Questions & answers

07/12/2012 - FAQ

Frequently asked questions about bioethanol fires, burners and bioethanol fuel.


Do bioethanol fires produce any heat?

Bioethanol fires do produce heat, can you have a fire without it?  During combustion bioethanol reacts with oxygen to produce carbon dioxide, water vapour, and heat.  It has been suggested on some other websites that bioethanol fireplaces are simply a focal point, something nice to look at but not as powerful as electric or gas fires.  This is not the case.

How much heat can I expect from a bioethanol fireplace?

All of our bioethanol fireplaces are different and therefore produce varying amounts of heat.  The lowest heat output is to be expected from our tabletop fires, these produce from 1kw - 2kw of heat.  Our free-standing fireplaces produce from 2KW - 4KW of heat.  Our wall mounted fires produce from 2.5KW - 12KW of heat.  Our individual bioethanol burner boxes used in your own fireplace design produce from 2KW - 5KW.  In the description of our products you will see the maximum amount of heat that the fireplace can produce on the detailed product description.

How easy is it to install a Contemporary Elements bioethanol fireplace?

Nearly all of our bio ethanol fires are easily assembled without any special tools or knowledge.  Our fireplaces are designed to be installed without any professional engineer visits or additional installation costs.  Simply remove the fireplace from its packaging, assembling any component parts, i.e. glass screens, place the fire in your desired position, fill with fuel and ignite.  Full installation guidelines and safe distances from flammable objects will be supplied with your fireplace.

How do I ignite my fireplace?

All of our fireplaces are supplied with an instruction booklet containing everything you need to know about the set-up, lighting and how to safely use your bioethanol fireplace. Some fires are supplied with a lighter, this is displayed on the detailed product description, if you fireplace doesn't have a long handled lighter provided one can be purchased through our fireplace accessories page.  Ignition could not be simpler, decant your bioethanol fuel into the burner reservoir, then ignite at arms length using the long lighter.

Can I adjust the amount of heat produced/output from a bioethanol fire?

Most of our bioethanol fireplaces and burners are fitted with a sliding mechanism on the burner opening which can be adjusted with the tool provided with the fireplace.  This sliding hatch is used to limit the amount of vapour escaping from the burner.  It is the vapour that is burning, so by limiting the opening of the burner you change the flame size and heat output.  Some of our fires are not adjustable, information on the heat output and adjustment is displayed on the detail product description.

Can you extinguish the fire before all of the bioethanol fuel has been burnt?

You can turn the fire off at any time using the adjustment tool provided.  If the burner has an sliding mechanism fitted, this can be closed fully to extinguish the fire.  If the burner does not have a sliding mechanism then the tool provided will act as an extinguisher, this is placed over the burner opening which starves the bioethanol fuel from oxygen and extinguishes the fire.

If I leave fuel in my fire will it evaporate?

This depends on the fireplace you purchase and the design of the burner within that fire.  If you have an open burner, that is one without a sliding adjustment mechanism, then the fuel will be exposed to the air and will freely evaporate.  This is far from ideal and we recommend any remaining fuel is transferred back to a container with a lid for storage.  We manufacture 3 types of burners with sliding adjustment mechanisms, on two of these burners there is a very small air gap and you may get a tiny amount of evaporation and on the other there is no gap and you will get no evaporation.

Have the fireplaces been tested for safe use?

All of our fireplaces have been rigorously tested for safety, quality and function and have all achieved CE certification to standards EN 442-1-1995 - A1-2003, EN442-2-1996 - A12000 - A2-2003.

The conclusion of the assessment confirmed that the technical construction file and manufacturing, Inspection and testing processes for all fireplaces comply with the essential safety requirements of EU construction products directive 89/106/EEC and applied codes and standards.



What is Bioethanol fuel?

Bioethanol fuel is produced by the fermentation of sugars that are found in agricultural and forestry products, it is a clear liquid.  This fermentation process of energy crops produce bioethanol which is basically alcohol.  Bioethanol cannot be sold without certain denaturants/additives which render the alcohol unpalatable for humans and ensure this type of alcohol avoids human consumption.  Please read our Bioethanol fuel page for further information.

Where can I buy Bioethanol fuel from?

Contemporary Elements Ltd offer a next day delivery service for bioethanol fuel.  Call us now for bioethanol fuel, 01823 970429.  We offer our customers two types of bioethanol fuel, our standard fuel which is widely available from other retailers and our odourless bioethanol which is without doubt the best bioethanol fuel on the market.

Is Bioethanol fuel kind on the environment?

Bioethanol fuel is a renewable fuel source, unlike fossil fuels like gas and coal, it is biodegradable and when burnt releases the same amount of carbon dioxide back into the environment as was collected from the plants that where used to make the fuel.  Bioethanol fires are one solution to the ever decreasing supply of fossil fuels

How should I store my Bioethanol fuel?

Bioethanol fuel is classified as a Flammable Liquid Class 3 and is regulated by various standards around the world.  You must familiarise yourself with this regulation in order to safely and legally store, handle, decant and use this fuel. Guidelines for storage are printed in all instruction manuals and clearly on the label affixed to Bio-fuel containers. Please ensure that attention is paid to all guidelines