Ethanol is extracted from petroleum. This is also called synthetic ethanol. Bioethanol is extracted from plants. Bioethanol is generally slightly less pure. The natural balance of bioethanol is 96% ethanol and 4% water. When burned, both turn into H2O (water) and CO2 (carbon dioxide). The use of ethanol or bioethanol as fuel is therefore completely clean. After all, the part of CO2 is reabsorbed by plants. We therefore call bioethanol a renewable fuel.
Clean, new bioethanol hardly gives off an odor when burned. Ethanol recovered from industry (often used in cleaning) is cheaper but can sometimes give off a stronger odor.
Bio-ethanol or bio-alcohol is not harmless. Burning bioethanol in an open container, also known as an open burner, is downright dangerous. These burners can usually be recognized by the way they are filled. The burner is filled at the same place where the flames come out.
The danger with this type of burners is that the fuel, the ethanol, escapes. To limit this risk, something can be added to pure bioethanol that makes it viscous. Although this burning gel is much safer to use, it gives off an unpleasant smelling residue and a black smoke. Bioethanol gel or burning gel is therefore ethanol with an addition. Due to the use of gel in this type of fireplaces, they are also called gel fireplaces.
Bioethanol is cheaper than bioethanol gel. From an economic point of view, bioethanol is therefore increasingly being chosen. The use of ethanol in open burners (gel fireplaces) is not only dangerous, but also not very durable. Because a lot of oxygen can reach the flame, an open burner sometimes uses up to 4 times as much ethanol as a closed burner.
The advantage of a gel fireplace is mainly the low purchase price. If the intention is to use the fire more than a few times a year, it is more economical to choose a fire that is more economical in consumption, burns cleaner and is safer.
A KiWa, TüV or CE logo on a bioethanol fireplace provides certainty about production. The product is produced to a minimum standard. Unfortunately, these logos say nothing about the safety of the fire system. Within Europe, a number of standards have been established that a safe ethanol burner must meet, the EN 16647:2015 quality mark.
Xaralyn has a patented burning system in which the ethanol is absorbed into a ceramic stone like a sponge. This system guarantees that the ethanol can only be released by evaporation. It is impossible for ethanol to escape with this system. An additional advantage is that much less oxygen can reach the flame, which means that the burner uses less bioethanol and burns more beautifully (quieter). This ceramic burner complies with EN 6647:2015.
A ceramic burner is therefore not only cleaner and safer in the long run, but also cheaper.