Historically called white gas (not white spirit), it is a liquid petroleum fuel (100% light hydrotreated distillate) usually sold in one-gallon cans in the United States; in Europe it is usually sold in one-litre bottles.
Coleman fuel is used primarily for fueling lanterns and camp stoves. Additionally, it is a popular fuel for fire dancing. Originally, it was simply casing-head gas or drip gas, which has similar properties. Drip gas was sold commercially at gas stations and hardware stores in North America until the early 1950s. The white gas sold today is a similar product but is produced at refineries and has a very low benzene content, benzene being a human carcinogen.
Though Coleman fuel has an octane rating of 50 to 55 and a flammability similar to gasoline, it has none of the additives found in modern gasoline. Most burners will readily burn unleaded gasoline (or white gas), however.
- Coleman, "How to choose a fuel" Archived 2009-02-07 at the Wayback Machine
- Coleman Fuel on the Coleman European website
- Coleman Fuel on the Fire to the Max website
- Coleman Fuel fact sheet on The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (Canada) website
- Coleman Fuel, MSDS Archived February 26, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
- Alternatives to Coleman Fuel on the Backpackerverse website