The most important characteristic determining the choice of fuel must be of course the quality. But how to distinguish the good product from the one of inferior quality?
The composition of each high quality fuel for the ethanol fireplaces is based on ethanol. Ethanol is an alcohol of plant origin, obtained by the fermentation of plant sugars. Due to the chemical composition of this alcohol distillation alone is not sufficient to obtain good quality, pure, 100% ethanol. Therefore, it undergoes multi-stage rectification or refinement and purification by means of modern molecular devices. However, global regulations do not allow the sale of ethanol in its pure form for the purposes other than food. Therefore, the fuel for the ethanol fireplaces offered on the market is deliberately enriched with other contaminants, which are subjected to denaturation. Therefore, biofuels are not food products, they should not be consumed. Concerning the above, the fact providing a good quality will certainly be a smell given off during combustion. This will mean that the contaminants injected into the fuel are harmless and appropriately selected. Such fuels will be of course more expensive, but we are confident that a group of specialized professionals worked over their composition. For the sake of our own health, we should not buy cheaper fuel, which has a range of unpleasant odours. Residues after combustion prove the purity of the fuel and its well-chosen contaminants. If after fuel burning out, we notice some unburned particles in the tank, this means that the selected fuel was of poor quality. Remember that the only combustion products of the fuel for the ethanol fireplaces should be steam, minimal amounts of volatile carbon dioxide and heat. There should be no sediment at the bottom of the tank. So beware of all kinds of counterfeit products and those of unknown origin, which were manufactured probably without any quality control.
Of course we will apply the aforementioned rules, if tempted by a promotional price we purchase the low-quality fuel and we experience firsthand the inconvenience of the escaping. What if we are buying the fuel for the first time and have not tested any yet. What should we be guided by?
The best solution is to purchase the fuel that has been certified by reputable research institutions. In Poland the best reference will be a certificate of the National Public Health Institute of the NIH. Reliable manufacturers outsource the research on chemical and physical properties in the scope of safety for humans and the environment to this institution. Of course, we must remember that the safety condition is to use the product according to its intended use and recommendations provided on the label and instructions for use.
Packaging is also important in case of fuels for the ethanol fireplaces. As liquid and flammable products often transported over long distances, they should have the packaging in conformity with European standards of storage and transportation of such products. Additional benefits will include the markings protecting the users from unwanted consequences. They will include for example special markings for the blind warning them against the risk of drinking and safe bottle caps restricting access to the fluid for our children.
We must also remember that we can not fill the ethanol fireplace with just anything. This applies to both petroleum, oil, or other alcohol, especially prepared by ourselves. In ethanol fireplaces we should use only the fuel dedicated exclusively for them, and manufactured by specialized companies, checking the quality of their products.