Build a Small-Scale Ethanol Fuel Plant

Build a Small-Scale Ethanol Fuel Plant

Posted in the Top Stories Forum



#1 May 17, 2013
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The search for alternative fuel sources has led to the development of ethanol, a gasoline substitute, but large-scale production of corn-based ethanol is controversial and it threatens the world's food supply. In Alcohol Fuel: A Guide to Small-Scale Ethanol (New Society Publishing, 2009), Richard Freudenberger gives readers all the information they need create a small-scale ethanol plant. In this excerpt from Chapter 4, he covers all the production aspects a would-be alcohol producer needs to consider.
Ideally, your ethanol plant would be part of a farm or market-growing venture, for two reasons. First, as a grower you’d already have a familiarity with the day-to-day practices that agriculture entails. This includes working within a routine, searching for markets, dealing with equipment in both fair and inclement weather, and quite importantly, improvising when necessary to keep things running smoothly. As anyone who has worked the land can tell you, the most successful farmers are well-rounded Renaissance people who can roll with the punches and take things in stride.
Second, a working farm provides a ready-made outlet for the manufactured fuel and its by-products. Most any internal-combustion engine or heating appliances can be adapted to run on alcohol — this inventory includes tractors, trucks, pumps, generators, burners and furnaces — and the residual material from mash production contains enough nutrient to supplement normal livestock feed.
If agriculture is not in your background, it’s still possible to manufacture alcohol, even economically, provided you have a reliable source of raw material, or feedstock. There are many viable candidates for ethanol production, including both sugar and starch crops. Residues from canning and juicing operations, even far from the farm, are also distinct possibilities. Realistically, it would be difficult to carry on much more than an experimental venture in a confined space such a suburban backyard, but it’s still possible. Ideally, a rural setting or a location where there’s room to expand and function without interference would be the better choice.

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Denver, CO

#2 Nov 14, 2014
Can anyone suggest a forum for a ethanol production?

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