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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

TechnoGrannyShow, Can You Really Make Ethanol at Home for $1.00 Per Gallon?

Do-It-Yourself Ethanol

Title: Techno Granny, Can You Really Make Ethanol at Home for $1.00 Per Gallon?
Episode Notes: Techno Granny has been following the release of EFuel100 MicroFueler(TM) from a Business Wire since 2008. It looks like it is finally here. So if you have a vehicle that can run on Ethanol, you might want to listen in. We are just going to talk about what the company has put out there so far in information and hope we can get one of the principals on at a later date.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger unveiled the fuel maker in 2012 and it is apparently shipping. If you are in Callifornia this is a reality but what about the rest of the country? Perhaps it's a good investment opp for someone who would like to be a distributor? The company gives seminars on the opportunity.

At least we can investigate our options. Listen in for a few for a teaser on making your own fuel at home. For those do it yourselfers who make their own wine or home brew, it just might not be a stretch to think about making your own fuel.

Listen to Show Here

The world's first home ethanol system, which allows consumers to create their own ethanol and pump it directly into their cars, was unveiled by the E-Fuel Corporation in 2008. The EFuel100 MicroFueler(TM) was the first product that allowed consumers of all sizes to reduce their dependency on oil, greatly diminish their carbon footprint and produce fuel for under $1.00 per gallon.

The MicroFueler is a leading edge product that allows consumers to create ethanol, simply and safely, with the readily available ingredients of sugar, yeast and water, and a standard household 110-220 AC power supply. Cars running on sugar-based ethanol produce 85% fewer carbon emissions than gasoline. Businesses, such as breweries, bars and restaurants can even use discarded alcohol beverages to create ethanol, for as little as $0.10 per gallon.

The portable MicroFueler works on a  user-friendly LCD touch screen interface and hose pumping system found at the corner gas station—your own gas pump at home.  
The E-Fuel Corporation was founded in March 2007 by Tom Quinn and ethanol scientist Floyd Butterfield to create efficient micro ethanol refinery products for people who want to break their dependency on oil. As chairman of E-Fuel, a privately held company, Quinn at that time had solely funded the company.  
E-Fuel creates ethanol micro refinery products that conform to U.S. safety and durability standards and include modern safety features. E-Fuel products are available for purchase online and through a network of worldwide resellers. For more information, visit

That was the news in 2008, Fast forward to Today

2012:  The final production model of the revolutionary MicroFueler was unveiled to the world by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in Sacramento, CA. (See the official press release and the Governor's comments.) The enhanced MicroFueler builds upon the original MicroFueler announced in New York in March of 2008. Enhancements include substantial reductions in size (60%) and weight (80%), and 24x7 user accessible monitoring via the Internet. The MicroFueler now "phones home" whenever it needs attention for service by the dealer or ready-to-report status when desired by the owner.

Depending upon your particular circumstances, E-Fuel has different scenarios to offer with regard to purchase and support of the MicroFueler. You can purchase the self sufficient model for $40,000.00 and a $99.00 per year maintainance plan or you can purchase the distributor serviced model for just under $10,000.00
  • (1)  Self-sufficient user: Such a customer is one who has their own source for organic fuel (waste feedstock) or does not require an organic fuel supply service by one of our distributors. Such a customer is typically self supporting (i.e. a brewery, farmer, educational institution, etc.) and requires minimal support from E-Fuel. In such cases, E-Fuel offers our "Ethanol Producer Service Kit" for a one time cost of $40,000 which includes a MicroFueler (MFC200-001), Fermentation Tank (OFT200-001) and 5 days of expert on-site training (travel and expenses additional). The training is tailored to your specific feedstock processing needs and production targets. Click here if this is your situation.
Claim is that you can make this fuel for $1.00 per gallon.

Assuming you use a tank of gas a week which is about 15 gallons and you now pay $3.60 per gallon. 

You could save $2020.00 a year so it would only take you twenty years to liquidate the cost of the machine.  That’s for a self sustaining machine. So you would probably need multiple vehicles as in a fleet or a farm to make this sustainable.

Is ethanol really more eco-friendly than gas?

Ethanol Controversy

In its current status as a low-percentage fuel additive, the benefits of ethanol are obvious. Since ethanol contains a lot of oxygen in its chemical structure, it burns pretty cleanly. Added in small amounts (typically one part ethanol, nine parts gasoline) to the gasoline that fuels our cars, it reduces greenhouse emissions like carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides. Argonne National Laboratory reports an approximate 10-ton (9.07-metric ton) decrease in greenhouse-gas emissions resulting from the use of ethanol fuel in 2007 alone [source: Biofuels Digest]. A 2006 study in Wisconsin showed 16 percent fewer high-ozone days since the 1994 introduction of 10-90 fuel [source: Ethanol].
From blog by Julia Layton

Also from the same blog post: 
According to Cornell University professor of agriculture David Pimentel, producing ethanol actually creates a net energy loss. According to his calculations, producing corn and processing it into 1 gallon (3.7 liters) of ethanol requires 131,000 BTUs of energy; but 1 gallon of ethanol contains only 77,000 BTUs [source: Health and Energy]. And since farmers are using fossil-fuel-powered equipment to plant, maintain and harvest the corn and are using fossil-fuel-powered machinery to process that corn into ethanol and then, in almost all cases, to ship the product to collection points via fuel-powered transport, the ethanol industry is actually burning large amounts of gasoline to produce this alternative fuel. That ethanol could end up containing less energy than the gasoline consumed to produce it.  Read more here

Questions and assumptions raised by TechnoGranny and participants in chat room and call in by Capricious, Author of Continuous Learning Forum.

1.       You could end up using more oil just in preparation, growing and processing of plants or sugar that lend themselves to creating ethanol.
2.      The only way this would work is if the Micro Fueler basically works on garbage, grass clippings, rotted fruit, manure.
3.      Finally, as with the Model T when it first drove the roads of the U.S.,  Where do you find filling stations of your own.  Will you need a map for stations that serve ethanol, how prevalent is it.  At time of this writing in Kentucky, caller mentioned that ethanol was not available in Kentucky.
4.      However we did find online confirmation that ethanol sells for around $2.00 in Nebraska but then gas is a lot cheaper there also.

(c)  Joanne Quinn-Smith 2013

     This blog post can be reproduced in its entirety with the following information:
     © Joanne Quinn-Smith, Techno Granny Show™ 2013,
     Dreamweaver Marketing Associates, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15230, 412-628-5048
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      Joanne Quinn-Smith is the Creative Energy Officer of Dreamweaver Marketing Associates in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and an expert on Web 2.0 Branding.
      2009 SBA Small Business Journalist of the Year

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