Gel fireplaces are an alternative to the traditional fireplace. Gel fireplaces do not require ventilation, which allows installation anywhere you choose.They are environmentally friendly and there is less work and mess associated with them because they do not burn wood. For those who love the ambiance of a fire they are an excellent alternative. The problem is that the gel fuel burned in them does not last long and is quite expensive. In the quest to make the fuel more economically friendly, alternatives are used.
Isopropyl Alcohol Mixture
Mix isopropyl alcohol with soya or candle wax. The wax is added in small pieces and provides the crackling similar to wood fires. Isopropyl is purchased in department stores or pharmacies and is very inexpensive. As with any flammable materials or liquids, use caution and care. This mixture is effective, and produces a crackling fire, but it may not last as long as the other mixtures. Though this seems very simple, it is probably not the most efficient alternative to a gel fireplace.
Calcium Acetate, Isopropyl Acetate and Cooking Oil Mixture
Combine calcium acetate, isopropyl acetate 91 percent and cooking oil. Ethanol or methanol is a substitute for isopropyl acetate. This mixture forms a gel when allowed to stand. Water can substitute for the cooking oil. It is necessary to mix these ingredients according to the recommended proportions of each. Calcium acetate is made by soaking crushed eggshells in vinegar. Though it is possible to make your own calcium acetate, it is much easier and quicker to purchase it along with the other ingredients of your choice. It is still much more economical than buying the commercially made gel fuel from suppliers.
Calcium Carbide and Ethylene Glycol Mixture
Combine calcium carbide and ethylene glycol to form a gel. Calcium carbide is available for purchase as are most of the ingredients. The end result of combining these ingredients and making the fuel yourself is that you will save money in the long run. Making your own fuel for your gel fireplace is not complicated at all, and this method is the least complicated and perhaps the most effective of the three. A gel is most likely longer burning, producing more heat.
- Photo Credit creamy white rose with wine glass image by Lijuan Guo from Fotolia.com