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When I first read this I thought about my grandfather. He has some vineyards and obtains spirit by the old method of distilling wine, something which is not precisely cheap, known as orujo or grappa. However, making alcohol for cars is different. Using the same principle, albeit at a different level and speed, you can now mix sugar, water and yeast to produce ethanol in your backyard with the 35-gallon capacity MicroFueler, from E-Fuel, a start-up from Silicon Valley.
Brew your own fuel? E-Fuel claims you can obtain about 1 gallon of ethanol from 10 gallons of sugar and the price of the device ($9,995) can be offset by federal, state and local credits. They also claim you can obtain raw sugar below $1 through a system of carbon trading coupons.

Thomas Quinn, founder and CEO of E-Fuel, claims that this ethanol can be used straight in your car, without further modifications, or even mixed 70/30 percent with water or gasoline.

[Source: Popular Mechanics (thanks to Matt for the tip)]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Fuel alcohol and beverage alcohol are very different from a legal perspective. In the USA, one can get a permit from the ATF for small scale production (less than 10K gallons / year).

      What I don't see is if this produces anhydrous ethanol or if it can denature the ethanol produced.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Dear 'Bad' you need to do some research into the real causes of higher food prices and grain shortages.One of the biggest issues is the industrialization of China,resulting in increased wealth and meat consumption,we export millions of metric tons of corn to china to feed cows.The other major problem is the demise of farming in many countries due to the US' past aggressive export of low price grains.The API would like you to believe it is caused by corn-ethanol but this is a much smaller problem.Cellulosic ethanol is poised to solve this problem and create lower cost ethanol from waste.It will be impossible for corn-ethanol to compete against a product made from waste.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Don't forget the tax man. In Florida you'd have send a check for $.29 of every gallon you pump/make the tax man.
      • 6 Years Ago
      according to the ATF your allowed to make a few gallons of moonshine for personal consumption a year. To make any more then that you need a permit from state and federal sources.

      Even if its not for human consumption and you make less then 10,000L or G forgive me i dont remember you still need a permit but you must render it not fit for human consumption which means you have to add gas to it. Thats why cheap cooking wines have tons of salt in them that way they are not taxed
      • 6 Years Ago
      Who wouldn't want a speedy way to distill 35 gallons of alcohol? Not only can you power your car, you can also entertain hundreds of guests. I think plenty of Americans could justify the steep price tag if they made their alcohol at home with minimal effort instead of buying it some place.
      • 6 Years Ago
      10 gallons of sugar to make 1 gallon of fuel? Considering the high cost of sugar, that makes no economic sense, especially when you add the $10K cost to the equations.

      Another problem is what to do with all the surplus brewers yeast it produces. Unless you can use it as livestock feed, disposal is a major problem.

      • 6 Years Ago
      What about ATF and prison?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Finally, we can help Africans starve to death from the comfort of our own homes! Viva la ethanol!