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Old 09-01-2008, 07:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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has any one ever tried this? how hard is it? Make your own ethanol

Hey all i heared this add on my sirius radio and checked it out online. i dont know if its just a scam or not.

its called Imakemygas.com

looks like a book and dvd on how to make ethanol gas from home.

But has any one tried this?
If so how hard is it to actually make it?
Is it safe?

no im not trying to spam and sorry if you guys think I am I am just curious as to how and if it works before I go any further. thanks

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Old 09-01-2008, 07:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I could see making ethanol from home since its basically an alcohol, but not gasoline

Just checked out the link, its all about running ethanol as fuel
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Old 09-02-2008, 02:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If the home-made alcohol is similar to Ethanol, you could essentially mix it with 15% gasoline to make E85.


Flashback to the 20's/30's -- homemade alcohol is banned despite the lift of prohibition. Meanwhile, backwoods "stills" operated, until the "revenuers" (IRS-Agents) found them, charged the owners, taxed the consumption, and destroyed/confiscated the apparatus.

In this day and age, the same would likely apply + the expectation in many States to pay road taxes per gallon (similar to the homebrew Bio-Diesel problem).

Denaturing the alcohol (by mixing it with gas) might get you out of the "personal consumption / intent to sell" charges and taxes, but the road taxes might still come back to get you. Uncle Sam wants his $$$.

(In other words, check local laws)

How much corn would that require, by the way?

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Old 09-02-2008, 02:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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First off, this thread should mention ethanol in the title, or at least the first line of text.

Before prohibition, making ethanol was popular on farms because it was not much harder than other responsible ways to process waste mater. Even the Model "A" Ford still had a mixture lever on the steering column to allow running on ethanol or methanol, for folks who ran out of gas far from the city. Anyone seriously interested in future fuels might look at butanol, which carries less oxygen than the other alcohols, giving almost the same range as gasoline.
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Old 09-02-2008, 02:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I have a friend that makes it in his garage. Here in Oregon you need a license from the state(which he said is easy to get... and you have to add a small % of gasoline to it so it's un-drinkable. He also gets a tax break for making alternative fuels. Seems to be working for him. Runs it in his mustang and CJ7. But before I bought anything from anyone look around on line. There are plenty of diy sights that provide all the info you need for free. Google is your friend.
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Old 09-02-2008, 03:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Much like bio-Diesel, you still wind up working for the fuel you produce. Said another way, 'still no free lunch'. I like the idea of having the option, though, it might help keep the suppliers from runaway price increases... or not. <thinking about the last 15 months, gas prices, eyes rolling>

As strange as it may seem, but what concernes me most about home brewed fuels is the guy who brews and stores in a residencial area, like the one I live in. His car stores 25 gallons relatively safely... what about his brew aperatus and reclaimed 55 gallon storage drums in his sideyard?
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Old 09-02-2008, 04:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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There's a displaced Californian who lives in the Denton area here.He used to make ethanol on the west coast for use in his truck.The caveat,was that his feedstock was free to him.Distillation could get the batch to about 80-proof,then a special catalyst (regulated by the state) was used to bring it to the anhydrous state.Ethanol has about half the heating value as gasoline,so it gives about half the range,and at retail,has commanded twice the price of gasoline.So about 1/2 the distance,at twice the cost.At the time he did use alcohol,he had to modify his fuel lines and change some carburetor gaskets that were corroded by the ethanol.Also,there were aldehyde emissions from the tailpipe which are very deadly to humans.---------------------------- He will not consider making it anymore,as it was only cost-effective when raw material was free.
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Old 09-02-2008, 05:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The process is the same as making 'shine'. Mix up the mash (sugar, corn, beets, switchgrass, etc) and let it ferment in the absence of oxygen. When fermantation has completed/ stopped, heat the mash to the boiling point of ethanol (about 173 degrees) in a reflux still. The ethanol will boil off (along with some water and impurities) and the steam will turn back into liquid ethanol in the condenser tube.
This is an over-simplified set of instructions. More research is required to make high purity ethanol. Making a still/ ethanol can be a dangerous proposition. Do this at your own risk!!!
If something goes horribly awry, don't blame me.

I agree with Bicycle Bob though. Butanol, from everything I've read does appear to be nearly a one to one replacement for gasoline. It is manufactured much the same way that ethanol is except instead of yeast, bacteria are used. From what I've read, most any biomass can be used as food stock.
Unfortunately though, there are downsides too.

The bacterias used can be dangerous. One team is experimenting with the bacteria that causes Tetanus..

The yield is generally low. I don't remember exact percentages, but it seems like it was considerably lower than the yields of the ethanol fermentation/ distillation process. Companies are experimenting with genetically modified bacteria to increase production yields.

The fermentation process produces Acetone, Ethanol and Butanol so these other products needs to be separated from the butanol using fractional distillation. The process used to separate gasoline and other products from crude oil.

I'm actually curious as to why we don't hear more about butanol in the mainstream media though.
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Old 12-04-2008, 11:13 AM   #9 (permalink)
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ok, i'm going to revive this thread instead of making a new one.

this quote:
Originally Posted by Coyote X View Post
I still think making moonshine will be your simplest bet.

Home Distillation of Alcohol

Don't have to worry about cold weather or finding a new truck. A reflux still looks pretty simple to operate and will give you the best fuel without a lot of work even if you use an electric heating element it looks pretty cheap to operate really.
from This Thread

got me to thinking. my old truck has a carb, and a 23 gallon tank. would a 50/50 gas/alcohol mix eat all my seals? i'm going to try and break down the local cost of materials to see what my cost/gallon would be. i'll also have to estimate my mpg straight vs. mix. could very well end up not being worth the trouble.

yes, i would do it legally. HERE is a link to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.

i'll start with raw materials to make the alcohol itself. parts to make the still would be a one-time cost.

I'm getting a lot of info from Mother Earth

Looks like there are 3 different types of raw materials i could start with:

Sugars: sugar beets, sugar cane, sweet sorghum, ripe fruits
-my family has a small orchard. i could probably get close to 100 pounds of pears, apples, or muscadine. but its seasonal
-I could give the byproducts back as cattle feed

Starches: grains, potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes
-i can grow potatoes, this would give me a more steady supply
-but, there are additional steps to use it

Cellulose: stover, grasses, wood
-not very economical for me

***Gotta go, i'll add more later***
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Last edited by Tony Raine; 12-04-2008 at 12:35 PM..
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Old 12-04-2008, 12:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Tony Raine View Post
ok, i'm going to revive this thread instead of making a new one.

got me to thinking. my old truck has a carb, and a 23 gallon tank. would a 50/50 gas/alcohol mix eat all my seals?
I am not sure about 50/50 mix, but straight methonol will attack the die cast aluminum carb body, maybe ruin the accelerator pump diaphram, and if the float is plastic, might shrivel it up like a prune. I suspect the block mounted mechanical fuel pump diaphram would also be a problem, maybe parts inside the fuel tank like the sending unit. I would buy a carb rebuild kit, mix up a fuel brew of choice in a glass mason jar, and let some parts <accelerator pump diaphram> soak for a week, and see what happen to it.

When I crewed on my buddies blown alcohol <methonol> dragster, we always drained the fuel lines after each race day, and cycled WD-40 (mostly kerosene) through the entire fuel system. It's pretty well know among racers that if you don't, all of the aliminum fittings, the magnesium injector hat (read: $$$), would slowly pit and corrode. I've heard of the same problems <with using methonol> from a friend and his son who raced grand american modified dirt track stock cars <which use carbs> when they made the switch from gasoline to methonol.

Again, I'm not sure if you have the same issue if you mix in some gasoline. Hope that helps.

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