Faced with a shrinking supply of petroleum wax and a rise in wood burning fireplace restrictions by air quality districts in the West, Duraflame's product development team set out this past year to determine how to make the next generation of manufactured fire logs. The result is a fire log comprised completely of renewable resources that produces very little smoke -- the All Natural Fire log.
This fire log is made of recycled biomass and plant waxes and oils and produces more than three-quarter's less particulate emissions than a comparable firewood fire. According to Duraflame's Chris Caronto, this new product will provide people with even greater comfort that they are doing the right thing to protect local air quality while using a fire log.
"This is the direct result of our work with air districts and our need to continue to increase the sustainability of our products in order to meet market demand," adds Caron. "The All Natural Fire log will make recommending the use of fire logs an even better air quality policy for reducing emissions from residential fireplaces."
What started out as an effort to recycle sawdust produced by wood milling operations 30 years ago has grown into a way of doing business for Duraflame. The company's research and development department regularly experiments with resources to determine unique approaches to product development. For example, a few years ago Duraflame discovered a natural seed product they could add to fire log ingredients to create a pleasant, natural crackling sound without ejecting sparks from the fireplace. Duraflame received a patent for this formulation and now markets the Crackeleflame fire log throughout North America. In just a few shorts years since its introduction, the Crackleflame log has secured an eight percent share of the US market for fire logs.
Duraflame's commitment to innovation is evident with the All Natural Fire log. The difference between this fire log and other duraflame fire log products is that it utilizes vegetable and plant waxes, rather than petroleum wax as a combustible binder.
Caron adds that soy and palm plant oils and waxes have become more popular for use in all types of organic food and non-food products, including candles. Increasing costs and shorter supplies of petroleum wax in recent years have also reduced the economical barriers to using the more expensive natural wax alternatives. Like other duraflame fire logs, the All Natural Fire log is made from recycled biomass products such as wood sawdust and ground nutshells.
Reducing emissions from fireplaces is not a new environmental need, but has become a priority in many communities throughout North America. Local air quality agencies, as well as the US Environmental Protection Agency, are advocating that people reduce the amount of smoke that comes from their fireplaces in an effort to improve air quality during the winter months.
Over the past decade, Duraflame has worked with air quality agencies to promote cleaner burning practices for the traditional fireplace. Many air quality regulators have recognized the low emission properties of manufactured fire logs. Several agencies, such as the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency in Washington and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District in Central California, now recommend households burn a fire log instead of firewood in fireplaces to reduce particulate emissions in residential neighborhoods.
"Duraflame is very cognizant of the air quality struggles of the West, and even beyond," notes Caron. "Due to this, we are very sensitive to the balance between regulations and people's interest in enjoying a cozy fire."
The All Natural Fire log will be available in September at supermarkets throughout the US and Canada.
Duraflame produces fire logs, fire starters, fireplace accessories, and outdoor products.