How Does a Bio Ethanol Fuel Fireplace Work

Maybe you are new to the world of energy efficient, sustainable energy, fireplaces and need to ask How Does a Bio Ethanol Fuel Fireplace Work. Bioethanol fuel, or as it is sometimes referred to gel fuel, is a flammable liquid created from fermented vegetation. It is basically 96% proof alcohol and burns with a very clean flame without soot. A bioethanol fireplace (also called a bio fireplace or ethanol fire) can be used as a secondary heat source in a property, or outdoors on a patio or terrace for decorative purposes, which produces heat when the alcohol fuel is burned. There is a real flame and heat generated by burning the fuel in a bioethanol fireplace, and therefore special safety conditions need to be observed when using this style of fireplace. Bioethanol fireplaces are not suitable for some users, especially the elderly, and for some locations. Always read the manufacturers specification, installation and user manual before you use a bioethanol fuel fireplace.

How Does a Bio Ethanol Fuel Fireplace Work

The main advantages of a bioethanol fuel fireplace is that it can be used in a room without a chimney, making it suitable for modern properties or old properties where the chimney cannot be used. The main part of any bio-ethanol fireplace is the bioethanol burner that is used to burn the fuel. Some bio-burners and fireplaces are advertised for use with either bioethanol fuel or gel fuel. These fuels are very different in how they look and perform. To learn more read our guide to the different types of bio-fuels. Due to the fuel being highly flammable the handling and storage of bioethanol fuel is very important safety factor and must be approached with care.


Bio Ethanol Burner Operation Explained

There are many styles, shapes and sizes of bio-ethanol burner, to answer How Does a Bio Ethanol Fuel Fireplace Work we are only able to give a summary  of the main functions of the burner and operation. To decide which type of fireplace is best for your requirements read our guide to choosing a bio-ethanol burner.

The simplest form of bio-ethanol burner is a round can with a lid. The can is filled with fuel, lit by a match. a flame will ignite and the fuel will gradually burn giving off heat. The volume of heat generated by a bioethanol fire is dependant on the design of the burner, size and shape etc. To extinguish the flame the burner will be supplied with a lid that is placed over the top of the flame starving the burner of oxygen and putting the flame out. In fact, there are many bio-ethanol fireplaces on the market that have a very simple burner like that. Before buying a bioethanol fireplace check how the burner that is included works. Most contemporary bio-ethanol fireplaces have a rectangular burner box with a slot that produces a ribbon of flame.

Operation : How Does a Bio Ethanol Fuel Fireplace Work

It cannot be stressed enough that you should read, in detail, the instructions supplied with the bioethanol fire and understand what the manufacturer says about the safe operation of the product they are supplying. This is just a summary of what is involved. The fuel is typically stored in 1 litre bottles. To operate the burner the fuel must be safely placed into the burner taking care not to overfill or spill any of the fuel. Using a funnel to transfer from bottle to the burner is a good idea. Once the fuel is within the burner, using the flame from a long match or lighter, stand at a safe distance, touch the top of the fuel and it will ignite the fuel in the burner. Typically, it can take a few minutes for the fuel to build up to a stable flame. Depending on the burner design, there will be some form of lid that is used to snuff out the flame. This can be a separate lid or sometimes a sliding lid that must be operated using a handle supplied with the fire. The lid should extinguish the flame quickly if the burner has been designed correctly. If there are issues extinguishing the flame it is best to allow the fuel to burn out then do not use the burner until the manufacturer has been contacted regarding the fault.

Important Points to Consider

The fuel, when burned gives off moisture, the amount depends on the size of burner and how long it is alight. Therefore to avoid condensation fresh air is required, this can be in the form of a fixed air vent or by simply opening a window. Read our Guide to Ventilation for Bio-Ethanol Fireplaces. The fuel is flammable and the flame generated can cause serious injury. Safe handling and storage of the fuel is a critical factor that must be understood and followed.

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