Bio Ethanol Fuel and Gel Fuel, The Differences

There are a number of differences that you need to consider when you decide to buy bioethanol fuel or buy gel fuel and these need to be considered alongside what type of bioethanol burner tray or gel burner you have purchased. The initial step is to decide on what type of fireplace you are looking for. If it is something very small and decorative like a tabletop fireplace then it is most likely you will choose a gel burner product. If you are wanting a fully functioning fireplace product you will most likely be buying a bioethanol fire. There is no real difference between the fuel, they are both alcohol based, made from sustainable sources and clean burning however there are big difference in how you will use the fuel and where is best to use it.

Bio Ethanol Fuel and Gel Fuel, the Differences

As stated above both fuel sources are alcohol based. The differences between bio ethanol fuel and gel fuel can also include properties like the viscosity, the colour, smell, how it is to be used, how it burns, where it should be used, inside or outside and also the emissions that can be generated from the fuel.


Viscosity

The first obvious difference between these biofuels is the viscosity of the product. The viscosity is an indication of how easy it is to pour the fuel. Bio-ethanol Fuel is very much a liquid which means it is easy to pour, and unless great care is taken, also easy to spill. Gel fire fuel is a thick liquid, more like a syrup, so it is difficult to pour unless you squeeze the bottle, which also means it does not spill easily.

Colour

Bio-ethanol fireplace fuel tends to be sold as a clear liquid. This means that it looks a lot like water. Gel fuel is typically sold as a yellow fuel however there are some cans that contain coloured fuel like blue or green gel fuel that are sold.

Smell

All Bio-ethanol Fuel types have a smell it is generally not noticeable however in some environments the smell may be noticed by some people than others.

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Burning Quality

Bio Fires - Crystal Bio Ethanol Fuel - 3 X 1L Bottles
Bio Ethanol fuel bottle, a clear liquid, runny like water.
Gel Fuel for Fireplaces
Gel Fuel Bottle, thicker and generally coloured yellow.

Both fuels burn relatively clean when compared to carbon based fuels (Gas, Coal, Wood etc) however it has been noticed that when gel fuel is burnt, it will burn cleanly, until it reaches the point at which it is starting to run out.

The gel fuel, during burning, can creates a residue, or scum, on top of the fuel. Once the fuel starts to run out, the scum starts to line the sides and bottom of the burner, once the flame reaches this residue it can start to generate smoke. This can be quite strong and can be harmful if inhaled.

For this reason generally gel fuel should be used in smaller burners or inside the small fuel cans it is bought. Personally, I will not use a gel fuel indoors, I only use bio-ethanol fuel indoors in my bioethanol burner.

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Type of Burner

If you use the wrong fuel you can damage the burner so read the manufactures instructions for the fireplace. Bio-ethanol fuel can be used in a wide range of burners including remote control bio-ethanol fireplaces.

Gel fuel tends to be used in smaller cans, burners and outdoors. Sometimes bioethanol burners can include ceramic foam sponge which reduces the fuel usage. Gel fuel should not be used with the sponge due to the reason given above. Read the guide to adding ceramic sponge to bioethanol burner trays

Summary

Overall bioethanol fuel is the best option however the down side is that it is a highly flammable liquid which is  and easy to spill. As it is a clear liquid these spillages may not be noticeable before lighting the fire. Therefore great care must be take on the filling of the burner and cleaning up and spillages before lighting. Gel fuel as it is thicker is much less likely to be spilt but it is still flammable so any spillages must also be cleaned before lighting. Overall my advice is use bio-ethanol fuel indoors and use gel fuel outside as then the problem with residue and smoke will not be noticed.

Buy Bioethanol and Gel Fuel

Listed below are some example of bioethanol and gel fuel suppliers that are available to buy online from different suppliers. Click on the link to be taken to a page where you can read the technical specification and place your order.

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1 new from £34.99
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£39.00
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2 new from £39.00
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£39.00
in stock
2 new from £39.00
as of 30/07/2020 19:36
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£39.90
in stock
1 new from £39.90
as of 30/07/2020 19:36
Amazon.co.uk
£42.99
in stock
1 new from £42.99
as of 30/07/2020 19:36
Amazon.co.uk
£44.90
in stock
1 new from £44.90
as of 30/07/2020 19:36
Amazon.co.uk

Suppliers of Bio-Ethanol Fireplace

We have selected some of the best bioethanol fireplace designer, manufacturers and suppliers from across Europe and listed these below. Click on a link to find the most suitable for you. If you are looking for expensive and high specification check out Planika bioethanol fires, if you a want a well made and reasonably priced bioethanol product check out Kratki bioethanol fires. All the others are listed below. Check out as many as you can.

More Bio-Ethanol Fireplace Technical Pages

We have written some more technical help guides regarding bioethanol and gel fires, these are shown below.

More Styles of Bio-Ethanol Fireplace