Bioethanol fireplace: A real fire without a chimney, gas, or fumes

Ribbon flame in old chimney breast – Craig Gardner

This project featured our Bio Container Large.

“Please find attached some photographs of my DIY fireplace in which I used one of your Bio Container fuel burners (large), which I really hope you can use for your website.
I have been absolutely delighted with the container and it’s been a real talking point whenever we’ve had guests around.
Although I had heard of Bio-Ethanol fuel and burners before I would not have considered using one when I decided to renovate the chimney breast in my dining room, changing it to a hole in the wall type. I had chosen a gas fire basket with ceramic logs to sit in the opening but when a gas fitter came to do the preliminary pipe work, he smoke tested the flue and informed me that it was not safe for use with a gas appliance unless I paid a substantial amount of money to make the flu suitable. He suggested I look into flue-less options and I was gutted to say the least.
However, a Google search led me to a few websites that sold Bio-Ethanol burners, with the Gel Fireplaces website being the most appealing and having the most reasonably priced products. On the website, I found the Bio Container for DIY fireplaces and ordered the large version. I was a bit apprehensive as I was about to light the fire for the first time, wondering if it would really look as good as in the website pictures, but I wasn’t disappointed. In less than five minutes time there was a beautiful, dancing line of orange flames that put the predictable flame of a gas fire to shame. I was also really impressed with the amount of heat that it kicked out, despite what I’d read when researching bio-ethanol burners that they shouldn’t be relied on as a source of heat. My only disappointment is that this winter has been so mild I haven’t needed to use it as often as I would liked to have!
As mentioned at the start of my email, the fireplace has generated a lot of interest from my friends and family. None of them had seen or heard of these burners before and they have all wanted a demonstration and been really impressed with what they’ve seen.”

Craig made a comment on our blog article featuroing his lovely fireplace:

“I’m no builder or DIY expert by any means, but I found building the fireplace I wanted – a hole in the wall type with an opening below it for real logs – fairly easy to do. There was a floor level opening there before where a typical gas inset fire was used. I had a certified gas fitter remove the gas pipes then I knocked out all the bricks at the front of the chimney breast up to approximately 120cm high then built up the shape I wanted using breeze blocks, 90cm concrete lintels, and fireproof cement. The breeze blocks are soft enough to easily chip out the slot shape to home the Bio container that I bought. I blocked up the flu, which is not required for Bio-Ethanol fuel fires, and this means all the heat comes into the room and is not lost up the chimney. A plasterer gave the job a nice smooth finish and I have to say it’s very rewarding sitting in front of a fireplace that you’ve built mostly yourself! “

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