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Old 01-08-2011, 01:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
EcoModding Apprentice
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If you account for your energy inputs, it is unlikely that any homebrew cellulose to ethanol conversion protocol will give you an EROEI of better than 1:1, and most likely worse than 1:1.

Yes, some of the inputs could be solar, which helps, somewhat.

I will just say, having a degree in biology and chemistry, and growing up on a farm, and doing research and preparing grant applications to get free money from DOE for a solar driven vacuum assisted still to use on the farm,,,

you are pushing string uphill unless you are retired and you do this as a very time consuming hobby and you have a fair amount of money to get set up. Once you successfully make the ethanol, which is a challenge, you still have to get all the water out, which takes a huge amount of energy to run a still. Plus, ethanol and water together form something called an azeotrope, meaning, they cannot be fully separated by simple distillation. You have to use "molecular sieve" technology to get the last 10% of water out of the mix. Again, more energy and more money.

If you look at all the inputs, and compare that to the output (fuel grade ethanol), cellulose to ethanol very extremely challenging.

Good luck,

2004 VW TDI PD on bio

want to build 150 mpg diesel streamliner.
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