WHAT IS A BIOETHANOL FIRE?
A bioethanol fire, also known as a biofuel fireplace, is a type of fireplace that uses bioethanol as a fuel source.
Bioethanol is a renewable, eco-friendly, and clean-burning fuel derived from plant-based sources such as corn, sugarcane or cellulose. Read on for more bioethanol fires FAQ information.
What is 'BEV' technology?
'BEV' stands for 'Burning Ethanol Vapour' and the technology is unique to the Planika range of bioethanol fires. This system uses the fuel inside the tank, heats it up and turns it into vapour, which is later ignited above the burner. This way, the heating process doesn’t generate smoke, ash, soot or any unpleasant smell, as well as doesn’t require the installation of chimney or flue as long as it has a free access to the oxygen.
HOW DO BIOETHANOL FIRES WORK?
Bioethanol fires work by burning bioethanol fuel, producing a real flame without the need for a chimney or flue. They typically consist of a burner unit or a fuel tray where the bioethanol is poured, and the flame is ignited manually or automatically, depending on the product. The fuel burns cleanly, releasing heat, water vapor, and virtually no emissions.
Are they good value?
Bioethanol fires are not expensive to run, although fuel costs (and quality) can vary. It is sensible to buy good quality fuel where there are discounts available for bulk orders. The fireplaces themselves can appear expensive, but the technology is very advanced, and installation costs are greatly reduced by the lack of need for a chimney or hard connections.
Which is the right fire for me?
Download our comprehensive fires FAQ PDF to get insights across the differences and benefits of bioethanol fires, wood-burning stoves, gas fires and electric fires.
BEV technology explained
Planika's fully controlled burning process
Planika's unique Burning Ethanol Vapours (BEV) technology involves heating the biofuel to vapour, which is then ignited above the burner.
The entire combustion process is automated and controlled by a microprocessor. The cool fuel is contained in a hermetically sealed tank. When switched on, the device draws only a small, necessary portion of fuel from this tank and transports it to the vapour generator. There, a small amount of biofuel is heated until it reaches a temperature where it turns into vapour, which is distributed throughout the burner and then burned.
The fire has no direct contact with the liquid fuel. Thanks to the insulated fuel tank, cooling fans and combustion chamber, the ethanol fuel temperature is always low and safe.
What are the benefits of bioethanol fires?
Bioethanol is a renewable and carbon-neutral fuel source, meaning it releases only the carbon dioxide that the plants absorbed during their growth. It produces no smoke, soot, or harmful emissions, making it a cleaner option for indoor or outdoor use.
Bioethanol fires generate a significant amount of heat, quickly warming up a room. They can often be adjusted to control the heat output, providing flexibility and comfort.
Since bioethanol fires don't require a chimney or flue, they can be installed virtually anywhere, even in apartments or spaces without existing venting systems. This is especially useful when integrating your fire into a media wall for example.
Flexibility in design
Bioethanol fires come in a variety of styles and designs, ranging from freestanding units to wall-mounted or tabletop options. They offer sleek, modern aesthetics that can complement any interior design scheme.
Lighting a bioethanol fire is as simple as pouring the fuel and igniting it, generally via a control console, remote device or even phone app. There's no need for firewood, kindling, or tending to the fire, making it a hassle-free alternative.
Many Bioethanol fires come with a comprehensive array of safety features, including automativ refuelling, auto-shut off, temperature and humidity sensors, active cooling system, self-diagnosis and even seismic and tilt sensors. The remote control is a safety device in itself.
Bioethanol fires are primarily designed for ambiance and supplemental heating, rather than serving as a primary heating source for an entire home. They provide localised heat and can effectively warm up a room or a small area. However, they may not be as efficient or cost-effective for heating larger spaces compared to central heating systems.
The burn time of bioethanol fuel depends on the size of the burner and the flame's settings. On average, one litre of bioethanol can burn for approximately 3 to 4 hours. Bioethanol fuel is available from various retailers, including home improvement stores, fireplace specialty shops, and online marketplaces – Firefly can advise you on this. It's important to choose high-quality fuel specifically designed for bioethanol fires to ensure safe and efficient operation.
Bioethanol fires generally require minimal maintenance. Regular cleaning of the burner or fuel tray and occasional inspection of the components for any signs of wear or damage are recommended. It's important to remove any residue from previous burns before refilling the burner. Additionally, always refer to the manufacturer's maintenance instructions for specific guidance.
Bioethanol fires can be considered relatively energy-efficient. Since they burn a renewable fuel source and convert it into heat energy, there is minimal wastage. However, the overall energy efficiency may vary depending on the specific model and design of the bioethanol fire. It's recommended to look for models that have high thermal efficiency ratings for optimal heat output.
Bioethanol fires are often suitable for use in smoke-free zones or areas with ventilation restrictions since they produce no smoke or harmful emissions. However, it's important to check local regulations and restrictions to ensure compliance before installing or using a bio ethanol fire in such areas.
The cost of bio ethanol fuel can vary depending on the brand, location, and quantity purchased. Generally, it may be more expensive than traditional solid fuels like firewood or coal on a per-hour basis. However, the overall cost will depend on the frequency and duration of use. It's recommended to consider both the fuel cost and the convenience and benefits offered by bio ethanol fires when comparing costs with other heating options.
Bioethanol fires can be suitable for commercial or public spaces, provided they meet the necessary safety requirements and adhere to local regulations. These fires are often used in restaurants, hotels, bars, or outdoor venues to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. However, it's crucial to consult with the appropriate authorities and ensure compliance with fire safety codes before installing or using bio ethanol fires in such spaces.
Some bioethanol fire models offer remote control or thermostatic features for convenient operation. These additional functionalities allow users to adjust the flame height or heat output remotely or set desired temperature levels. However, not all bio ethanol fires have these advanced control options, so it's important to check the specifications of the specific model you are interested in.
Yes, bioethanol fires can be used outdoors, provided they are used in a well-ventilated area. They are a popular choice for creating a cozy ambiance on patios, decks, or outdoor living spaces. However, it's important to ensure that the outdoor environment is suitable for safe operation, and local regulations or restrictions on open flames should be considered.
Please get in touch if you have any further questions, we'd be delighted to hear from you.