People were making ethanol at home long before there were cars. They called it moonshine. With gas prices going through the roof and everyone worried about global warming , a California company is betting people will jump at the chance to use the same technology to turn sugar into fuel for less than a buck a gallon.
E-Fuel Corporation has unveiled its EFuel 100 MicroFueler , a device about the size of a washing machine that uses sugar, yeast and water to make 100 percent ethanol at the push of a button.
"You just open it like a washing machine and dump in your sugar, close the door and push one button," A few days later, you’ve got ethanol." Said Tom Quinn, The founder of E-Fuel Corporation.
Is it really that easy?
According to Quinn, it is. The MicroFueler weighs about 90Kg and hooks up to a water and 110 or 220 volt power supply and wastewater drain just like a washing machine. It uses raw sugar (not the refined white stuff) and a proprietary time-release yeast mixture as feedstock. Turn on the machine and in seven days you’ve got 35 gallons of ethanol. The MicroFueler has its own pump and hose – just like the pump at your corner gas station – so you can easily fill up your car.
"It’s so simple, anyone can make their own fuel," Quinn says. Depending upon the cost of electricity and water, he says, the MicroFueler can produce ethanol for less than 15 Rupees per liter. Quinn likens the MicroFueler to the personal computer and says it will cause the same sort of "paradigm shift."
"Just as the PC brought desktop computing to the home, E-Fuel will bring the filling station to the home," he says.
However, running 100 percent ethanol in your car is against the law. No problem, Quinn says. Mix it with gasoline to create E-85 . Just put a few gallons of gas in your car, then drive home and top it off with ethanol. Quinn says running sugar-based ethanol will produce about 85 percent fewer carbon emissions than using gasoline.
You’re all set if you’ve got a flex-fuel vehicle.
Flex-Fuel Vehicles (FFV)
Flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs) are designed to run on gasoline or a blend of up to 85% ethanol (E85). Except for a few engine and fuel system modifications, they are identical to gasoline-only models. FFVs experience no loss in performance when operating on E85. However, since ethanol contains less energy per volume than gasoline, FFVs typically get about 10-15% fewer Kms per Liter when fueled with E85.
FFVs have been produced since the 1980s, and dozens of models are currently available. Since FFVs look just like gasoline-only models, you may be driving an FFV and not even know it.
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