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How Does An Ethanol Fireplace Work?

By BoostCommerce Collaborator February 28, 2019

An ethanol fireplace which is also sometimes referred to as a bio fireplace or a bio-ethanol fireplace is a type of furnace or fireplace that comprises merged zones for the generation of heat and technological processes. This type of fireplace makes use of denatured alcohol as fuel. An ethanol fireplace does not require a chimney to function properly because, being alcohol based, it produces no smoke, no smell, and no dangerous chemicals while burning and can, therefore, be installed without a chimney. This fireplace gives a real high-temperature flame. Ethanol fireplaces come in multiple varying designs but the basic principle remains the same.

The main part of an ethanol fireplace is the burner. This is a container, usually made of metal, which comes in many shapes and sizes based on the design of the fireplace. To function the burner compartment is filled with fuel usually being bioethanol.

 There are many variations to the basic design of an ethanol fireplace. We will discuss some of these variations and also discuss how they function.

Types of ethanol fireplaces.

Bio fireplaces are available in multiple varying designs. The simplest of these are the manual fireplaces. There are also automatic fireplaces. These fireplaces differ from manual fireplaces because they do not come into direct contact with the biofuel. The bioethanol used as a fuel is stored in a reservoir and the temperature is raised so that the ethanol vapours evaporate into the burner. These vapours are then ignited by a spark system in the fireplace. These automatic fireplaces allow the user to turn the flames on and off and also to regulate the flame size from a remote control, your mobile phone using a dedicated mobile app, or a smart home system. A microprocessor is included in the set-up to control the entire burning process, stabilizing the burning parameters by the use of multiple sensors. The sensors also add a degree of safety. If they detect any anomalies such as an earthquake, excessively high temperatures, or low oxygen, they will proceed to put out the flame.

These fireplaces can be installed either on the wall or on a table top. The wall-mounted designs can either be placed into a recess created in the wall or can even be installed into a drywall wall. Table top fireplaces, the smallest of all ethanol fireplaces, are placed on a flat surface as their name implies and are mostly used as a decoration. There are also stand alone bio fireplaces that are portable and can be installed in any architectural setup. There are also ethanol fireplace inserts, which are built into an already existing or an already made fireplace. It serves as a much better alternative to regular wood fireplaces because of the aforementioned reasons. It can be regulated and turned on and off very easily. It produces no smoke or odours and it requires little attention after its installation.

How to use ethanol fireplaces.

There are certain steps that must be taken into consideration before making use of a bio fireplace to ensure that you get the most out of this heating design while not compromising on safety, and maintaining the device's good condition. Some of the guidelines that will aid your use of this device are as follows;

  • Use the right fuel. Single litre bottles of bioethanol are the most recommended choice and the use of a funnel is also advised to avoid any spilling of the fuel. Make sure that you use a biofuel that is engineered especially for the use of indoor fireplaces. As cheap ethanol-based fuels can result in your entire living space reeking of alcohol, it is advisable to spend a little extra on the high-quality options.
  • After picking the appropriate fuel, pour it into the burner. It is important that you follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer in the user manual when filling the burner. Avoid the temptation to the brim. We recommend filling the burner about half-way; until the fuel is just about visible from the top of the burner. Filling the burner too much makes it difficult to put out when lit, and has the added danger of being spilt in the case where the fireplace is bumped into when it is lit. The hazards associated with this are quite obvious.
  • Light up the burner. For safety reasons, a long candle lighter or a long match is advised for use in lighting an ethanol fireplace.
  • To adjust or put out the fire, ethanol fireplaces usually include a regulator rod which is used to decrease and adjust the flame. As oxygen is required to burn, regulating the flow of oxygen to the flame will consequently regulate the size of the flame, and cutting out the flow of oxygen completely by pushing the lid over the opening will put out the flame.
  • When not in use, the fireplace should remain closed. This will avoid wastage of the fuel due to evaporation. A litre of biofuel should last for about 4 hours on the maximum setting and 8 on the minimum. Shutting the burner will ensure that none of the fuel is lost when not in use. It will also avoid the danger of flares when relighting the burner.
  • To refuel the burner, shortly after you had it lit, it is recommended that you close the burner with the lid for about 15 minutes before refuelling. Refuelling a heated fireplace is a safety hazard and can result in a burst of flame when relighting the burner. Waiting for 15 minutes will allow enough time for the fireplace to cool down enough to safely reignite it.

In any process where flames are involved, there are increased risks of injury and damage to property. As such, all the precautions listed above need to be taken to negate the risks involved. Used properly, however, ethanol fireplaces are reliable sources of heat and an efficient replacement for traditional wood-burning fireplaces. Ethanol fireplaces are perfect for use in a variety of settings as far as you know how they work.

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