Freddie James


The EcoSmart Zeta fireplace
February 4, 2010, 1:01 pm
Filed under: 1, Technology and fun applications

The EcoSmart Zeta fireplace is bizarre looking to say the least. Designed by John Dimopoulos, the director of a design and architects company in Sydney, the Zeta is named after the likeness of its shape and the Greek letter Zeta. Using stainless steel, wood and leather, the fire is completely portable and has no need for a conventional flue. A glass screen sits on either side of the fire to protect the flame (or apparently to enhance it according to the description).

Rather curiously, the fire is powered by denatured ethanol. As a snobby chemist, I think that “denatured” is actually the wrong word. “Mixed with non-drinkable chemicals” is more appropriate. Anyway, it uses what you might know as household ethanal or methylated spirits as a fuel source, cited as being an eco-friendly and sustainable fuel.

Assuming that the ethanol is produced using a form of fermentation or other eco-friendly process, it theoretically is an eco-friendly fuel. However, the combustion of ethanol does produce the common greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. It’s an interesting idea, however I’d question the amount of heat it actually provides in this form.

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