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Acrolein from VG?... Simple Test results

Discussion in 'Experiments With Equipment' started by StratOvation, Aug 9, 2009.

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  1. StratOvation

    StratOvation Super Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 10, 2009
    Michigan, USA
    Hi All,

    Over the past several months I have seen this topic raised many times and understand why some are concerned.

    I've just conducted some tests that I thought some of those folks may be interested in.

    The following is a simple attempt to share my observations with those interested parties and should not be construed as a recommendation either for or against the use of VG in your personal devices.:)

    First, the devices and test conditions:

    Prodigy V1 (resistored) with full charge on 2X 3.0V tenergy LiFePO batteries, Reading 6.92V (~5.5V underload) at the atty adaptor.

    Atomizer (Atty): Saibao true DSE801 tall bridge. (With Bridge removed for testing purposes) [​IMG]

    Liquid: DIY 18mg. 60% PG, 20% VG Base.

    Temperature Testing Equipment: Etek 10709 Multimeter(MM) with temp capability to 785 degrees F. K type thermocouple (TC) supplied with Etek MM. [​IMG]

    I tested the calibration of the MM and thermocouple via boiling water and an ice bath prior to use. Boiling H20= 211F, Ice Bath= 33F. Not perfection but close enough for this application.
    I should mention that I chose to use this Device primarily due to the extremely small thermocouple, [​IMG]

    which would allow me to take readings inside of an atty while in operation.

    The Testing:

    My initial reading was taken with the atty clean and dry and the Thermocouple (TC) in contact (touching) with the coil. After continuously energizing the coil for 6 seconds, the peak temp reading was 689F (365C).

    I allowed atty coil to cool for 5 minutes and then dripped four drops of liquid into the atty and waited for 1 minute (allowing time for liquid to disperse)

    I repeated the 6 sec. heat cycle with TC touching the wetted coil. Peak temp was 324F (162C).

    After clearing the vapor from the atty, I posistioned the TC just above the atty coil (~1mm) and repeated the 6 sec. cycle again. peak temp of vapor at coil was 218F (103C).

    After allowing atty to cool for a few minutes I added 2 more drops of liquid.
    With the TC ~1/2" above the coil I repeated the 6 sec. cycle 3 times with a 20 sec. interval between each cycle. Peak temps were 139F (59C), 146F (63C) and 148F (64C).

    This test was conducted using a newer High Voltage Device (Prodigy V1)at peak performance to simulate a "worst case scenario" and is not indicative of a standard E-Cig./PV.

    The 6 second cycle times are assumed to be extreme for this device as the manufacture recommends 3-5 seconds with this atty.

    This test is not an attempt to simulate "real world" measurements derived from the same device when used as recommended.

    There is no allowance for negative pressures present in normal operation which would certainly decrease the observed vapor temps.

    IMHO, The dry coil is capable of far exceeding the stated decomposition temp of VG (280-290C). However,When wetted, The coil peak temp is dramatically reduced and becomes incapable (under these conditions) of achieving required temps to decompose the VG into Acrolein.

    Hope someone finds the data useful.:)

  2. happily

    happily Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    May 25, 2009
    anchorage, ak
  3. surbitonPete

    surbitonPete Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 25, 2009
    North Yorkshire UK
    Hi strato.....thanks that was very interesting. I feel quite sure there must be some circumstances when a tiny bit of acrolyn is produced in the vaping process of VG and for some reason I actually equated acrolyn with a really awful chip fat type of taste I would sometimes get when I was vaping but thankfully I haven't experienced that taste again since I started doing a daily dry burn to clean my atty. I think the danger is very, very slim and certainly doesn't make me want to go back to the dangers of tobacco.
  4. Sun Vaporer

    Sun Vaporer Moved On ECF Veteran

    Jan 2, 2009
    Mike --very well done and very useful---We appreciate it greatly

  5. StratOvation

    StratOvation Super Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 10, 2009
    Michigan, USA
    I agree Pete. IMHO, It seems the only time when Acrolein production is likely, Is at the moment just before the coil becomes throughly dried and temps begin to climb rapidly. At that instant, the volume of acrolein potentially generated is nearly nil simply because there is no VG volume left to convert.
  6. surbitonPete

    surbitonPete Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 25, 2009
    North Yorkshire UK
    Yes and apparently Acrolyn is supposed to produce such a pungent smell that we should be well aware of it if we were producing much of it.
  7. Cayman

    Cayman Super Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 18, 2009
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Strat... nice write-up. Thank you for taking the time to do this. :)
  8. Shining Wit

    Shining Wit Unregistered Supplier ECF Veteran

    Oct 11, 2008
    North of England UK
    ECOpure has no PG but a large amount of VG. When tested at the University lab
    using the very latest equipment and methods, a specific test was requested for the presence of acrolein.
    This was tested for at temperatures up to 300 Deg Centigrade with no measurable traces.
    For the amateur scientists who take an extremely pedantic view, that means that
    there were no measurable traces, but there might have been one part in 500 trillion.
    In simple terms, there was no acrolein found.

    AGNES PEACOCK Super Member ECF Veteran

    Thank you StratO, Your information is timely and welcome.:)
  10. vapola

    vapola Full Member

    Jul 19, 2009
    Wow, thanks for posting this. I also have a Prodigy and was wondering how high the atomizer can heat up. It is great news that the temperatures do not reach high enough levels to produce acrolein!!! Even if your test was not as rigorous as you want it to be, I am sure most of us on this forum who vape VG based juice are happy to read this!!!!
  11. Niniane

    Niniane Senior Member ECF Veteran

    May 30, 2009
    Thank you for the info :)
  12. StratOvation

    StratOvation Super Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 10, 2009
    Michigan, USA
    Hi John,

    Are the test results you quote available to the public? Have the results been published? A professionaly conducted test in a lab setting will carry alot more weight with the public than my simple home test with a Multimeter.
    Please provide a link to the report if it is available.:)
    Thanks again,
  13. surbitonPete

    surbitonPete Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 25, 2009
    North Yorkshire UK
    Hi strato I think this will take you to a pdf report..... although I don't understand it lol
  14. StratOvation

    StratOvation Super Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 10, 2009
    Michigan, USA
  15. Toro

    Toro Full Member

    May 25, 2009
    Very good info!!!
  16. DonleyDoRight

    DonleyDoRight Unregistered Supplier ECF Veteran

    Jun 20, 2009
    Florida Panhandle
    Thank you both John and Strato,
    You just stopped me from ordering a jug of PG to blend into my extractions.
    Good work.
    Rock On
  17. eclypse

    eclypse Moved On

    Sep 9, 2009
    Macomb MI
    Anyone know how hot a 510 atty gets under 5/6 volt load?
  18. mail

    mail Full Member

    Mar 9, 2010
    DISCLAIMER: I just had an idea to test if we're fully safe. NOTE: I am not in physics, healthcare or chemistry, so everything I write below could be totally wrong. This is a best effort from my part with the little I know about the topics discussed her. If you keep reading below it is at your own risk!!!

    I agree the way to vape totally safely is to verify the coil cannot go above 280C and I personally think VG may be safer than PG in the long term.


    NOTE: I've no idea if the above website is legit or trustworthy, but that plus the fact that one can safely have more VG than PG per day make me generally prefer VG to PG.

    If you go ahead reading this post, you understand that putting my idea into practice is very risky for your health and that you're doing the test at your own risk only if you understand all the risks involved in doing it. I am not recommending it and I think it's hazardous. But I'd be personally interested to know the result of my idea. NOTE: THE ATOMIZER WOULD NEED TO BE THROWN AWAY IMMEDIATELY IN THE TRASH AFTER THE TEST AS IT WOULD BE CONTAMINATED BY THE TEST FLUID. THE ATOMIZER USED FOR THE TEST COULDN'T BE USED FOR VAPING EVER AGAIN!!

    I think I want to be sure for myself of the max temperature of my coils when not dry, so my simple idea would be instead of trying to measure the temperature of the atomizer, to put into the atomizer some liquid that has a boiling point between 240-260C. If it won't manage to generate vapor I think it'd be a very nice further verification that I fully safe from from the acrolein potential hazard of VG.

    Search "DOWTHERM A" on google, first link is a PDF (I can't post links..).

    I suppose flash point and fire point means the temperature the gas will catch fire if it is ingnited with flame, and that "autoignition temperature" is the temperature the coil would need to reach for the atomizer to catch fire. The autoignition temp is 599C. Clearly to be safer, one would need to put just a few drops of it in the atomizer, and run the test away from any other potentially ingniting material with low flash point, so if things go bad and atomizer catches fire, nothing very bad might happen (the atomizer has to be thrown away regardless if test is positive negative or destructive).

    I know nothing at all about this fluid other than what I read in the above pdf from

    DOWTHERM A boiling point at 257C, so it should not generate vapor if the atomizer coil cannot heat above 257C. It is also liquid at temperatures above 12C which makes life easy to fill the atomizer with it.

    Clearly the vapor generated by DOWTHERM A might be very hazardous (I didn't check its toxicity at all!) and it definitely shouldn't be inhaled, so this test should be done outside and with a power supply and making sure not to inhale any vapor produced (but we obviously hope no vapor will be procuded at all, that is what we want to be 100% safe from acrolein!).

    A test with 100% VG and verifying that (VG is liquid above 17C) might also be interesting, even if it won't guarantee the atomizer isn't heating up to 289C... Perhaps we should start testing with 100% VG on an ambient with temperature above 17C, and verify it won't generate vapor without mixing it with water.

    I wonder what people thinks about this, and

    1) if people agrees this may be the simplest and cheapest possible way to verify we're safe from acrolein, or if you've better ideas than mine (I have no equipment to measure the coil, furthermore I am afraid the measurement may not be accurate enough if some liquid sticks in between the atomizer coil and the temperature sensor, I think my test of checking no vapor generated is more trustworthy than measuring temperatures, besides requiring no equipment other than the liquid and a power supply with voltage equal to the battery of the ecig)

    2) I wonder if there's anything better than DOWTHERM A to use for my no-acrolein-atomizer-test-not-dry

    3) if it turns out I was lucky and DOWTHERM A is the ideal liquid to run the test, I wonder where I could find some of it to run the test myself to validate the brand of choice of my atomizers at home...

    I think it's important for people to be as safe as they can so a simple way to test for coil not heating above 280C that everyone could do at home on their atomizer brand of choice would be very nice.

    Let's say to me the only thing that matters is that ecigs are safer than real cigs, I still try not to smoke but I usually fail and I simply try to vape as little as possible... but I want to be sure I did everything I could to ensure it was a lot safer than real cigs.

    Thanks for this great forum :)
  19. AndriaMarie

    AndriaMarie Full Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    Sarasota, FL
    There's acrolein in cigarette smoke anyway...
    There were studies that were linking that to being a big reason smoking can cause cancer.

    Interesting information, though. Thanks! :)
  20. bobtow

    bobtow Super Member ECF Veteran

    Dec 11, 2009
    Wallaceburg ON. Canada
    If someone has anHVAC thermometer, they could test the heat from an atty in seconds. They are used in combustion chambers in furnaces.
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