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Old 04-19-2008, 03:38 PM   #1
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Default Ethanol fuel

Just sent in an application for an ethanol fuel producer permit. So, is there anyone on this site that is involved in making fuel? It might be nice to share some thoughts ........

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Old 04-20-2008, 04:28 PM   #2
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Youd be better of on www.homedistiller.org

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Old 04-20-2008, 04:55 PM   #3
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If you plan on even moderate volumes, check with your local building codes and permits. One guy I know had a 100 gallon a day operation up & running (all very legal and properly permitted) and then was enjoined from STORING any product on his property because ethanol is a hazardous material. Three years of work down the drain.

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Old 04-20-2008, 07:47 PM   #4
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Youd be better of on www.homedistiller.org
Those guys make illegal booze. I plan on making legal fuel. The stills are different in respect to size and materials. cheers
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Old 04-20-2008, 07:52 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by david_42
If you plan on even moderate volumes, check with your local building codes and permits. One guy I know had a 100 gallon a day operation up & running (all very legal and properly permitted) and then was enjoined from STORING any product on his property because ethanol is a hazardous material. Three years of work down the drain.
Man, what a bummer! My situation is somewhat different though. Thanks for the reply. Cheers
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Old 04-21-2008, 02:20 AM   #6
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Just curious what your plans are for fuel ethanol production?
Are you making enough to replace your gas use? To sell? Or just small amounts for experimentation and to blend with gas?
What are you planning for a base material? Are you using corn, sugar or some other material?
And what does it take to get started in funds? Did you make it all yourself or can you buy most/all of the still pre-made?

I am curious about biofuels. I don't have the space to do it at home but my parents have a farm nearby and someday I may consider making some fuel myself.
I havn't seen anyone here talking about fuel ethanol so you may be out of luck on that part.

I think making fuel is much more of an industrial process both in techniques and scale than home brewing or distilling. Even home distilling is usually a craft type product done on a small scale stovetop system.

Good luck with your endeavor and I would like to hear all about it if you want. I'm sorry I can't be of more help.

Craig

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Old 04-21-2008, 03:10 AM   #7
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aside from the legal issues ethanol will only distill to around 95% the rest is water if you intend to make something like E85 where is will be mixed with gasoline you need to remove all the water or when it is mixed with the gas is will separate out and cause problems. I've read you can mix it with something nasty like benzene and re-distill or pass it through something that will absorb the water like zeolite, you can also use a vacuum still to distill past the 95% ethanol water azeotrope.

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Old 04-21-2008, 03:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBBaron
Just curious what your plans are for fuel ethanol production?
Are you making enough to replace your gas use? To sell? Or just small amounts for experimentation and to blend with gas?
What are you planning for a base material? Are you using corn, sugar or some other material?
And what does it take to get started in funds? Did you make it all yourself or can you buy most/all of the still pre-made?

I am curious about biofuels. I don't have the space to do it at home but my parents have a farm nearby and someday I may consider making some fuel myself.
I havn't seen anyone here talking about fuel ethanol so you may be out of luck on that part.

I think making fuel is much more of an industrial process both in techniques and scale than home brewing or distilling. Even home distilling is usually a craft type product done on a small scale stovetop system.

Good luck with your endeavor and I would like to hear all about it if you want. I'm sorry I can't be of more help.

Craig
Hi, Craig. Well i just thought that on a forum this large there might be some fuel producers. Doesn't hurt to ask. Anyway, i have a 250 acre farm. I have been researching this for a few months. Corn is NOT the crop to make fuel from. It's people food. The reason the U.S. uses corn is because of Pork Barrel politics and the lack of an economical alternative.

But on a farm, where all the processing is done on site, production of ethanol from cattle food becomes quite economical. Presently, in my location, sweet sorghum cane is the best crop, producing about 400 gal. ethanol per acre. Two to three acres would be sufficient for an average family's use for one year.

The distiller can be made from junk parts from a scrap yard if you are handy for about $400. The permit is free.

You might bring the topic up with your parrents and see what they think.
Thanks for the reply. Cheers
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Old 04-21-2008, 03:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k1v1116
aside from the legal issues ethanol will only distill to around 95% the rest is water if you intend to make something like E85 where is will be mixed with gasoline you need to remove all the water or when it is mixed with the gas is will separate out and cause problems. I've read you can mix it with something nasty like benzene and re-distill or pass it through something that will absorb the water like zeolite, you can also use a vacuum still to distill past the 95% ethanol water azeotrope.
Hi, k1v1116. There are no legal issues, you simply apply for a permit . It takes about six weeks. Yes , what you say is true, except that the azeotrope, after a few simple modifications, burns great. Stock Car racers used ethanol and methanol in their cars back in the 60's over gasoline. This is NOT new technoogy. Henry Ford intended his model T to run on alcohol. Turned out gasoline became much cheaper. Thanks for the reply. Cheers
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Old 04-21-2008, 02:24 PM   #10
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Good point, although you can't mix azeotrope with gasoline, it stands alone as a fuel. Biggest problems are rubber components. Some types of rubber can't handle ethanol. On the other hand, if you have an older, high-compression performance engine, azeotrope has a very high octane rating.

And sorghum waste mixed with excess yeast makes a great livestock feed.

One of my neighbors planted 18 acres of winter canola last year as part of a bio-diesel project. Lost the whole crop to frost, as did just about everyone else in the project. Didn't try it this year, which is good. It's been freezing & snowing all week.

If anyone around here figures out how to make bio-fuel from blackberry canes, we'll have two problems solved.

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Last edited by david_42; 04-21-2008 at 02:35 PM.
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