Author Topic: Alcohol as a Fuel  (Read 1421 times)

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Offline Weisshaupt

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Alcohol as a Fuel
« on: April 11, 2011, 11:22:43 AM »
So as far as powering Cars and other Vehicles,  we have settled on Alcohol as the means of our emergency fuel supply.
Its espcially good if you can find a cheap supply of things to ferment - leavings from a Molasses plant, the leftover  mash from a local brew-pub, crop leavings etc.
To do this legally you must apply for a Federal Permit - there is a lot of information to be had here

Alcohol was was Farmers regularily used before Gasoline. The Model A originally had a level to switch it between the two fuels. It is true that many fermentables (like corn)  require more energy to produce than you et out of the Alcohol. However, if you need a liquid fuel to make your car go and don't want to do a Steam engine conversion and burn wood or coal,  well, you need to spend the energy to get something you can use.  Second, there are many crops where this is not the case. IF advances in enzymes make celluose fermatation viable - this will become an excellent large scale solution, as corn stalks, cattails, grass clipping etc all become viable feed stock. You probably won't be doing that on your own however.

Converting Fuel injected engines is really just a matter of boring out the injectors so the computer thinks it puts in A, but its really putting in AX 1.5 or whatever ratio is needed. A number of people also sell conversion kits for various vehicles.. most newer vehicles already have Alcohol resistent parts because of the Govt mandated ethanol content of regular gasoline... and some already have E85 as a listed fuel - if yours does, you can run on 100% alcohol.

Solutions run from this  full backyard plant   to moonshine stills - and there are a lot of project examples of "home-brew" (pun intended) solutions. If you really going to do this for a fuel supply you should look into vacuum stills as they require less energy- and you MUST have a readily available fermentation stock.  I won't have that at my place ( juniper berries will be my best source) so we have a moonshine still from Milehi distilling and its for emergency use only-- we really have to make a trip and that s the only way to get there.





Bio diesel is a perfectly good option, if you can get the right ingredients, but it requires a larger investment.
 

Offline Libertas

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Re: Alcohol as a Fuel
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2011, 11:30:50 AM »
I just don't know if I can waste good alcohol on anything other than human consumption!   ;D
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charlesoakwood

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Re: Alcohol as a Fuel
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2011, 11:39:20 AM »
I just don't know if I can waste good alcohol on anything other than human consumption!   ;D

An old acquaintance, a Marine, said 'if it rots I can make liquor'.
Should have gotten his formula.


Offline Weisshaupt

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A few Words on "Peak Oil"
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2011, 11:40:56 AM »
As much as I hate to admit Liberals are right about anything, there is such a thing as Peak oil. Of course, the liberals aren't smart enough to explain it properly. The problem isn't that "we will run out of oil" or that " we will reach maximum production"  - we all know enough econ 101 to realize that supply and demand will balance itself out, and the demand, at whatever price, will most likely be met, and that we will seek alternatives when the price of gasoline is higher than the price of the alternatives and the relative cost of switching.  No biggie.

The problem occurs when the ratio of energy used to produce = the energy produced.  Obviously a process that uses 2 gallons of gasoline to produce 1 gallon of gasoline is not going to be cost effective. Other sources of power can be substituted of course,  more effective means of extraction may be discovered, etc but at some point we might still have plenty of oil in the ground and still not be able to extract it for lack of power/energy to do so.  Uranium might well be at this point- you have to literally move mountains to get Uranium - meaning losts of big heavy machinery, and then it needs to be processed and extracted.  We may soon reach a point where the fuels used to run Uranium mine  is more valuable to other parts of the economy, and Uranium is not produced any more. (Thorium Salt Reactors are a much better idea, but they are huge proliferation risks no matter what anyone might tell you-  Yes, you too can build your own dirty or Hiroshima style Bomb.  The Hiroshima design was so simple and so guaranteed to work, it was NOT tested before it was dropped. It was also not a "real bomb" buy modern standards- burning only .004% or so of its fuel.  So see, its not dangerous. Besides, the Thorium decay process to U233 (a fissionable isotope) will produce a large amount of gamma rays, so its dangerous to work with (so no suicidal terrorists would dare to work with it) and it will have a short shelf life ( so a terrorist ill have to use it right away instead of shelving it) - yes, I feel much safer now..)

But I digress.  The point is  that there will come a point where the resources that go into oil production will become more valuable elsewhere - or even on their own, such  that no more Gas can be or will be produced, and that point will occur at or be close to the point where the energy you get out is less than that you put in. As I indicated above, that may still be worth doing if the energy is worth more to you in a stored liquid form, than as electric energy  in a battery or as heat in a stick of wood. .  This is economics, so yes, this point COULD be reached  suddenly, but probably will not.




Online John Florida

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Re: Alcohol as a Fuel
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2011, 08:05:46 PM »
The E85 is about mixing 15% gasoline in the alcohol so you can't drink it. If you make alcohol at home and you add the gas to it nobody can claim that you're moonshining.

 The factory part for a GM truck are about 150.00 to convert it to E85 mostly seals and a couple of electronic parts which I believe control how much fuel the injectors flow which I believe increase the time they squirt fuel.

E85 Conversion Kit
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charlesoakwood

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Re: Alcohol as a Fuel
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2011, 09:08:59 PM »

So, if your engine was naturally aspirated a richer mixture and your good to go?


Online John Florida

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Re: Alcohol as a Fuel
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2011, 10:09:09 PM »

So, if your engine was naturally aspirated a richer mixture and your good to go?



 Rejet carbs for more flow. Kits should be available ot at best complete carbs depending on age of engine.On older stuff you may need to change hoses and seals but I'm not sure but a good speed shop should be able to tell you or do an online search.
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