Ethanol Distiller Can Recycle Brewery Waste To Fuel Vehicles

 

It is well-known, of course, that the rich and their descendants will be completely immune to the effects of climate change. Thus, many of them have been driving efficiency-challenged cars that carelessly drain the last of the world’s oil, making their carbon footprint heavier than that of lesser beings.

So, from a climate-change point of view, who better to target with the security of their own driveway supply to power their gas guzzlers — from a carbon free fuel in place of oil? The I’ve got mine crowd.

Everyone who drives gas guzzlers could recoup the cost in a bit over a year. How?

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Because this home ethanol distillation unit-cum-driveway pump invented by the Los Gatos company E-Fueler can distill ethanol from a nearly free feed stock; waste alcohol from vineyards or restaurants.





Currently, waste alcohol is hardly ever recycled commercially. Wineries, breweries and distilled spirits refineries can easily discard over a million gallons of alcohol a year. Even bars and restaurants discard thousands of gallons of alcohol annually.

So a CEO of a brewery, restaurant, bar or vineyard could recycle the business waste product right into the Rolls Royce instead of throwing it out; making him forever free of foreign oil.

While still pricey after Federal rebates at $7,000 – if you calculate it at $0.10 cents a gallon for waste or at $3.50 a gallon (prices from just a few months ago that will likely return, as we continue the bumpy ride down the other side of Hubbert’s peak) for gasoline. Two 13 MPG vehicles = 24,000 total miles a year = $6,462 on gasoline, $185 on waste liquor. With the unit, its recouped in less than a year and a half.

We covered the MicroFueler earlier this year and how when you factor in the sugar feedstock that EFuel sells to make the ethanol, it is not very carbon friendly.  But it can also distill ethanol from alcohol waste and there are lots of wineries in California.

The key to making planet-friendly ethanol is to find a waste feedstock close to you and make that work.  Although sugar is far more efficient than corn, it has many carbon miles to travel in most of this country and it is perceived as a food.

Ethanol distilleries in Midwestern states use leftover wood chips and tree parts to produce ethanol. If you live on a farm, you can use leftover straw, husks and grain.

Last week we covered a geeky looking ethanol distiller that looks better to me; but just take a look at it and tell me that someone with a pair of gas guzzlers on the estate can really see that in their garage. By contrast, the MicroFueler™ brings a more BarbiesKitchen feel to the dials and gages that show whats going on, and how much fuel is left. This one is designed to make it all seem reassuringly easy and normal to make your own fuel.

So this could be a fancy recycling bin. But a recycling bin that can dispense a very eco-friendly fuel for a fleet of vehicles.





About the Author

writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today, PV-Insider , SmartGridUpdate, and GreenProphet. She has also been published at Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow, and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design, Susan brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention, solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci-fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times.    Follow Susan on Twitter @dotcommodity.
  • LonnieB

    It’s not entirely fair to blame “the wealthy” and assume that they are the bigfoot of carbon footprints.

    Yes, many do travel about in big limos. Take the Holloywood halfwits who presume to tell we, of the unwashed masses how we should do this or vote for that, whilst living a catered and rarified life most of us can only imagine. When was the last time you saw them arriving at some self-congratulating ceremony in a Prius?

    However, most of the well-to-do people I know (and I know a few) keep their expensive daily drivers in top tune. Their warranties require it. This means they use less fuel per mile per pound of vehicle than your average commuter who rarely gets a tune up until something breaks.

    The number of these “evil” gas guzzling C.E.O’s who drive Roll-Royces and Benzez is miniscule in comparison to the number of Average Joe and Joann drivers, who by and large pay less attention to the condition of their vehicles, until something breaks, or even the socially desperate middle-class who drive the oversized urban assault vehicles, such as the ubiquitous Hummer (which, BTW, gets much worse gas mileage than the average Rolls or Benz).

    Another thing to consider before demonizing the wealthy, is that the eco-friendly automotive technology available today is out of reach of the average driver. The portable distiller you feature is an example. How many Average Joes can shell out $7k for one, not to mention the effort involved in gathering the waste.

    Technology is necessarily trickle-down in nature. The first digital watches cost hundreds, and only the “wealthy” bought them, but nowdays, they give them away. Because the “wealthy” made producing and marketing them viable. Many of the efficiancy technologies that show up in todays mass production cars came from limited production luxury cars.

    A demographic that routinely gets overlooked is the poor and lower income bracket. People who can’t afford to repair theri cars, and so drive them until they die on the side of the road, and then go to Honest SDam’s used car lot and buy another smoker to drive to death.

    How many smoking, sputtering E Class Benzes have you ended up behind in traffic. How many smoking, sputtering and noxiously smelly old Chevys, Fords and even Toyotas have you had to endure? I’m betting the latter far outstrips the former.

    Of course, political correctness prohibits singling this demographic out, because if we did, the bleeding hearts would insist that the government provide them with newer cars.

    As far as the portable distiller goes, I wholeheartedly agree that something of this nature could be of tremendous benefit. But it should not be, as your article implies, an exclusive for the “Rolls-Royce” crowd.

    I am a big fan of ethanol and would love to have one of these units, or something like it. But until enough of them are purchased by the “wealthy” to bring the production costs down to where you and I can afford it, I’ll be stuck searching out E85 pumps on Google.

    You mentioned corn, sugar, waste alcohol and restaurant garbage as feedstock sources. While those are all good sources, please allow me to inflate a favorite soapbox of my own…Jerusalem Artichokes.

    Even though the roots are a delicacy one can find at the more eclectic grocery stores, it is considered a weed by many farmers and ranchers here in Texas and is not considered a food comodity.

    It can be grown like potatoes on less than perfect land, leaving the food crop-producing land alone. It’s root is rich in starches and be used in the current “wet” distillation process, producing more ethanol per bushel than either corn or sugar.

    When “celluline” finally becomes viable, the entire, fiberous plant can be used.

    Class warfare is not part of any solution. Blaming the rich gets us nowhere. We all want better, more energy efficient vehicles, but it’s going to be the Rolls-Royce crowd who invest their money in technology and production in an effort to keep a greedy, self-serving and largely dishonest government from playing Robin Hood with the capital that drives our economy.

    The guy that drives the dirty, smoking truck or van full of lawn mowers is not going to invest in progess. He may not even pay taxes, much less give a damn about pollution.

  • LonnieB

    It’s not entirely fair to blame “the wealthy” and assume that they are the bigfoot of carbon footprints.

    Yes, many do travel about in big limos. Take the Holloywood halfwits who presume to tell we, of the unwashed masses how we should do this or vote for that, whilst living a catered and rarified life most of us can only imagine. When was the last time you saw them arriving at some self-congratulating ceremony in a Prius?

    However, most of the well-to-do people I know (and I know a few) keep their expensive daily drivers in top tune. Their warranties require it. This means they use less fuel per mile per pound of vehicle than your average commuter who rarely gets a tune up until something breaks.

    The number of these “evil” gas guzzling C.E.O’s who drive Roll-Royces and Benzez is miniscule in comparison to the number of Average Joe and Joann drivers, who by and large pay less attention to the condition of their vehicles, until something breaks, or even the socially desperate middle-class who drive the oversized urban assault vehicles, such as the ubiquitous Hummer (which, BTW, gets much worse gas mileage than the average Rolls or Benz).

    Another thing to consider before demonizing the wealthy, is that the eco-friendly automotive technology available today is out of reach of the average driver. The portable distiller you feature is an example. How many Average Joes can shell out $7k for one, not to mention the effort involved in gathering the waste.

    Technology is necessarily trickle-down in nature. The first digital watches cost hundreds, and only the “wealthy” bought them, but nowdays, they give them away. Because the “wealthy” made producing and marketing them viable. Many of the efficiancy technologies that show up in todays mass production cars came from limited production luxury cars.

    A demographic that routinely gets overlooked is the poor and lower income bracket. People who can’t afford to repair theri cars, and so drive them until they die on the side of the road, and then go to Honest SDam’s used car lot and buy another smoker to drive to death.

    How many smoking, sputtering E Class Benzes have you ended up behind in traffic. How many smoking, sputtering and noxiously smelly old Chevys, Fords and even Toyotas have you had to endure? I’m betting the latter far outstrips the former.

    Of course, political correctness prohibits singling this demographic out, because if we did, the bleeding hearts would insist that the government provide them with newer cars.

    As far as the portable distiller goes, I wholeheartedly agree that something of this nature could be of tremendous benefit. But it should not be, as your article implies, an exclusive for the “Rolls-Royce” crowd.

    I am a big fan of ethanol and would love to have one of these units, or something like it. But until enough of them are purchased by the “wealthy” to bring the production costs down to where you and I can afford it, I’ll be stuck searching out E85 pumps on Google.

    You mentioned corn, sugar, waste alcohol and restaurant garbage as feedstock sources. While those are all good sources, please allow me to inflate a favorite soapbox of my own…Jerusalem Artichokes.

    Even though the roots are a delicacy one can find at the more eclectic grocery stores, it is considered a weed by many farmers and ranchers here in Texas and is not considered a food comodity.

    It can be grown like potatoes on less than perfect land, leaving the food crop-producing land alone. It’s root is rich in starches and be used in the current “wet” distillation process, producing more ethanol per bushel than either corn or sugar.

    When “celluline” finally becomes viable, the entire, fiberous plant can be used.

    Class warfare is not part of any solution. Blaming the rich gets us nowhere. We all want better, more energy efficient vehicles, but it’s going to be the Rolls-Royce crowd who invest their money in technology and production in an effort to keep a greedy, self-serving and largely dishonest government from playing Robin Hood with the capital that drives our economy.

    The guy that drives the dirty, smoking truck or van full of lawn mowers is not going to invest in progess. He may not even pay taxes, much less give a damn about pollution.

  • Uncle B

    I would like the Saudies and the OPEC countries to “come clean” and tell us exactly how much oi8l they have , in reserve, proven or otherwise! Since our very lives depend on it we deserve an accurate, provable answer! Is it possible for our oil suppliers to suddenly , one day, out of the blue, announce their tanks are empty? We must know when it is time to panic and jump on wind and solar energy, and they must tell us, at gunpoint or otherwise! This is a suggestion for an Obama-miracle come true! never mind Iraq, push the right people to fess up and let us know our true destiny, or let the tanks roll!

  • Uncle B

    I would like the Saudies and the OPEC countries to “come clean” and tell us exactly how much oi8l they have , in reserve, proven or otherwise! Since our very lives depend on it we deserve an accurate, provable answer! Is it possible for our oil suppliers to suddenly , one day, out of the blue, announce their tanks are empty? We must know when it is time to panic and jump on wind and solar energy, and they must tell us, at gunpoint or otherwise! This is a suggestion for an Obama-miracle come true! never mind Iraq, push the right people to fess up and let us know our true destiny, or let the tanks roll!

  • Mark Wesling

    The micro fueler can produce over 280 gallons of fuel per week. This technology is crying out for small business. Just think of small neighborhood gas station with 20 e-fuelers out back–producing with little labor required. You could make payments on the purchase loan and still have an income of 60K per year. Farmers could easily run their farms from this energy source. Plus these producers could be micro power generating stations and sell power to the grid.

  • Mark Wesling

    The micro fueler can produce over 280 gallons of fuel per week. This technology is crying out for small business. Just think of small neighborhood gas station with 20 e-fuelers out back–producing with little labor required. You could make payments on the purchase loan and still have an income of 60K per year. Farmers could easily run their farms from this energy source. Plus these producers could be micro power generating stations and sell power to the grid.