked with it. Environmentalists are also concerned about the photochemical smog that result from burning charcoal lighter fluid. These concerns have led people to opt for cleaner options like the electric charcoal starters.