The Entrepreneurial Spirit Lives…Make Your Own Ethanol At Home!

I came across an interesting article, Make Fuel At Home With Portable DIY Refinery. It’s interesting and informative, and if prices of gasoline and oil continue to rise, it may be an attractive alternative. In the article, the manufacturer, an accomplished inventor, states that the cost of the ethanol from their EFuel Micro Fueler, will be less than one dollar per gallon. A bold claim, that doesn’t factor in all the related costs, such as electricity, water, or the cost of the unit itself. The article is worth the read, if for no other reason, to illustrate the kinds of minds that are at work on the current problems associated with rising fuel prices, and what we may have as options, if fuel ever reaches the point when the majority of the population is no longer able, or willing, to pay the prices, and will find other sources.

After reading this article, I began searching for info related to Henry Ford’s desire with the Model T that farmers would manufacture their own ethanol, and found a wealth of info, with one in particular being filled with more info than I ever knew existed on the subject, in a time line of discovery and research. The following quote from the article, Henry Ford, Charles Kettering And The “Fuel Of The Future.”

“They say we have foreign oil,” he said. “It is … in Persia, and it is in Russia. Do you think that is much defense for your children?”(Francis Garvan noted the problem in a speech promoting alcohol fuel at the Dearborn, Mich. “Chemurgy” Conference on Agriculture, Industry and Science in 1936)

I had no idea that alcohol powered internal engines had been experimented with since 1826, nor all of the political, and business issues, that have surrounded the use of alcohol as a fuel or fuel additive, and how prescient so many people were on it’s use. It truly is an amazing, and lengthy article. In the conclusion of this piece, I will note one paragraph that resonated with me.

If there is an historical lesson to learn from the “fuel of the future,” it is that technology is often political. In this case, fuel technology developed in a direction that was a matter of policy choice and not predetermined by any clear advantage of one technology over another. For different reasons, Henry Ford and Charles Kettering both saw the fuel of the future as a blend of ethyl alcohol and gasoline leading to pure alcohol from cellulose. A dedicated agrarian, Ford thought new markets for fuel feedstocks would help create a rural renaissance. On the other hand, Kettering, as a scientist, was worried about the long term problem of the automotive industry’s need for oil, a resource with rapidly declining domestic reserves. Clearly, the shortage of domestic oil that was feared in the 1920s has occurred in the late 20th century, although it has hardly been noticed because of the abundance of foreign oil. Whether the oil substitute envisioned by the scientists and agrarians of the first half of the century would be appropriate in the latter half remains an open question.

A concise analysis of the history of developing alternative fuel sources, often hampered by abundant oil supply, then spurred on in times of shortages. I am not optimistic we will ever strike a perfect balance on the use of our resources, but I am always encouraged by the technological achievements that can be made when the demand is there, and the entrepreneurial spirit thrives.

*Must Read* U.S. oil production cut by half in last twenty years.

12 Responses

  1. Wow! I like that idea. 35 gallons is more than enough to get me to work and back for a week. And with the supply unstable, it would work real up here in the woods.

  2. hmmmm, this is very interesting. 10K is kind of pricey, but a break-even point of two years is pretty darn good.

  3. Hey Nuke! Welcome back. Catch anything?

  4. glad to be back. Nice trip, but there’s no place like home

  5. Yep, I know….

  6. That 10K price is softened a bit by the federal incentive.
    Welcome back, BTW, nuke.

  7. I read that to SwampMan a few days ago. He said he could make a still for way less than that…..

  8. is ethanol and PGA the same thing?

  9. I think y’all missed the point to the post.

  10. Nuke, it is ethanol from grain products.

  11. If it weren’t for B-HO, I never would have known there were actually 58 states in this country.
    / bwah-haaaaaaaaa-ha-ha

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