Monday, November 25, 2013

Bio Ethanol Fuel-an alternative heat source?

Blomus® Large Wave Fireplace
     I was cruising the internet this evening looking to see what items for preppers are available for sale at Bed, Bath & Beyond.  As I was cruising around the page for heaters, I saw quite an expensive design for an ethanol burner.  I was sticker shocked to see $1600+ !  As an alternative fuel choice, ethanol has it's pros and cons.  Of course the maker of the sleekly designed burner wants to tout etanols' positive qualities such as it is able to burn 3 hours per liter without a chimney.  Well, okay then! 

     So, naturally I went online to find out how much this ethanol costs.  Currently mixed 10% in my gasoline, all I thought ethanol was for was clogging up my old car, wasting good arable land growing corn not fit to eat and starting arguments over it's true value and long range consequences!

Ethanol Fireplace Burner Insert - EB1200
The answer is (sErIoUsLy?) About $80 for three gallons!  Although this site sells an ethanol burner for around $100.  $26 per gallon

This next site sells 16 gallons for $329 with free shipping.  Photo of gallon bottle not available as it is secure to the site and whatever, it's a one gallon bottle.  $20.56 per gallon.

I suppose having 16 gallons on hand for cooking, and heating in a short term emergency would be alright at that price, but, it is no long term alternative to kerosene by price, or wood by reason of availability in the long term.  This price point is a deterrent to it's home use, in my opinion.  

Making ethanol is not a garage hobby.  It is a calculated and exact science.  This is not a skill I have or have the time to acquire.

So, the fireplace is pretty.  The fire is esthetically pleasing.  This fuel is not an alternative fuel source for me as it is cost prohibitive.

Ethanol fuel is ethanol (ethyl alcohol), the same type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages. It is most often used as a motor fuel, mainly as a biofuel additive for gasoline  Replacement of kerosene[edit]
There is still extensive use of kerosene for lighting and cooking in less developed countries, and ethanol can have a role in reducing petroleum dependency in this use too. A non-profit named Project Gaia seeks to spread the use of ethanol stoves to replace wood, charcoal and kerosene.[104] There is also potential for bioethanol replacing some kerosene use in domestic lighting from feedstocks grown locally. A 50% ethanol water mixture has been tested in specially designed stoves and lanterns for rural areas.[citation needed]..         

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