Bioethanol fireplaces use bio fuel to generate the flames and heat.
Bioethanol fireplaces are the only type of fireplace to use bioethanol as the fuel, and they can only burn bio fuel.
If using a bioethanol fireplace, its therefore important to use the right type of fuel, as well as the right quality.
Only bioethanol fuel designed specifically for use with bioethanol fireplaces should be used. Manufacturers of bioethanol fireplaces typically recommend only using bioethanol liquid fuel within the range of 86% and 97.5% alcohol content but can vary between manufacturers.
The right type of bioethanol fireplace fuel should always be used in line with the manufacturer’s guidelines.
For example, we buy 96.6% alcohol content bioethanol fuel, which is in line with the recommendations set out by our bioethanol fireplace manufacturer requesting fuel of between 95% and 97.5% to be used.
There are a number of other considerations when it comes to choosing and using bioethanol fuel for a bioethanol fireplace, which we discuss in more detail below using our own bioethanol fireplace and its fuel as an example.
Bioethanol Fireplace Fuel Explained
Bioethanol fireplaces are a type of fireplace that use a real fire to produce the flame effects and heat.
Bioethanol fireplaces therefore differ to other type types of fireplaces that don’t have a real flame, such as electric fireplaces, which don’t require a source of fuel. Electric fireplaces only need an electricity supply to work.
While other types of fireplaces can use different fuels such as gas, wood and pellets, bioethanol fireplaces need a particular type of fuel.
Bioethanol fireplaces require bioethanol fuel.
Bioethanol fuel is a liquid fuel that be poured or pumped into a bioethanol fireplace, depending on the type of fireplace (see more about the types of bioethanol fireplaces here).
The bioethanol fuel we personally use for our own bioethanol fireplace is shown below.
Bioethanol fuel is typically purchased in bottles, often of 1 litre. When we buy our fuel, we buy in bulk 1 litre bottles.
As our bioethanol fireplace has a 1 litre capacity, we know that we can fill up the fireplace using one of these 1 litre bottles from empty.
We explain where we buy our bioethanol fireplace fuel later in this article.
Only bioethanol fuel stated for use with bioethanol fireplaces should be used.
For example, the instruction manual for our fireplace explains:
‘Only bioethanol fuel specifically produced for bioethanol fireplaces is suitable for this appliance [our bioethanol fireplace].’Imagin Fires
When buying bioethanol fuel it’s therefore important to always check that you’re buying fuel designed for use with bioethanol fireplaces. Our bio fuel states this clearly on the front of the packaging.
Furthermore, bioethanol fuel should be of a certain quality to help make the most of the bioethanol fireplace.
For example, the manufacturer for our fireplace states:
‘We strongly recommend that you only use Bioethanol liquid fuel with at least 95% alcohol content and maximum of 97.5%.’Imagin Fires
We therefore use bioethanol fuel of 96.6% alcohol content to meet these guidelines.
If buying fuel designed specifically for bioethanol fireplaces then it should already be of the right grade, but it’s always worth checking that the fuel percentage is in line with what the manufacturer of your own specific fireplace recommends.
Wikipedia explains that bioethanol is a form of renewable energy that can be produced from agricultural feedstocks such as sugar, potato and corn.
The ingredients section found on our bottles of bioethanol fireplace fuel is shown below for reference.
How Much Fuel Do Bioethanol Fireplaces Use?
Bioethanol fireplaces can typically take 1 litre of bioethanol fuel and up to 15 litres or more, depending on the model of fireplace. Smaller, manual, bioethanol fireplaces typically have a smaller fuel box than larger, automatic, models.
Our bioethanol fireplace is a smaller model where we must manually add the fuel. It has a 1 litre fuel storage capacity.
How Long Does A Litre Of Bioethanol Fuel Last?
One litre of bioethanol fuel will typically last for between 3 and 5 hours, but the actual burn time can depend on the model of bioethanol fireplace, flame setting and grade of fuel. Bioethanol fuel can last longer on lower flame settings, but heat output can reduce as a result.
The manufacturer of our bioethanol fireplace states that the 1 litre fuel capacity will typically last 3 to 4 hours.
From personal experience we find that our 1 litre bottles of bioethanol fireplace fuel last for between 3 and 3 and a half hours (on maximum flame).
Bioethanol Fuel Heat Output
The manufacturer for our bioethanol fireplace states that it can output approximately 2kW/h (6800 BTUs).
See our main article on bioethanol fireplace heat output for more information.
Using Bioethanol Fuel With Bioethanol Fireplaces
Bioethanol fuel needs to be added to a bioethanol fireplace before the fireplace can be used. Only bioethanol fuel can be used with a bioethanol fireplace.
Bio fuel will need to be either manually added to a bioethanol fireplace or added via a pump, depending on the type of fireplace.
Manual lighting fireplaces, like ours, requires the fuel to be manually added.
For example, when our fireplace runs out of fuel (and when the fireplace is cool), we manually add more bioethanol fuel by using the nozzle on the fuel bottle to pour it into the fuel box.
As our fireplace has a 1 litre capacity, we know that (when empty) we can put a whole one litre bottle of fuel in.
When manually adding fuel to a bioethanol fireplace it’s important that the fuel doesn’t exceed the maximum fuel capacity of that fireplace.
For example. our fireplace manual states:
‘NEVER fill past the “Max” label at the bottom of the box’.Imagin Fires
This is intended to help prevent spillages of fuel if the fireplace is knocked. For example, our bioethanol fireplace can absorb up to 1 litre of fuel and adding any more than this could compromise this safety feature.
We then simply need to light the fuel from within the fuel box using a long match or lighter and the flames will catch.
See our main guide on how to light a bioethanol fireplace for more information.
If you have an automatically-lighting bioethanol fireplace, then you may have a pump that can be used to add fuel to the fireplace.
Such fireplaces will cut off the pump when the fuel box is full, helping to prevent the fuel from going above the max level.
The video below shows how a typical automatic bioethanol fireplace could be refuelled.
See our article on how to use a bioethanol fireplace for more information on refuelling.
Safe Use Of Bioethanol Fuel With Bioethanol Fireplaces
Bioethanol fireplace fuel is highly flammable can be a harmful substance and so care and attention must always be followed when using to fill up a bioethanol fireplace.
Some important things to consider when choosing and using bioethanol fuel with a bioethanol fireplace can include:
- Only use bioethanol fuel specifically designed for use with bioethanol fireplaces. This should be stated clearly on the packaging for the fuel or on the online product page.
- Check that your bioethanol fireplace is compatible for use using bioethanol liquid fuel, not bioethanol gel (which is a different type of bio fuel).
- Storing bioethanol fuel away from the bioethanol fireplace and keeping out of reach of children and animals.
- Only refuelling a bioethanol fireplace when it’s completely cool. This is expressed as a major warning by both our fuel and fireplace manufacturers.
For example, our fireplace manufacturer states:
‘NEVER pour any fuel on top of a flame. Always allow the existing flame to be extinguished fully and the steel burner box to be at room temperature (allow around 30 minutes) before adding any more fuel.’Imagin Fires
- Ensuring that bioethanol fuel is never added past the maximum allowable amount.
- Leaving a small amount of time between refuelling and lighting to ensure that sufficient time is given for the ceramic material to absorb the fuel. Our fireplace manual states that 1 minute is sufficient.
- Cleaning any fuel spillages from a bioethanol fireplace that may have occurred during refuelling.
For example, our fireplace manual explains:
‘Before lighting, always check no bioethanol fuel has spilt into the outer tray of the fuel box and remove any spillage before lighting.‘Imagin Fires
Always read the safety guidelines for your own bioethanol fireplace and fuel. Following all of the recommended procedures for refilling a fireplace and storing the fuel will help to minimize any risks.
See our main article on bioethanol fireplace safety for more information.
Where To Buy Bioethanol Fireplace Fuel
Bioethanol fireplace fuel can typically be bought from many major local or online retailers.
We’ve personally bought our bioethanol fuel from Amazon. You can find the latest bioethanol fuel available from Amazon here.
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