Bioethanol - fuel for your bio-fireplace
For your perfect fireplace experience, we have put together a selection of bioethanol sets for you here. Depending on your needs, you can decide whether to buy just a single bottle or to stock up on a small supply of high-quality bioethanol right away.
Our bioethanol is produced in Germany and has an alcohol content of 96.6% - we recommend to always use bioethanol with an alcohol percentage between 95% - 97,5% for the best experience. Lower percentage bioethanol can burn with a blue-ish flame and give off a smell of ethanol. Higher percentage bioethanol burns faster and hotter, and not all fireplaces are made for this.
We recommend to always check the manual for your fireplace with bioethanol. To see what type of bioethanol is recommended.
Products - Bioethanol for ethanol fireplaces
What exactly is "bioethanol"?
Bioethanol is ethanol produced exclusively from biomass or from biodegradable waste. Some are produced exclusively from plant waste such as wood, straw or whole plants. In such a case the ethanol is also called "cellulose ethanol". More about this later.
It was first used in the 1970s when an oil price crisis occurred. The result of this crisis was that the oil price rose sharply and oil became unaffordable or economically unviable for many people. At that time, it was rediscovered as a fuel. It also helped to recycle surplus agricultural products during this period.
The ethanol can be used for both indoor and outdoor bio-fireplaces at your home or restaurant etc. If you want you can add some accessories to the bio-fire, to place around the burner – on this way you will not get a bad smell from the ethanol.
Bioethanol in fuel
Now some may wonder whether it is still used as a fuel for fireplaces today, now that the price of oil and gasoline is reasonably stable again. The answer is E10, and therefore 'yes'.
Common blends for fuels other than E10 are E5, E15, E25, E50, E85, and E100. The number after the 'E' indicates (in %) how much of this is contained in the fuel. The rest is conventional petrol. For example, in E25 the fuel consists of 25% bioethanol and 75% of petrol. With E100 we have a bioethanol content of 100%.
The best known of these fuels (at least in Germany) is E10. E10 is available at almost all petrol stations throughout Germany since 1 January 2011. It is assumed that about 90% of all German cars tolerate E10 well. E10 is therefore not only cheaper than conventional petrol but also supports the consumption of non-fossil fuels.
With the ethanol fire, your mixing ratio is a little different or should be in any case. Good fuel that burns optimally should have a purity level of 96.6%. This has proven to be the perfect mixture for the small decorative stove. By the way, you can find these ethanol-powered fireplaces on our homepage. Feel free to contact us if you have troubles by choosing the right fire for your home.
This ethanol is a safety fuel – if you just use your common sense! That means ex. Not to put the accessories directly into the fire, and get flammable materials away from the fire – ex. Curtains.
Bioethanol - dangerous or cosy?
A biofire looks so cosy when it burns and fills the whole room at the home with a pleasantly relaxed atmosphere that you don't want to miss any more. For this reason, many people consider the fuel to be completely harmless - but is it true? We will get to the bottom of this assumption a little closer.
It is, as already mentioned, a fuel that is entirely or partly obtained from biological masses or waste. The fuel starts to burn when a flame is added to it.
But be careful, the cosy characteristics of such a fireplace should not be underestimated. Yes, it is cosy when it burns, but accidents do happen due to carelessness and lack of readiness for danger. But don't worry. If you use common sense when approaching the heater, nothing can and will happen to you.
It is important to be aware that it is a combustible material just like any other. Just because it is also used in the ethanol fire, which looks nice and cosy when burning, does not mean that the fuel cannot be dangerous.
You can also use this fire outdoor, just make sure that there won’t get water and other dirt inside of the burner. The wind will also affect the flame, so to get the most safety and controlled fire, it will be a good idea to employ it in closed areas or on terraces with a half wall.
If you not are sure if an ethanol fire will work on your terrace, feel free to send us an email and maybe some pictures of your terrace. Then we will be happy to help you!
Things you should be aware of
You should, therefore, know a few things and pay attention to them the next time you operate an ethanol fire.
Bioethanol (or any fuel) should not be stored next to or near your fire.
- The fireplace should never be filled up when it is still warm. If your fireplace has no fuel left in it and you want to refill it, it is important to wait at least 30 minutes. During this time the fire can cool down.
- The fireplace should never be filled up when it is burning. It could lead to explosive combustion, which you may not be able to control. Therefore, as with the previous point, you must wait at least half an hour before pouring new ethanol into it.
- If possible, only use bio-ethanol with a purity level of 96.6%. Failure to do so is unlikely to lead to a dangerous situation, but can still be unpleasant. This means that poor quality fuel or fuel with an incorrect degree of purity can lead to poor oxidation. This, in turn, leads to an unpleasant smell. In addition, it is possible that the flame of the fireplace will often go out because the degree of purity is too low.
- When lighting your ethanol fire, it is best to employ long matches or a long stick lighter. Often it ignites very quickly, which may prevent you from getting your fingers pulled away in time, which in turn may lead to slight oxidation. If you use matches to light the fire, it is important not to leave them inside.
If you have any further questions about the correct use of ethanol, we would be very happy to hear from you.
How is alcohol produced?
There are several producers of it. One of the biggest producers is located in Zeitz in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. Like any other alcohol, it is obtained by fermentation. Sugar is added under the right temperature conditions to start the fermentation.
As already mentioned, ethanol is produced from biological materials or waste. One of these raw materials is starch or sugar. These two raw materials are available in many plants or grains that are locally available in many different countries. In Europe, the starch is mostly based on wheat and the sugar is mostly derived from sugar beets. In other countries and continents, sugar cane, corn, sugar millet or even the Asian cassava root is also often used.
As already mentioned in another section, there is also the so-called "cellulose ethanol". This is obtained from cheaper plant residues such as straw or wood residues. The great thing about this is that the plant residues are usually very inexpensive and also grow on soils that are not of too high quality. The end product in both processes is "bioethanol" and there are therefore no differences between the two products.
In order to obtain the glucose, i.e. the sugar, the respective raw materials have to be processed. The wheat we use is the first ground. Enzymes are then added to the ground wheat, which converts the starch in the wheat into sugar. Raw materials containing cellulose, such as straw, are processed in the same way.
The mass produced after processing is called mash. Yeast is now added to this sugar-containing mash to start the fermentation process. After this process, the previously non-alcoholic mass now has an alcohol content of about 12%. The sugar- and alcohol-containing mash is now distilled. After successful distillation, raw alcohol with a concentration of 94.6% is obtained.
The next step in the production of alcohol is dehydration. The remaining 5.4% is in fact water. This is removed in the dewatering process with the help of a so-called molecular sieve. The final product now has a purity level of over 99.95%. Depending on the application, the process is stopped earlier. Because as you remember the ethanol used for our fireplaces should contain only 96.6% ethanol. The ethanol with the degree of purity of over 99.95% is intended for blending with petrol for engines.
A great advantage of producing ethanol is that it produces many useful by-products. The settled fats, proteins and plant fibres can easily be processed into food, feed, and fertiliser.
Although the energy balance is positive for this, there is a debate about whether the cultivation of plants and raw materials for the sole production of ethanol in 2019 is still sustainable.
How much bioethanol do I need?
How much you need depends on several factors. Each combustion chamber is different and so each combustion chamber uses a different amount of ethanol. Another factor that is very determined in terms of consumption is the way the fire is used. For example, such a model naturally consumes more at full power than an ethanol fire that only burns at half heat.
A decisive factor in how much is burned is of course how much goes into the combustion chamber. Most common fireplaces have a capacity from 0.5 to 5 liters. Of course, there are also fireplaces that are larger or smaller, but never the less, these are the two most common capacities. The calculation is simple. An ethanol fire with a capacity of 5 liters will also burn 5 liters of ethanol when used if it is on all the way. So you should be aware that the higher the capacity of the fireplace, the more it usually consumes.
Above a certain size, most bio-ethanol fireplaces have a small metal plate made of stainless steel that can be pushed over the opening with a suitable tool. This plate ultimately serves to extinguish the fire. If the plate is pushed over the opening of the fireplace while it is on, the fire of the fireplace is smothered and it goes out. A great trick is not to push the stainless steel plate completely over the opening, but only a part of it. This restricts the air supply to the flames and the fire becomes a little smaller. In this method allows, you to save bio-ethanol, because less fuel is burned and fewer liters are used.
It is also important to ensure a good indoor climate. This is achieved by operating your product only in a well-ventilated room.
The combustion of bio-ethanol is a chemical process. One of the chemical end products that are produced during this combustion is CO2. CO2 is produced during the oxidation of oxygen and is toxic to humans. However, an ethanol fire can by no means produce so much CO2 that it can become dangerous for humans. So you do not need to worry about being poisoned.
Although you cannot suffer from CO2 poisoning, it is important to have a supply of fresh air, otherwise, you may get a headache after a long stay in a room with an ethanol fire that is burning. This is by no means pleasant and of course, wants to be avoided. However, the solution is quite simple and does not require much work. It is usually enough to open a window while the fireplace is burning.
Buy more and save more at the same time?
A question many people ask themselves, and one that most people would probably like to be answered with a yes. Of course, most things become more expensive if you buy more of them. At bioethanol-fireplace.co.uk this is a bit different.
1 liter of bio-ethanol costs 5 £ in our online shop. Depending on the size of the combustion chamber and the fireplace, 1 liter also holds accordingly. But if you buy a larger quantity, such as 24 liters, it now costs only 3.95 £. The price per liter will be lower the larger the amount. In addition, if the value of goods is over 100 £, there are no shipping costs. This, of course, lowers the final price further. If you would like more information about this, we are of course at your disposal so just contact us.
Refilling or pumping?
Burners and fireplaces are available in different designs and sizes. From very large burners with a high capacity to small burners with a lower capacity. Depending on the model, a corresponding amount of ethanol is required. The rule is simple: for a larger one, you need more ethanol than for a small one.
With large fireplaces, the burning liquid usually does not need to be refilled as often. This is due to the fact that a lot fits in and the combustion chamber is usually not completely empty. Since you do not have to refill so often, you can certainly refill it manually. To do this, you pour the ethanol directly into the burner.
So that nothing goes wrong, it is recommended to use a funnel when pouring. If something should go wrong during pouring, it is important to remove the spill immediately and completely. This is best done with a damp cloth. If the spilled liquid is not removed immediately, this can lead to a stain on the floor and other unexpected dangers. If you have any questions regarding the refilling, we will, of course, be happy to help you.
We have also compiled a small collection of useful instructions in which we explain many of the basic things; for example, how to properly fill, light and extinguish a ethanol fireplace.
However, if the ethanol fire is used a lot, you may be looking for something simpler. In our online shop, you can obtain practical ethanol pumps that easily transport the flammable liquid from the canister/bottle to the scene of the fire. This is a child's play and can be done at the push of a button. One end of the pump goes into the container with the flammable liquid and the other end is put into the fireplace. In this way, the ethanol fire is automatically supplied with sufficient ethanol.
So what is bioethanol? Questions about our products?
Bioethanol is a spirit which are used for ethanol fireplaces, as will create a nice flame. If you order a bigger amount it will be cheaper to buy. Enjoy the nice flame and heat at you home. We are shipping ethanol to the UK, with a delivery time on usually 2-3 business days from the order has been completed. This fuel do also work for outdoor use, but if there is a lot of wind it will affect the flame – so be careful.
If you have further questions about our products or especially about ethanol, we would be pleased to contact you or feel free to contact us. We are available on weekdays by phone, email and our online chat. Our competent and expert team is looking forward to being at your service.
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Your bioethanol-fireplace.co.uk team!