How Safe is Bio-Ethanol Fuel?

How Safe is Bio-Ethanol Fuel?

So you don’t want the work and cleaning a coal/wood fire requires and you like what you have heard about the health benefits of getting a bioethanol fireplace. But how safe is bioethanol fuel actually? It has the word “bio” in it and is made from fermented vegetables, but does that mean it’s actually safe?

Turns out, it is actually one of the safest options out there and also renewable. Not that you can drink the stuff or rub it on your skin, but as far as burning it goes, you’re in the clear so long as you are buying from a reputable manufacturer. Ethanol does not contain any pollutants, carbon monoxide, and other impurities that wood, gas and other sources of fuel release when being burned.

Bio-Ethanol (or, simply shortened down to “Ethanol”) is made from fermenting vegetables using enzymes that are added in order to convert the sugar they contain into alcohol. The vegetables that are used in the process are most commonly derived from, “wheat, corn, sugar beets, sugar cane, molasses and any sugar or starch from which alcoholic beverages such as whiskey, can be made (such as potato and fruit waste, etc.)

But, while the process of creating ethanol is similar to creating alcohol spirits like vodka, whiskey and other “hard” alcohols, it does differ due to the fact that bio-ethanol fuel must be distilled and then dried. The distillation process requires a lot of energy and heat in order to carry out the process. While some manufacturers do rely on natural resources that emit fossil fuels, many companies are taking steps to reduce their footprint as much as possible and “go green”.

In Brazil, for example, they commonly extract the juices of beetroot and convert the sugars to the alcohol. Then they press out all remaining juice from the beetroot and use that to burn in order to create heat and distil the bioethanol fuel. Additionally, many manufacturers in Europe are taking steps to end waste by using the by products of the vegetables they ferment as well, and also using wood chips, pellets, etc. instead of sources of energy that creates fossil fuels.

As any smart consumer would be, you still probably have some concerns about the safety of burning ethanol fuel in your home. How safe is it actually? Is there ethanol fireplace carbon monoxide? Is ethanol fireplace fuel safe? Can I breathe in the “smoke” inside? Will it harm me if I have asthma? These are all incredibly valid questions. Here is some more information about ethanol to answer some of those questions and concerns you may have. But, in general, you should be only concerned with 2 main things:

  1. As with all fires – the physical danger of fire. Automatic bioethanol fires use BEV Burning ethanol vapour technology which controls all aspects of fuel, flame and combustion process and as such is among the safest Fire you can have.
  2. Coming in contact with the fuel, especially in the eyes.

So, essentially, those are your only problems above so long as you are buying ethanol from the right people who provide you with quality. Most of the time, those who provide you with the best quality fuel are the ones who supplied you with your fireplace. Be sure to view their catalogues and see what they have in stock. That way you know it is safe for you to use in your home.

In fact, the use of ethanol blended fuels is another vital tool in our fight against climate change and global warming. Ethanol blended fuels can significantly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions over their entire lifecycle, from production through to use in the vehicle. One litre of ethanol reduces net emissions of CO2 by over 99%, so one litre of ethanol will save approximately 2.3kg of CO2.”

Therefore, the amount of carbon dioxide that is produced from an ethanol burning fireplace is so small that there is no need for concern. The only three things that bioethanol does produce are: 1. Heat 2. Water and 3. Carbon Dioxide. The first two are obviously of no concern, nor is the carbon emission due to the trace amount that is released.

Ethanol fireplaces have actually been found to be much safer than wood & coal burning fireplaces since “the emissions from wood burning stoves [have been connected] with cancer. With ethanol fireplaces, no particles are produced.

In conclusion, bioethanol fuel is a safe fuel to use, especially when compared to standard gas burning fireplaces and wood/coal burning fireplaces. It emits no smoke or particles, just trace amounts of carbon dioxide that are no threat to you or your family.

All fires require cautious use but the advent of Automatic Bioethanol fires has minimized risks further. Overall, an ethanol fireplace would be a great addition to any home, and it is sure to reduce your carbon footprint while posing no threat to your health.