Published on December 11th, 2008 | by Susan Kraemer
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?
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.