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Thursday, July 3, 2014

How hard is it to make ethanol?

How to make your own ethanol fuel or moon shine or alcohol fuel. Most will say its too hard or two complicated but really its not. Have you ever had juice ferment on you and go bad well if you have than you did by accident
fermentation. That is one part of making shine any sugary fruits or juices can be fermented what happened is natural yeast. They are every where but in the end any sugar water and yeast kept at the temp for that yeast and starved of air can ferment. Items I have seen used sugar beets, apples, any sweet fruits, maple syrup, or maple sap that's just the uncooked version of maple syrup. So as you can see there lots more than just corn but corn can be stored longer for winter brewing letting one brew fuel all year long.
Once you understand the fermentation process its time to think about stilling that is where you extract the alcohol and concentrate it to a higher proof. Most for fuel use have to restill a few times or use other ways to increase the proof of it. So knowing that it makes how the still is very important. Kinds of stills column stills is a base set up but when added a refluxing set up they work to give higher proof first pass. There are other ways with thump pots and more but in the end a easy set up would be a fast column for quick run out to get a low proof alcohol. This will let u have a fast way to store a base proof. Than run it threw a good reflux one pass to run up the proof. Trick here is mixing batches of base to even out proof. Same for first refluxing this will help you have more constant proofs and also gives you bigger amounts to work with. When you first get started work with smaller batches threw each stage. This will let you get used to all parts and repeated cleaning of them will help you get a set way. Same will be in the testing batches you will have time to test ways until you get a way that works for you. Once you have say yr first gallon or two of high proof you can water it down to retest stilling until you can repeat x proof stilled to y proof.
One thing I have to talk about is water quality. Most don't talk about this but its very important never use chlorinated water look for a water source like a river or small stream. Try to find something with the least contamination. This is done by small ferment test to see what water gives best yeast growth and proof of mash to yeast used. It takes some time and work to get a good feel for it all but once you do its like nothing else. Why I say that is once you start making your own fuel and find local items to do it u cut how much you need from big oil.
Now for how high of proof to shoot for most say very high that is true for using liquid. But once you understand how to still you will understand why I say to run stuff on alcohol vapour due to its only the vapor that burns. A fun test go to walmart in the paint area or any hardware store ask for denatured alcohol for camping fuel. Once you get a container of it get a clear glass bottle one like a wine bottle fat bottom skinny neck. Put in a small amount in it than light it a drinking glass will work too. What you will see is how the flame is high up off the liquid. Oh if you use a wine style bottle it may flash into bottle may even pop. If it's warm enough the vapour may burn at the top of the bottle where the alcohol is in the base it will cool off an odd but cool effect of alcohol vaporizing.
One thing is you get more gallons of vapour out of one gallon of liquid making it run cleaner with less waste. Once you get to running a motor on vapour alcohol you will need to heat up the liquid to keep it hot to force vaporizing faster. If you don't add heat to the alcohol liquid it will cool down until the vaporizing action almost stops. Other uses of this fuel cooking if you Google alcohol cooking stove you can find ways to build one or buy one boats use them due to how safe they are and how long they can burn using so little fuel. One thing to take from this is just how safe they are compared to oil based fuel burners. Yes I have thought too why not use a alcohol burner to be the heat source for making more I have thought of it just not yet tried it. But its best to use a fuel source that can be done by you like wood. I like to use wood gasification for heating. It makes more heat for way less wood but other biofuels work too. The reason for this is to lower cost the lower it is over all the more you save for all the hard work.