How does a Bioethanol Fireplace Work?

Along with the question of whether a bioethanol fireplace is dangerous, the question regarding how a bio fuel fire functions is ranked among our most frequently received questions.

The answer is quite simple; a bio fireplace is a fireplace which creates fire by burning bio ethanol fuel.

For some, this simple answer is not enough. Therefore, we have created this guide. It aims is to explain and illustrate how the different types of bio ethanol fires from bioethanol-fireplace.co.uk work.


The Basics of Bioethanol Fires

The biggest difference when comparing bioethanol fires with traditional fireplaces or a fireplace that run on gas is that bio fires combusts bio ethanol fuel rather than traditional logs or gas. This also means that a bioethanol fire does not need a chimney as it does not emit smoke or ashes like a traditional fireplace does.

Additionally, the flames of a biofuel fireplace are completely clean and require little to no ventilation. Only if the room is smaller than 20m2 it might be necessary to open a window after some time. However, if the room has a sufficient size, no problems should occur.

Read more about our recommended room sizes in comparison with the size of the burners here.

Table biofireplace

Manual or Automatic Bioethanol Fires?

If you are new to bioethanol fires, it can be hard to know if you should purchase a manual or an automatic bio fireplace. And what is the difference between the two?

When burning bio ethanol fuel, it is not the liquid you burn, but the water vapour from the fuel. Therefore, it is preferable to avoid direct contact between fire and liquid. This makes the combustion safer and extends the burning time of the bio ethanol fuel.

In manual burners, this problem is usually solved by filling the burner with some non-combustible cotton wool. The wool is often referred to as ceramics fibre. When the bio ethanol fuel is filled into the burner, the bioethanol fuel will be absorbed. At the same time, this makes it impossible to waste the bio ethanol fuel inside the burner - which is particularly effective in freestanding bioethanol fires where dangerous situations can be avoided in case the bio fireplace crashes.

In the automatic burners, the bioethanol is stored in an external fire tank and is only pumped into the burner when it is needed. In some high-end burners, such as Planikas automatic burners, a very special technology called BEVTM is used. This evaporates the bio ethanol fuel before it gets burned.

However, the individual manufactures often have some unique methods and varieties of the above methods to provide safe burning of bioethanol fuel and therefore this will only be a general outline of how manual and automatic burners work.

You can read more about the difference between manual and automatic biofuel fires here.

Bioethanol Fuel

As mentioned before, a bio fireplace burns bioethanol fuel. But what exactly is bioethanol fuel?

Bioethanol is a spirit/alcohol, which is made of organic materials such as potatoes, corn, and roots. Often it will be produced from leftovers of these components after the food industry has taken the parts they need.

There are many different types of bio ethanol fuel which are used for a variety of different purposes. Some of the most prevalent places you will find bioethanol fuel is in household liquor and in the gasoline you fill in the car.

The bio ethanol fuel that is used in biofires is specially made for that purpose. Hence, you may not use any other types of bio ethanol fuel in your bio fireplace. Other types can burn differently and require a higher temperature, and not all fireplaces are made for that.

Several factors may play a role in choosing bio ethanol fuel for your bio fireplace. That is why we have created a guide specifically for choosing the right bio ethanol fuel for bio ethanol fires.

Bioethanol for bio fireplaces

Heat from a Bioethanol Fireplace

When the bioethanol fireplace is ignited it will generate heat which can contribute to increased temperature in the room. However, even though a bio fireplace creates heat, it does not develop as much heat as a traditional fireplace. In fact, it generates about half the amount of a traditional fireplace. Therefore, we do not recommend using a bio fuel fireplace as the primary source of heat but instead as a supplement - and to create a relaxed atmosphere.

The heat output varies from bioethanol fire to bioethanol fire. Therefore, we have added how much heat you can expect from the specific model in every product description.

Burning Time of a Bioethanol Fireplace

The amount of time a bioethanol fireplace can burn depends on the size of the burning chamber. For instance, a burning chamber with a capacity of 1,5 litres will be able to burn approximately 4 hours pr. filling.

When the bio fireplace runs out of bio ethanol fuel, the flame will automatically be put out. If you wish to refill your bio fireplace and ignite it again, it is VERY IMPORTANT that you wait for your burner to cool before refilling the burning chamber with more bioethanol fuel.

Read more about how you fill a burning chamber with bio ethanol fuel here.

If you wish to put out your bio fireplace before all of the bioethanol fuel has been consumed, it can easily be done with the enclosed extinguishing tool.

Read more about how to put out a bio fireplace here.

How long time does a bio fireplace burn?