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Food vs Fuel

It is important to realise that not all ethanol is equal, especially when it comes to sustainability.

There has been much debate around use of biofuels taking resources away from food production. This debate mainly refers to the overseas production of ethanol and specifically the use of corn and grains to produce ethanol.

The sugar/molasses based ethanol situation is different, sugar is a sweetener not a food staple. Unlike corn and grain, sugar contains no protein, fat or vitamins.


Other benefits of sugar/molasses based ethanol include:

  • The molasses used to produce Ethanol is a by-product of sugar production and is not a “food”
  • Ethanol produced from Sugar has 4 times the C02 reduction of ethanol produced from grain.
  • 60% of Australian sugarcane is now grown without irrigation.

Water management practices have been implemented by sugarcane farmers through a Rural Water Use Efficiency Project (RWUE). The RWUE project has lead to 91% changing the layout of their farm to improve efficiency of irrigation and/or harvesting operations.

Methanol & Hydrocarbon Free Bioethanol

Why should I be concerned if the bioethanol I'm burning contains methanol or hydrocarbons?

Ethanol is exactly the same chemical structure no matter what the feed stock it is products from. However the added denaturants put into ethanol to stop people from drinking the product varies dramatically. These denaturants are not all equal, and burning a bioethanol indoors that contains methanol or petrochemical hydrocarbon is unhealthy and dangerous.

Some companies promote Methylated Spirit or Industrial Methylated Spirit for use in Ethanol Fireplaces. In Australia Methylated Spirit is a technical or industrial grade of ethanol which is denatured with hazardous chemicals for industrial applications and not for burning indoors. The denaturants used in methylated spirit vary and can commonly contain toxic methanol, Methyl Isobutyl Ketone, Denatonium Benzoate (Bitrex) and in hydrocarbons.

Ethanol Fireplace Fuel does not use any of the above denaturants, as they can cause an unwelcome smell when used in ethanol burning fireplaces. Uniquely our bioethanol is denatured with another form of alcohol so that no unwanted smells are given off by the burning fuel. Our Bioethanol Fireplace Fuel is guaranteed methanol, MIBK, Denatonium Benzoate (Bitrex) and hydrocarbon free.

Never use toxic methanol or petroleum denatured bioethanol in your fireplace.

Bioethanol the Green product

The biological process of producing bioethanol from either by-products or renewable feedstock makes bioethanol a very green and enviromentally friendly alternative to the petroleum oil, coal and gas based products on the Australian market.

Bioethanol Fireplace Fuel is made from renewable biological by-products from sugar production. Molasses is fermented with water and yeast to product bioethanol. After fermentation has finished, all solids and water are removed by distillation resulting in pure ethanol. The  solid matter left after fermenting can be used as stock food or fertiliser and the water can be recycled or used on crops for irrigation. A large poercentage of bioethanol produced in Australia is made from molasses.

Bioethanol is one of most common biofuels currently available on the market, biodiesel being the other.

 

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