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Very happy with bio ethanol ribbon burner. 

Maybe a solution to some people on here. No extra ventilation or flue required and very little heat produced. 

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We're considering a bio ethanol stove instead of a log burner. The overheating risk puts us off a traditional wood burner but we would like something for the ambiance. How do you refuel it and what sort of consumption do you expect?

Edited by bissoejosh

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We just bought 2l of fuel from national diy shed will report back on how long it lasts. We used a plumbers torch to lite and was very easy, would imagine a match would be just as affective. 

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I put one of the bio fuel burners inside the log burner in last house (it was new and unused for burning logs) my breathing cant tolerate smoke or burning of any sort.

 

It was OK, looked good and the bottles of fuel lasted well enough but I gave up on it in the end because of the faint chemical smell from the fuel when burning. I moved it to outside and used as a garden feature where smells didnt bother me as much.

 

In new house I am going for an optimist runs on water great flame effect, no smell and no fire risk, not cheap to buy though but there are no ongoing fuel costs bar a small amount of electricity.

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I have my nose almost touching the flames and can't smell anything but the windows are not in yet so effectivly its still outside. When I was in the showroom I didn't smell anything with multiple burners on. 

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Whether you get any smell or not depends on the ethanol additives.  We have a UK problem with ethanol, in that it cannot be sold without either attracting the same duty as alcoholic drinks or by being "denatured" with chemicals that make it taste horrible, to dissuade people from drinking it.  This is undoubtedly where any smell comes from, because pure ethanol doesn't smell at all when it burns, it just gives off CO2 and water, nothing else.

 

I could suggest a very easy way around this, using the cheapest form of homebrew possible, plus an easy DIY distillation method that would give very pure ethanol, but that would be illegal.....................

 

However, I know EXACTLY how I'd get fuel if I had a biofuel stove, and it wouldn't involve buying the stuff, with chemicals added to it.......................

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2 minutes ago, JSHarris said:

However, I know EXACTLY how I'd get fuel if I had a biofuel stove, and it wouldn't involve buying the stuff, with chemicals added to it.......................

 

I've been considering the local poitín (poteen) - definitely flammable if you buy from the right place...

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Not hard to make yourself, plus you can use pretty much anything that will ferment as the base for it.  The only tricky bit is getting the distillation right, so that only the ethanol is drawn off.  Even that's not hard, you just have to know a few tricks to make sure you get it right.

 

The longest part is the legal bit, the fermentation.  The distillation doesn't take long if you only make small volumes at a time.  As I understand it, the law is quite specific about what you can actually be arrested for, and what can be confiscated if you are.  I believe that this is one reason for the recent boom in selling distilled water makers on ebay and the like...............

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I am thinking for a bio-ethanol stove from imagine fires. Looks like a Scandinavian wood burner.

Max 3 KW but sounds as if it is controllable by how much fuel is put in the burner.

I was a bit concerned about odour but I see they have a more refined fuel that is supposed to be odourless.

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I have a Optimyst fire waiting to be installed. i will post pictures when it is in.

 

http://www.firesandstoves.co.uk/dimplex-cassette-1000-optimyst-electric-fire/

 

I spend a lot of time looking at Bioethanol and was a little concerned around the safety and refilling it.

 

Depends if you actually want it to give off heat or just be something nice to look at.

 

 

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The burner unit is 1200 wide with the actual burner approx 1000 wide. 2l of fuel lasted approx 1h20m on full pelt so not exactly cheap. Didn't really notice a smell while burning but when slid the slider to kill the flame there was a strong smell. Overall really impressed with it but hoping with decent sized rooms and mvhr the smell will be fine. If not then will have a look around at more refined  fuel. Cost was approx 400. The show room with no smell was in Denmark, maybe they where running slightly different fuel mix. 

Edited by Alexphd1

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@AliG look forward to seeing the optimist in situ! I saw it first in our local Porcelanosa showroom as part of a room set and I was amazed it ran on water, it looked really good set into a ‘bite out’ wall. The safety angle was very persuasive too open flames in a timber framed house LOL

 

Ref the smells from the bio ethanol, I bought from reputable place was assured no odour as that was a concern to me but there was a smell however slight. I must tell you I have a nose like a bloodhound and smell things others wouldnt however OH thought he could detect very slight whiff after burning for an hour or so. He may have been humouring me. They have one in local tearoom and I smell that too no-one else does.

 

Whatever anyone says I could smell it but more importantly my lungs reacted to it and I could not tolerate it. That goes along with the lung condition I have so it wouldnt matter to someone with a healthy respiratory system I’m sure.

 

Looking forward to the optimist no smells whatsoever :-)

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If you can find a way to source bioethanol fuel (legally) from a country where there is no requirement to add noxious compounds to it to stop people drinking it then there will be zero smell or fumes from it at all.

 

If you want to test this out (very expensively!) then distil vodka at a distillation vapour temperature of 78 deg C (no higher, or water will go over as well).  Ideally use a two stage still, with a reflux column below the main vapour outlet and hold the vapour outlet as close to 78 deg C as you can.  That way the entire ethanol content will distil out, leaving just water behind.

 

This is completely legal, as duty will have been paid on the vodka.

 

Try this in the stove and you will find that the fuel has practically no smell at all (a bit like vodka, which is really just diluted bioethanol, in a ratio of about 40% ethanol, 60% water, by volume, usually).  There will be no fumes at all at any stage of the combustion process, either, all that will be released is water and CO2.   It's a great shame we son't have more enlightened laws, like those in New Zealand, where home production of distilled bioethanol is completely legal.  The stuff is so very easy to make, and can use waste fermentable material (essentially anything that has sugars in it) so there's no practical problems at all with homebrew bioethanol, any more than there is with home brew diesel production (which is perfectly legal, a friend down the road runs his Landrover on it, using waste vegetable oil he collects from the local chippy and Chinese restaurants).

 

 

Edited to add:

 

I seem to remember that you can buy litre bottles of pure ethanol from French supermarkets and DIY stores, sold as a cleaning solvent - I recall bringing some back from a holiday years ago, so that might be the way to get odourless fuel.

Edited by JSHarris
typo

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We put a bio ethanol fireplace in ours. Looks great, convenient, no smell, kicks out a fair bit more heat than expected and does heat the room up to borderline uncomfortable if the UFH has already been on. 

 

Probably does work out expensive as I just bought the ethanol from Amazon. However it’s only used as a feature when we have company. 

 

Dont believe any any of the fuel consumption claims, 1L lasts about 1hr30 in ours at full whack. 

 

 

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That's very nice looking, as mentioned bioethanol would be an expensive heating source, but its OK if just used occasionally for visitors.

 

Also you don't need any chimneys etc.

 

The Optimyst will be see through like in @Alexphd1's picture, I have had the electrician put a couple of mini downlighters in the alcove so you can light it even if the fire is not on. They are already running and it provides a nice glow.

 

We also have a gas inset fire in the kitchen and a stove in our bedroom. the gas fires are expensive to begin with but once you include the cost of flues, fitting, gas pipes etc I almost wish I hadn't bothered. They are at the opposite end of the house from the boiler, I will probably be over £1000 to get the gas to the other end as it has to be routed all the way round the outside of the house.

 

I have had the optimist plumbed in so I don't have to manually fill it.

Edited by AliG

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7 hours ago, Grosey said:

We put a bio ethanol fireplace in ours. Looks great, convenient, no smell, kicks out a fair bit more heat than expected and does heat the room up to borderline uncomfortable if the UFH has already been on.

 

Looks very good - What make/model is the fire unit ? any idea on price ?

Thanks

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On 11/01/2018 at 18:18, JSHarris said:

If you can find a way to source bioethanol fuel (legally) from a country where there is no requirement to add noxious compounds to it to stop people drinking it then there will be zero smell or fumes from it at all.

 

If you want to test this out (very expensively!) then distil vodka at a distillation vapour temperature of 78 deg C (no higher, or water will go over as well).  Ideally use a two stage still, with a reflux column below the main vapour outlet and hold the vapour outlet as close to 78 deg C as you can.  That way the entire ethanol content will distil out, leaving just water behind.

 

This is completely legal, as duty will have been paid on the vodka.

 

Try this in the stove and you will find that the fuel has practically no smell at all (a bit like vodka, which is really just diluted bioethanol, in a ratio of about 40% ethanol, 60% water, by volume, usually).  There will be no fumes at all at any stage of the combustion process, either, all that will be released is water and CO2.   It's a great shame we son't have more enlightened laws, like those in New Zealand, where home production of distilled bioethanol is completely legal.  The stuff is so very easy to make, and can use waste fermentable material (essentially anything that has sugars in it) so there's no practical problems at all with homebrew bioethanol, any more than there is with home brew diesel production (which is perfectly legal, a friend down the road runs his Landrover on it, using waste vegetable oil he collects from the local chippy and Chinese restaurants).

 

 

Edited to add:

 

I seem to remember that you can buy litre bottles of pure ethanol from French supermarkets and DIY stores, sold as a cleaning solvent - I recall bringing some back from a holiday years ago, so that might be the way to get odourless fuel.

Is this the same then as moonshine they brew in America?

 

Is it easy to make biodiesel?

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Essentially moonshine/ Poitín or any other home made spirit is made the same way.  You ferment a mash of anything with sugar in it, like grain, beet, rice, sugar cane or whatever, much as you would make a strong home brew beer.  When the fermentation stops, you filter off the liquid and distill it, to extract the ethanol.  With a fermented base there will be lots of other volatiles, oils and at least a couple of alcohols in the mix, so the tradition is to throw away the first part the heads) that comes off, as that has the nasty stuff in in (like methanol) keep the good stuff from the middle part of the run and chuck the stuff that comes off at the end (the tails) back in for the next fermentation, as it doesn't have much ethanol left in it.

 

The traditionally distillers who make stuff like whisky use this method, as they couldn't control the vapour temperature at the run off point to the condenser, where the ethanol was condensed back to liquid.  With a controlled heat source to the source brew it's easy to just get the ethanol out, as it comes off at around 78 deg C, so you can get a better yield.  In the case of vodka, that's just pretty pure ethanol diluted with water to make it drinkable, so the above process is just to separate out the ethanol from the water.  Water vapour will be at a higher temperature (around 100 deg C, whereas ethanol vapour will be at around 78 deg C, so by controlling the temperature (and usign a reflux column that sends some condensate back down to be re-heated) you can pull off just the ethanol.

 

As for home made diesel, yes, that's easy to make, but a bit more involved.  You start off with old vegetable oil, usually waste from deep fat fryers, then heat it and mix it with sodium methoxide, which you have to make using methanol and sodium hydroxide (dead easy to do).  After a while of heating (people who do this often use old hot water cylinders as the heated reaction vessel) the mixture separates into glycerin and diesel oil.  You draw off the diesel and  you can wash out the remaining glycerin and then dry the diesel if you want to get it really clean.  You can also recover some of the methanol from the waste glycerin, for the next batch, which reduces the cost still further.

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1 hour ago, Grosey said:

 

Link below, I think I haggled about £100 off that price. 

 

https://www.easyfire.co.uk/lillian-3.html

 

 

Thanks for the link - having dug a little more myself I think this is a rebranded Kratki Juliet unit, manufactured in Poland and sold under different names in the UK

https://kratki.com/sklep/en/produkt/1700/juliet-1800-with-tuev-certified

 

I wonder how much it would be to import one....

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On 12/01/2018 at 10:49, Grosey said:

We put a bio ethanol fireplace in ours. Looks great, convenient, no smell, kicks out a fair bit more heat than expected and does heat the room up to borderline uncomfortable if the UFH has already been on. 

 

Looks great. I made provision for one in our build as I had to box around a soil pipe coming down the living room wall from an ensuite above. As the pipe had a dog leg, we got the joiner to build a fake 'fireplace' alcove.

 

Plan was to line with heat resistant material and install a bio fuel burner - however even the smallest size would kick out too much heat and make the room uncomfortably hot. So we make do with a fire app on the TV and I'll put some fancy logs in the alcove...

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24 minutes ago, Alphonsox said:

I wonder how much it would be to import one....

 

Based on my experience of buying from Poland, a great deal less that you would be charged by a UK re-seller!

 

You can buy it from the Ukraine for €315: https://kaminova.com.ua/en/bio-fireplace-kratki-juliet-1800x650.html

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36 minutes ago, JSHarris said:

 

Based on my experience of buying from Poland, a great deal less that you would be charged by a UK re-seller!

 

The going rate in Poland seems to be around 1100 zloty which is £234 excluding shipping. Just need to find someone willing to ship to the UK.

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That sounds like a good price!

 

I wonder what the mark up is when you buy one here in rip-off Britain?

 

I bet it's like the ludicrous MVHR pricing situation, where it's practically half price to buy from outside the UK.

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34 minutes ago, JSHarris said:

I wonder what the mark up is when you buy one here in rip-off Britain?

 

Cheapest I can find in the UK is £410 exVAT,

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