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While fuel prices are nothing like they were last summer (but they are climbing), there are still plenty of reasons to want to make your own biodiesel. Homebrew biodieselers are, on the whole, a careful bunch and there are plenty of classes available to make sure your mixing of vegetable fat, lye and methanol goes smoothly. Not everyone does it right every time, though, and The Associated Press has found a few incidents of biodiesel makers setting garages and backyards on fire in at least five s
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.
Dr. Luc Duchesne has developed a self-contained, home-based biodiesel production unit. This consumer-friendly invention looks like a moonshiner's still but mixes and refines biodiesel without constant supervision. The idea is to let the Frankentank mix the animal fat or vegetable oil with the alcohol and catalyst until the biodiesel is brewed. About 58 gallons of feedstock will produce 52 gallons of biodiesel. A batch of biodiesel takes between 8 and 18 hours to produce. The Frankentank prototyp
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