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unix60959

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Hello everyone. i have been digging though the internet trying to find out how to make ethanol from corn but i could not find anything. I want to make ethanol for fuel in my car and that means i need it as pure as possible. im not sure how to ferment it and distill it thanks for any help
 

TheH2

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Not to discourage you, but ethanol will destroy your engine. Henry Ford new that when he decided to use oil instead of ethanol.

Maybe you are trying to do it for a hobby? If so, you might want to make beer instead, I assure you it will taste better.
 
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Sorry, wrong place.

We make beer, wine, cider, and mead here. All of those are simply fermented, using premium ingredients, to make drinkable products.

We DO NOT distill here. Though it is legal to distill ethanol for fuel, we stick to discussing beverages, and distilling ethanol for drinking is illegal in most countries.

Google is your friend. This forum is not (at least for your present line of questioning).
 

Poindexter

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The tripod site already linked is one of the best on the net for fuel. If you are serious you be willing to pay $5.00 per gallon at the pump in about six weeks.
 

GuateBrewer

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Corn is not a cost effective feedstock at personal levels, and very marginal even at commerical levels, cane sugar is the only way to go, look at Brazil's model. With cane sugar you can burn the stalks (carbon neutral) to generate heat for the distillation. You need to be over 99% pure to make sure you have no water in the fuel. Again, plenty of info on the web, but, you'd be better off buying a beater diesel and running WVO/BioDiesel.
 

shafferpilot

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It's a dumb idea. Just go get a more fuel efficient car. Several years ago I had a Ford Escort Diesel. That thing would do 70mph up the highway while gettin around 70mpg. I swear it's true. Who says the government isn't hiding more fuel efficient designs??? Wish I still had that hunk a junk:)
 

zoebisch01

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Yuri_Rage said:
Though it is legal to distill ethanol for fuel,
.

...and that's with a license!

Not to discourage the OP if he/she is indeed looking into manufacturing ethanol for the car, but tbh, you want to look into BioDiesel instead. It is much better in just about every aspect when you look at the problem with a broad perspective. Ethanol for fuel is not worth it.
 

zoebisch01

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GuateBrewer said:
Corn is not a cost effective feedstock at personal levels, and very marginal even at commerical levels, cane sugar is the only way to go, look at Brazil's model. With cane sugar you can burn the stalks (carbon neutral) to generate heat for the distillation. You need to be over 99% pure to make sure you have no water in the fuel. Again, plenty of info on the web, but, you'd be better off buying a beater diesel and running WVO/BioDiesel.
I must have skipped your post. I concur. And, Brazil just has tons of sugar cane available.

:off: Where in Guatemala?
 

abracadabra

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zoebisch01 said:
...and that's with a license!

Not to discourage the OP if he/she is indeed looking into manufacturing ethanol for the car, but tbh, you want to look into BioDiesel instead. It is much better in just about every aspect when you look at the problem with a broad perspective. Ethanol for fuel is not worth it.

I agree. Too bad the US political class is more interested in subsidizing mulitmillionaire farmers and ADM than the reality of the situation.

To the OP check out Alaskan Bootlegger's Bible @ Amazon.com if you can't find anything online.
 

Jesse17

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I didn't pay attention as to whether or not the OP is in the US, but if he is, even with the licenses, it's only legal to use home made ethanol on your own property. They won't let you use it on the public roads, because you didn't pay the 'road taxes' that are included at the pump.

But, as the others have said, we only discuss beer/wine/cider/mead here. So, welcome to the party, and let us know what your first beer is gonna be.;)
 

macs

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unix60959 said:
Hello everyone. i have been digging though the internet trying to find out how to make ethanol from corn but i could not find anything. I want to make ethanol for fuel in my car and that means i need it as pure as possible. im not sure how to ferment it and distill it thanks for any help
The Brazilians have been using fuel ethanol for decades. Years ago, I ran my lawnmower for about 2 years on nothing but 160 proof ethanol made from old fruit the neighbors would donate to me. Ran good too with no problems, so don't be discouraged by others. Most haven't really tried it themselves and just heard rumors. I know because I did it... and it works! Nothing is more cost effective than oil, but there are many alternative fuels but, like others have said, this is a beer makers forum so I'll stop now. Good luck!:)
 

Mustangj

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macs said:
The Brazilians have been using fuel ethanol for decades. Years ago, I ran my lawnmower for about 2 years on nothing but 160 proof ethanol made from old fruit the neighbors would donate to me. Ran good too with no problems, so don't be discouraged by others. Most haven't really tried it themselves and just heard rumors. I know because I did it... and it works! Nothing is more cost effective than oil, but there are many alternative fuels but, like others have said, this is a beer makers forum so I'll stop now. Good luck!:)

A lawnmower and a moderern day automoblie are too different things.
 

runhard

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Mustangj said:
A lawnmower and a moderern day automoblie are too different things.
I don't know, the other day I passed a Ford Festiva or Fiesta or something and I'm sure my lawnmower could beat it in a quarter mile drag race. Seriously, wouldn't ethanol damage a lot of the rubber rings and gaskets fuel injection system or throttle body?
 

kladue

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Hope not since most of the winter blends of gasoline are 10% ethanol, beyond 10% most fuel system controls have trouble compensating for lower btu alcohol. I have a fractioning system that gives 94+ % yeild which is dosed with iso-propyl alcohol to stay out of trouble.
If you want to explore ethanol production go here http://www.homedistiller.org/
 

Mustangj

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runhard said:
I don't know, the other day I passed a Ford Festiva or Fiesta or something and I'm sure my lawnmower could beat it in a quarter mile drag race. Seriously, wouldn't ethanol damage a lot of the rubber rings and gaskets fuel injection system or throttle body?


True. It can corrode every thing. It asborbs moisture. You also need to tune for it cause the a/f is differant. I wouldn't use it with a steel tank
 

tdiowa

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abracadabra said:
I agree. Too bad the US political class is more interested in subsidizing mulitmillionaire farmers and ADM than the reality of the situation.
Out here in Iowa there aren't to many millionaire farmers and I sure don't know any who are multimillionaires. Regardless I would rather give them the money then the Billionaire sheiks who benefit from our relentless thirst for oil.

abracadabra said:
True. It can corrode every thing. It asborbs moisture. You also need to tune for it cause the a/f is differant. I wouldn't use it with a steel tank
I have been using ethenol since 1980. Have driven multiple cars over 100,000 + miles. I guess I have been lucky not to have had any of the maladies associated with its use.
 

CBBaron

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tdiowa said:
Out here in Iowa there aren't to many millionaire farmers and I sure don't know any who are multimillionaires. Regardless I would rather give them the money then the Billionaire sheiks who benefit from our relentless thirst for oil.
Well you do have to realize that a large farm and the equipment needed to run it is usually worth millions so I guess that does make many farmers millionaires. However the return on capital investment and labor nearly always sucks for agriculture. Oil on the other hand is usually a very good investment, especially if you own the land because you were born to a ruling family.:)
tdiowa said:
I have been using ethenol since 1980. Have driven multiple cars over 100,000 + miles. I guess I have been lucky not to have had any of the maladies associated with its use.
Not sure where everyone gets the idea that ethanol is so destructive. The biggest differences between the E85 cars and trucks and the gasoline vehicles is the computer and injector sizes. The only problem is with natural rubber in the fuel system but very few modern cars have much natural rubber and instead use synthetics.
Craig
 

shafferpilot

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CBBaron said:
Not sure where everyone gets the idea that ethanol is so destructive.
Craig
Have you ever listened to a Republican lie... er speak? It's not a big surprise that people think ethanol destroys everything..... To rich oil barons like our top Republicans (almost all of which truly are millionaires), it does destroy everything, ie their highly profitable strangle-hold on our economy:)
 

tdiowa

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shafferpilot said:
Have you ever listened to a Republican lie... er speak? :)
Bill Clinton: [SIZE=-1]I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. I never told anybody to lie, not a single time – never. These allegations are false. ...[/SIZE];)

I think there is enough lying to go around for both parties!!!

TD
 

Doc Thirst

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Lock and kill, Mod. Nothing kills an online community faster then politics or religion.
 

rjhockey

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I've done my fair share of research on e-85 because I wanted to start a company that converted cars here. They have such companies in Brazil. The only downfall I see with e-85 stateside is the cost, its the same as gas, and e-85 is less efficient so you will get less milage, but as far as it destroying your engine.. HEH, I converted my 94 Chrysler LHS to E85 3 years ago as a test vehical and its still running today with no problems.
 

shafferpilot

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tdiowa said:
Bill Clinton: [SIZE=-1]I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. I never told anybody to lie, not a single time – never. These allegations are false. ...[/SIZE];)

I think there is enough lying to go around for both parties!!!

TD
AMEN, Bro, AMEN
 

shafferpilot

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Doc Thirst said:
Lock and kill, Mod. Nothing kills an online community faster then politics or religion.
Chill, we're just havin a little fun. Honestly I'm surprised a distillation thread has lasted this long:cross:
 

NitrouStang96

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TheH2 said:
Not to discourage you, but ethanol will destroy your engine. Henry Ford new that when he decided to use oil instead of ethanol.
Straight ethanol/alcohol wouldn't be a wise choice, but 85% ethanol is just fine. My car will be running e85 in under a month.

Just so you know, there are a whole lot of cars on the road right now that can run e85 with something as simple as a change in injector timing. That's why there are plug and play modules that you can install yourself in under 30min and flip a switch to run e85... The Full Flex Gold, for instance, will run you around $500.

My setup for the nitrous and supercharger makes it easy for me to run e85, all I need is a tune. e85 is 105 octane and loves boost, so I'll be paying less at the pump (but getting fewer mpg), while making more horsepower AND fewer emissions.

Premium at the station on the corner closest to where I live is $3.79 - e85 at a station 2.5mi away is $2.79
 

abracadabra

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tdiowa said:
Out here in Iowa there aren't to many millionaire farmers and I sure don't know any who are multimillionaires. Regardless I would rather give them the money then the Billionaire sheiks who benefit from our relentless thirst for oil.



I have been using ethenol since 1980. Have driven multiple cars over 100,000 + miles. I guess I have been lucky not to have had any of the maladies associated with its use.
The 2 richest farmers in the USA live in New York, NY and Honolulu, Hi. not in Iowa.

I'd rather the govt. give your money to Iowa farmers and ADM too. But would prefer them to stop taking my money and giving it away to any well connected group or company.

You miss quoted me on the second quote it belongs to MustangJ.
 

tdiowa

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abracadabra said:
I'd rather the govt. give your money to Iowa farmers and ADM too. But would prefer them to stop taking my money and giving it away to any well connected group or company.
Ahem to that!!! I'm all for the government to quit taking my money and giving it away. Here is a classic example.

Here in Iowa we have a 5 cent redemption on all cans and bottles. Works really well. The Governor thinks it needs to be 10 cent. Reading the fine print on the proposal and out of that 10 cent redeemable you are only going to get 7 cents back. 1 penny will go to the redemption center, 1 penny to a new environmental fund and the state is going to charge you 1 penny for buying the can in the first place. Just another example of the more money you give government the more they spend....
TD
 

blefferd

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try out google, i wanted to learn how to make moonshine and a quick search yieled a ton of sites with recepies etc. a quick search on stills and distilling brought up another ton of sites, after about 2 hours of reading i know have the knowledge to make my own moonshine still, OR buy one for cheap, and make my own shine ;)

i have NO idea how they make ethanol, but i would bet money that its distilled some how just like all petro products and all other alcohols!
 

shafferpilot

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A moonshine still is not an appropriate type of still for ethanol production..... or even drinking spirits for that matter. Ethanol requires a well tuned reflux still. add "reflux" to your searches and you'll find plenty of information as to why they are needed to achieve the proper purity levels.
 

blefferd

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i think, most modern moonshine stills are reflux stills. you can purchase them on the internet ;) if i remeber right there is an internal reflux still more commonly called the IRS still which seems kinda funny to me because they are the ones that would be after you for using it ;)
 

mattm3

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Wow, a thread that's NOT about beer got four pages!

Ethanol is corrosive and will do damage to your vehicle if it's not fitted to use ethanol. Most car dealers now make ethanol fuel capability an option, starting with, I think, Ford back in 1998/99. It has to have stainless steel fuel lines and different types of metal alloys in parts that touch fuel. There are some people, however, who say they use E85 in their regular old cars. I'm sure it will work but it's probably not good in the long run.

Also, if you live where there are ethanol gas stations, the price of ethanol is intentionally set to be less than gasoline. It does get decreased fuel economy (up to 25 percent less by some counts) so the producers know that no one will buy it if it costs the same or more than gasoline. There may even be some government regulation of the price but I'm not sure.

But the bottom line is that ethanol is more cleaner burning (good for the environment) than gasoline and it helps to reduce our dependence on foreign oil (good for national security).

There, that's my plug for ethanol. I don't know if I'd want to distill it myself though.

But you can get the stills on eBay.
 

shafferpilot

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blefferd said:
i think, most modern moonshine stills are reflux stills. you can purchase them on the internet ;) if i remeber right there is an internal reflux still more commonly called the IRS still which seems kinda funny to me because they are the ones that would be after you for using it ;)
You are correct, but an internal (or external for that matter) reflux still is NOT a moonshine still. A reflux still is tuned to allow the user to seperate the different chemicals (ie types of alcohol) as a run progresses. An old fashioned moonshine still does not do a good job of seperating which means fusel alcohols are transfered into the finished product. But yes, it doesn't take much searching to find them available for a couple hundred bucks.... Someone wanting to do this would be smart to investigate the designs available and construct their own for a fraction the price.
 

Jumbo82

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mattm3 said:
But the bottom line is that ethanol is more cleaner burning (good for the environment) than gasoline and it helps to reduce our dependence on foreign oil (good for national security).
Don't believe the hype. Most ethanol today is made from corn, which is highly inefficient to convert. Oil is used to produce the fertilizer, harvest the corn, ferment it, distill it, etc.

"Adding up the energy costs of corn production and its conversion into ethanol, 131,000 BTUs are needed to make one gallon of ethanol. One gallon of ethanol has an energy value of only 77,000 BTUS. Thus, 70 percent more energy is required to produce ethanol than the energy that actually is in it." http://healthandenergy.com/ethanol.htm

The only reason its on the market is because of massive government subsidies. If more oil is used to make the ethanol than we save by using it, how does this help the environment or reduce our dependence on foreign oil? Only in some sort of bizarro world does this make sense.


Edit: Found this on another website;
"Corn-based ethanol is extraordinarily inefficient to produce - it takes 3 gallons of petrol or biofuel to make 4 gallons of corn ethanol"
http://theseep.wordpress.com/2007/03/12/biofuels-boom-raises-tough-questions-ap-report/
 

Brewing Clamper

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If I could just get my Flux Capacitor to work, I could have a running Mr. Fusion and all of this would be a moot point!
 

fifelee

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Jumbo82 said:
Don't believe the hype. Most ethanol today is made from corn, which is highly inefficient to convert. Oil is used to produce the fertilizer, harvest the corn, ferment it, distill it, etc.

"Adding up the energy costs of corn production and its conversion into ethanol, 131,000 BTUs are needed to make one gallon of ethanol. One gallon of ethanol has an energy value of only 77,000 BTUS. Thus, 70 percent more energy is required to produce ethanol than the energy that actually is in it." http://healthandenergy.com/ethanol.htm

The only reason its on the market is because of massive government subsidies. If more oil is used to make the ethanol than we save by using it, how does this help the environment or reduce our dependence on foreign oil? Only in some sort of bizarro world does this make sense.


Edit: Found this on another website;
"Corn-based ethanol is extraordinarily inefficient to produce - it takes 3 gallons of petrol or biofuel to make 4 gallons of corn ethanol"
http://theseep.wordpress.com/2007/03/12/biofuels-boom-raises-tough-questions-ap-report/

Don't give up on the bright minds in this country.
http://www.gm-volt.com/2008/01/13/g...kthrough-by-new-partner-coskata-inc/#more-730
 

mattm3

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Jumbo82 said:
Most ethanol today is made from corn, which is highly inefficient to convert.
The articles you referenced said that it was inefficient using today's technology. If we are able to improve that technology and better develop other sources of energy (nuclear, solar, wind, etc.) it may not be so inefficient in the future. With bioengineered corn we can also reduce the amount of space it takes to grow the corn (more room for barley!). With more fuel efficient vehicles and people who decide to reduce their time in the car, we can reduce the amount of fuel needed. If we all reduced the amount of meat we eat to 1950's levels, we wouldn't need near as much corn, water, insecticides, pesticides, etc. and the livestock industry (now using 70 percent of U.S. farmland and one of the most dangerous to the environment), would grow smaller. Ethanol, of course, is not the only answer. There are a number of things that need to be done to avoid a major energy shortage.
 

Jumbo82

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fifelee said:
Don't get me wrong, I'm not against ethanol. I'm just against corn ethanol, which is currently the prime source. Our scientists are also making advances in converting grass and other cellulose into ethanol through the use of enzymes. Further government funding into this area wouldn't be a bad thing. If it becomes cost effective and actually does reduce our dependence on foreign oil, I'm all for it. Its just that the current situation with corn subsidies is artificially raising the cost of beef, chicken, and numerous other food products for no reason. Who benefits? Not the environment, not the consumer, not even national security. Just the farmers, lobbyists, and politicians. Maybe I'm missing something here. I suppose there is some benefit to laying down the infrastructure with corn ethanol so it will be ready when other sources become economical. It just seems like the benefits don't outweigh the costs. If someone can shed some light on this issue for me, I'm all ears.
 
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