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Is Duraflame a Green Product?

| Friday June 15th, 2007 | 22 Comments

duraflame.gifI don’t have fires very often, living in a warm climate, but I have to admit I’m a sucker for some burning logs on a camping trip or on a cold winter’s night – despite the obvious environmental externalities. For those aesthetic reasons, and for what I thought were environmental ones, I was always opposed to using gimmicky fire-starters and fake “logs” like the Duraflame – assuming that whatever those things were made of couldn’t be natural…
I still think the Duraflame is a bit tacky, but evidently they’re a lot greener than I thought and a lot greener than burning logs (although they used to contain petroleum products). Basically, they are made of discarded agricultural biomass and commercial wood waste (shavings and sawdust) mixed in with a wax that’s also derived from vegetable material. The result is about 50% less carbon monoxide and 40% less particulate matter than burning logs.
Curiously the company’s environmental page does not specifically mention the impact on CO2 emissions and I’m always a little skeptical of ingredients listed as “all natural” without much additional explanation. Nor does it say precisely what’s in that wax, but for the most part I think it’s a pretty innovative idea – one uses almost 100% waste material to do something useful. What do you think?


▼▼▼      22 Comments     ▼▼▼

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  • slanted tom

    Unless these Duraflame logs are absolutely free, they are a rip-off. And they are as ungreen as any other consumer product. They need to be manufactured, packaged and transported. Not Green.
    I’ve been heating a drafty old house with wood for the past 15 years so I can tell you that the important factors are the amount of moisture in the wood and the temperature of the burn. Wood stored out of the rain for a year will have less than 15% moisture, two years of storage will bring it down to 10%. If the fire is making smoke it is not hot enough. The exhaust gases should be about 600 degrees F. The amount of heat required will determine how much fuel to burn in a given fire.

  • Nick Karno

    We use our firepit in our backyard a lot, and all I know is that regular logs produce a lot more smoke. Like, sometimes unbearable amounts of smoke. Not so with the Duraflame. So, despite the tackiness factor, I like Duraflame, and the eco-fiendly aspect is the clincher.

  • davidconnell

    Slanted Tom has a good point about transportation issues and packaging issues with these products, but unless you’re chopping your own wood (something urban and suburban dwellers don’t really have the opportunity to do) cord wood can have these issues as well–especially if you’re buying it in a grocery store or convenience store.
    An awesome alternative to Duraflame are Java Logs which are made of recycled coffee grounds, are bound by natural vegetable wax, come in 100 percent recycled packaging, and claim to have fewer emissions than firewood. Even better, Java Logs are priced competitively with Duraflame–I’ve even seen them priced more cheaply at my local Safeway. If you are an urban fire lover, Java Logs are a good way to go.

  • Jessica Schessler

    Duraflame is definitely helpful for getting a fire started when I’m out camping. It’s that or try to crumple up some newspaper, but they burn out much quicker!

  • Blaze Pardi

    I was told you could make fire logs out of glycerine, is that true? If so I am making bio-fuel, the bi-product is glycerine. When I distill the methanol the glycerine is safe and pure vegetable oil glycerine.
    If anyone knows this and knows how to do it, please respond to my email address directly,
    Blaze: blazeschi-ext4@yahoo.com

  • Kevin

    I was told you could make fire logs out of glycerine, is that true? If so I am making bio-fuel, the bi-product is glycerine. When I distill the methanol the glycerine is safe and pure vegetable oil glycerine.
    If anyone knows this and knows how to do it, please respond to my email address directly,
    blazeschi-ext4@yahoo.com

  • Thegunt

    Slanted Tom – what are you talking about mountain man?
    see this link
    http://www.socialfunds.com/news/release.cgi?sfArticleId=7908
    New studies from Omni Environmental Laboratories of Beaverton, OR also show that the Duraflame’s firelogs emit 70 percent less CO2 than burning an equivalent wood fire, and over 80 percent fewer green house gas emissions than use of a natural gas log set in a fireplace. “When we embarked upon this initiative, we didn’t anticipate that burning Duraflame firelogs would be a significant way for people to reduce their carbon footprint,” he adds.

  • Mr Q

    On this season i always buy this duraflame logs the only thing im worry about is the emissions when is burned i dont know but it just smells pretty different when u burn normal wood.

  • barb dwyer

    Duraflame logz keep u very hot when they burn!!!! I luv dem as much as pie, LOL!!!

  • Manonfyr

    Slanted Tom Tighten up your drafty house man if your heating a drafty house that is not Eco.

  • Manonfyr

    Slanted Tom Tighten up your drafty house man if your heating a drafty house that is not Eco.

  • steve

    hi-can someone tell me approximately how long these duraflame logs will burn for? can i use them for an hour or two,and relight another time? thanx,steve

  • bill

    Has anyone out there a commercial use for the byproduct of biodiesel, namely, glycerine.

  • RD

    Slanted tom are cutting your fire wood by hand with an ax????? Because if your not than it is being cut by a 2 stroke chain saw and that isn’t at all GREEN!!!! And you say your house is drafty then your probebly using at least 25% more wood than is needed. All so are cutting up Green living trees and letting them sit for 2 years??? No don’t get me wrong I grew up in an area were wood as the only heat source we had so I understand the need and desire for a wood fire. But I also know the proper way to select fire wood for cutting. And when it is done properly welps the forest by removing dead trees that attract bugs and are a fire hazard. Now if you live in an urban area and go to a lot to buy firewood those trees usualy have be removed from some constuction site. Which is the dumbest thing happening around the country. Why would you remove an establised tree just to go back and plant new little trees must be constantly watered and don’t alway make it past a couple of years. So I do belive that the dura flame logs are much more green for the urban enviorment. They are made from waste and put to a good use. They also produce less emissions than regular wood.

  • SB

    do these people know how to spell or speak the english language………good god……

  • City mouse

    The Duraflame logs burn very clean, but you only get a decent fire for about 20 minutes. Then, it burns for about two hours with a little bitty flame and no heat. Don’t believe the “Up to three hours” advertising. These are more for aesthetic purposes. Maybe could get more heat with multiple logs but packaging says to only burn one at a time.

  • WannabeKiwi

    I just finished a very nice 3-hour burn with a Duraflame log (it kept its flame pretty well until the end, and then was resurrected by my prodding). Granted it’s not as satisfying as a roaring, normal fire, but for an evening sitting in front of the fire with a good book it does very nicely. It doesn’t provide the warmth that a conventional fire does, but I don’t think it’s marketed for that. If you need fire to heat your house, Duraflame would not be a good choice. But for an easy fire that lasts decently long for us city slickers, it does just fine.

    • http://garote.livejournal.com garrett birkel

      I agree about the longevity of the Duraflames – they will last just about three hours. The heat they give off is less than half that of a similarly-sized firewood fire, but adequate for sitting near. It will not heat the whole house but it will warm a good-sized room.

      A small tree split in half and fell across my driveway this summer, so I chopped it with an axe (excellent exercise) and stacked it on the side of the house. I burned through it in a couple of months, but realized as I did so that the Duraflames I usually use are easier to set up and easier to maintain once burning. As a city-dweller, I recommend them.

  • dogwoodgm

    I love the Duraflame logs. I have tried other brands and they just don't perform as well. Duraflame does burn cleaner than wood. And, they are more environmentally friendly than wood fires. Those that say that warming a house with Duraflame is not efficient are correct. For those that claim that the flame dies down faster than the three hours claimed must have never used the logs. Yes, you have to prod the logs now and then, but you have to do the same with wood fires. So. my verdict for Duraflame is an A+ for the abiance and ease of use.

  • dogwoodgm

    I love the Duraflame logs. I have tried other brands and they just don't perform as well. Duraflame does burn cleaner than wood. And, they are more environmentally friendly than wood fires. Those that say that warming a house with Duraflame is not efficient are correct. For those that claim that the flame dies down faster than the three hours claimed must have never used the logs. Yes, you have to prod the logs now and then, but you have to do the same with wood fires. So. my verdict for Duraflame is an A+ for the abiance and ease of use.

  • Coopsin

    Duraflame logs STINK!! I tried those new earthlog brand and they ROAR!!! they use some kind of candle wax so they smell great, like a candle, and the fire was way bigger than the Duraflame. I tried the Javalog too, they were hard to get going but were better than the duraflame. check out the earthlogs …… way better!!

  • Yankee Zulu

    Duraflame imports PALM OIL from Indonesia, which is produced by cutting old forests and replacing them with fast-growing palms. It does not just harm the oxygen-generating forests, and prepares the soil for the mudslides, but also drives orangutans out of their natural habitat. Check out the Port of Stockton records for the tankers from Indonesia…