I'm developing a character who becomes stronger the more alcohol is in his body but couldn't think of an appropriate weapon. Then I had the idea that he could use alcohol in some sort of flame based weapon/attack. Could alcohol be used as an effective weapon by boosting a fire attack? Or at the very least would it produce a sizeable amount of fire? Data on flame size using different alcohols as fuel would be helpful. Or what weapons could work well in this way that take advantage of his increase in physical strength or alcohol as a fuel?
Comments under the question address how much alcohol could be in someone's blood. I'll assume you've handwaved away the limitation that they're unconscious by the time they've accumulated enough to be worth burning.
I've built a stove that burns alcohol. It's basically the bottom of a drinks can in a windshield. If I load that up with 10 ml of fuel, several minutes later I'll have a cup of boiling water. The only major difference between alcohols (denatured ethanol, methanol, and isopropanol) is how visible the flame is/how much soot I get. Even acetone is similar (note it's possible for a human body to produce ketones). This means you need a lot of fuel to get a big flame.
You would of course do better with a jet than an open cup, but you'd need far more fuel as the jet would need to be ignited at the mouth/nozzle and keep burning to the target. From doing a little firebreathing years ago, a mouthful (up to about 100ml) of paraffin/kerosene produces a visually impressive flame but you'd do more damage chucking the fuel can at your target - and have greater range. Perhaps with enough pressure behind it you'd be able to use this to hurt someone at a decent range. I'd expect alcohols to be less effective; they have also sometimes been used in firebreathing (but note toxicity in the real world) but produce smaller, less impressive flames. You may use gauntlets, but this gives an idea of what you can get for biologically relevant quantities and non-ideal nozzles.
An even bigger problem would be separation of the alcohol from the bloodstream. You can't filter alcohol out of water with anything short of a reverse osmosis system, and even they're not very good at it while needing lots of power and bulk. Carrying the fuel already separated would be far more efficient.
On the whole I think you'd be better looking at some sort of berserker
Some ideas for this:
- Poisonous bite, where alcohol is the venom. The venom is stored in a specialised organ in the body and is released upon biting. Injecting a large volume of ethanol into the bloodstream of the victim would weaken the victim's ability to fight back. Moreover, perhaps ethanol is converted to methanol in the venom gland, making deadlier in relatively low concentrations.
- Resistance to a pathogen. The character has grenade-like packages that can be thrown at people. When a package breaks, it releases a puff of dust that contains deadly bacteria. The bacteria can normally infect anyone quickly but high blood alcohol content wards these bacteria off.
/On the whole I think you'd be better looking at some sort of berserker @Chris H/
He is stronger when he drinks alcohol. In large part because he is less careful but he is also stronger because he is singing his fighting song.
His weapon is whatever is handy. It is never the same thing twice because that thing is usually not fit to be used as a weapon the second time.
His drink of choice is 160 proof moonshine with some herbs in it. He strips off his clothes, pours some on himself and lights himself on fire. He is a very hairy dude which helps hold the alcohol. He is also very sweaty which helps him not get burned. He will only burn for a while unless it has been a while since he did this, in which case his hair will burn longer because it is longer. The burning hair makes a lot of smoke.
His main attack is wrestling which he uses after he breaks whatever he was using as a weapon. I learned in junior high "never fight a wrestler, because they won't fight. They will wrestle. And they know how to hurt you." Your flaming naked man will close with opponents and grapple them. He is loud when he does this because he is singing, like he was before he did it.
The flames are not that hot and unless you catch fire yourself they will probably not damage you any more than you already get damaged. And you will probably not catch fire because you have wet yourself because this dude is terrifying.