Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

A New Twist for the Moonshiner: Ethanol
AP via Fox News ^ | 05/15/2006 | By Staff

Posted on 05/16/2006 8:20:21 AM PDT by oxcart

TULLAHOMA, Tenn. — The still — standard equipment of any moonshiner — has a shot at becoming the must-have accessory of penny-pinching motorists.

An upstart Tennessee business is marketing stills that can be set up as private distilleries making ethanol — 190 proof grain alcohol — out of fermented starchy crops such as corn, apples or sugar cane. The company claims the still's output can reduce fuel costs by nearly a third from the pump price of gasoline.

(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; US: Tennessee
KEYWORDS: energy; ethanol; ethanolstill; fuel; gas; gasoline; gasprices; gastaxessuck; moonshine; painatthepump; saveongas; still
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-55 next last
The south returning to it's NASCAR roots.
1 posted on 05/16/2006 8:20:23 AM PDT by oxcart
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: oxcart

I'm planting apple trees this year...


2 posted on 05/16/2006 8:24:31 AM PDT by cinives (On some planets what I do is considered normal.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: oxcart

Had some great 'shine from Arkansas a few years back; the sheriff that brewed it used it to run the tractors; the stuff would take your breath away and chrome off of bumper.


3 posted on 05/16/2006 8:24:52 AM PDT by SF Republican
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: oxcart
I think it's humorous when the pols are on TV and they start talking about ethanol plants like they're some kind of a high-tech highly-sophisticated manufacturing apparatus.

They aren't. They're moonshine stills. Big ones. I've known and been related to some people that could teach these guys how to do it right.
4 posted on 05/16/2006 8:30:27 AM PDT by JamesP81
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: oxcart
Tullahoma is not too far from the Jack Daniels site. Maybe more of that stuff can end up in Americans' gas tanks instead of their brain cells.
5 posted on 05/16/2006 8:31:30 AM PDT by Colonel Kangaroo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: oxcart

I have respect for the rugged individualism of moonshiners. And now, they're helping us achieve energy independence, too! But they better not denature that stuff. LOL


6 posted on 05/16/2006 8:31:49 AM PDT by mysterio
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: oxcart
It's car fuel... no it's a beverage... no it's both!

(it's a desert topping and a floor polish!)

7 posted on 05/16/2006 8:35:16 AM PDT by 70times7 (An open mind is a cesspool of thought)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mysterio
I have respect for the rugged individualism of moonshiners. And now, they're helping us achieve energy independence, too! But they better not denature that stuff. LOL

If you don't denature it (and in the process remove the remaining water) you're probably breaking some liqueur law.

8 posted on 05/16/2006 8:35:42 AM PDT by Politically Correct
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: mysterio

LOL, that way, if you get stranded, you can always have a drink while you wait for the tow.


9 posted on 05/16/2006 8:35:42 AM PDT by Zavien Doombringer (Mr. Franklin, what form of customes did you create in Tiajunna? A beeber, Madam, if you can stune it)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: mysterio
Now who would do a thing like that? /sarc
10 posted on 05/16/2006 8:36:33 AM PDT by oxcart (Journalism (Sic))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: oxcart
Here's the link (click on the pic)...


11 posted on 05/16/2006 8:36:56 AM PDT by Dark Skies
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mysterio

We need to form NORAL.

National organization for reform of alcohol laws.

We should allow home stills for medicinal purposes.

Alcohol has an ancient tradition in both official, and home medical treatments.


12 posted on 05/16/2006 8:37:25 AM PDT by ansel12
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: oxcart

Cool, I can drill a hole through the floor and run a straw from the tank to the drivers seat.


13 posted on 05/16/2006 8:41:29 AM PDT by HEY4QDEMS (Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: oxcart
I cant wait to see teenagers in the future siphoning ethanol from cars to get drunk on.
14 posted on 05/16/2006 9:09:25 AM PDT by Havok (I like meat, guns, and comic books. Am I a bad conservative?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: oxcart

It's not as simple as just distillation. Ethanol forms a eutectic mixture with water at about 96%/4%, and cannot be distilled to a greater purity. That amount of water, when mixed with gasoline, can cause serious problems in IC engines. The distillate must be chemically treated to remove the remainder of the water before it can be used for fuel in an engine that is not specifically built for the task.

Also, An engine built to operate most efficiently with ethanol would need a higher compression ratio than one built for gasoline. This is determined in the engine design and not alterable during operation, so any engine that uses a variable mixture of the two is not optimized.


15 posted on 05/16/2006 9:32:55 AM PDT by MainFrame65
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: oxcart

"The American Petroleum Institute, which represents the oil industry, is all for putting ethanol into gasoline but questions the wisdom of doing it yourself."

Of course they do!!!!! That would cut into the profits!!!!


16 posted on 05/16/2006 9:45:30 AM PDT by fredhead (The greatest privilege of citizenship is to be able to freely bear arms under one's country's flag.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MainFrame65

The cost of producing vegetable based fuel is so much higher than buying gas. We're not even close to the break even point yet.


17 posted on 05/16/2006 9:46:29 AM PDT by bicyclerepair (Moonbats are everywhere!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Dark Skies

Thanks for the link!


18 posted on 05/16/2006 9:53:34 AM PDT by oxcart (Journalism (Sic))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: oxcart

This here's race gas, Jed.
19 posted on 05/16/2006 9:53:47 AM PDT by Sender (“The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names.” – Old Chinese proverb)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: HEY4QDEMS
LOL, I new a drunk once and he would fill his windshield wiper reservoir with alcohol, run the sprayer lines to the drivers compartment and...he died years ago.
20 posted on 05/16/2006 9:56:16 AM PDT by oxcart (Journalism (Sic))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: bicyclerepair
The secret is in the still manufacturer's site (link in post # 11):

" but if it is fuel you are after, you want to burn scrap wood, or anything you can get cheap or free as a fuel source, because you have to minimise your costs and also be adaptable."

In a sense, alcohol production is a roundabout method for converting hog fuel into transportation fuel. I understand that commercial operations burn coal to do the evaporation -- in effect a way of using coal for automobile fuel.
21 posted on 05/16/2006 10:20:41 AM PDT by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: oxcart
Well, it's still illegal to distill alcohol at home, something that should have been legalized long ago.

It is, however, perfectly legal to brew your own biodiesel.

22 posted on 05/16/2006 10:24:27 AM PDT by B Knotts
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: oxcart

You know... the whole trick to distillation is that alcohol boils (turns to vapor) at around 187 degrees (F) and water at 212 (F)... Not a spectacular temp, really.

A small scale distiller, operating on, say, the waste heat from your hot water heater, furnace or even the air conditioner (yes, Skippy, part of it gets quite hot), could conceivably produce enough fuel additive to make a real difference in one's personal budget...

It does cut out oil company profits though. Expect it to remain illegal.


23 posted on 05/16/2006 10:39:59 AM PDT by heldmyw
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: heldmyw

The act of separating alcohol from water is illegal.

If you put a can of beer in the freezer and perform a process known as "jacking", you have broken the law.

One other thing, using any kind of open flame or spark producing switching in an area that a distillery is functioning, is almost an act of suicide.

One pinhole leak in your condenser, if you are only on the second step, will end your career with a really big bang.

Like uncle Carl once said, "it ain't a thing you go messin with".


24 posted on 05/16/2006 10:51:47 AM PDT by Al Gator (Refusing to "stoop to your enemy's level", gets you cut off at the knees.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: heldmyw
Compressed Natural Gas went this same way. There was a time when I lived in Oklahoma, ONG, the gas co there, had a plan to allow customers to install fueling stations run off their home natural gas lines to fuel CNG converted cars and trucks. When the demorats demanded taxing this proposition ONG dropped the idea.
25 posted on 05/16/2006 10:52:57 AM PDT by oxcart (Journalism (Sic))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: oxcart

Patrick Kennedy could recycle the Rapist in Chief. I siphoned but I didn't imbibe.


26 posted on 05/16/2006 10:58:37 AM PDT by Biblebelter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Dark Skies

Thanks for the link- informative site.

If Brazil can become energy INDEPENDENT...we certainly can and must.

http://www.truthabouttrade.org/article.asp?id=5029


27 posted on 05/16/2006 11:06:08 AM PDT by SE Mom (God Bless those who serve..)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Havok
"I cant wait to see teenagers in the future siphoning ethanol from cars to get drunk on."

Ethanol producers are required by law to put poison in the ethanol so that it isn't fit for human consumption. In most cases it is also mixed with gasoline. In Brazil they do sell cars that will burn 100% ethanol, 100% gasoline, or any combination of the two (over 70% of all new cars sold in Brazil are like this and most are manufactured in the U.S.). Here though most cars sold to burn more than the 20% to 25% ethanol all new cars can handle are still not made to run on pure ethanol. They burn E85 (85% ethanol). E85 is sold with somewhat higher than 15% gasoline in the winter though to help with cold starting engines. I doubt many people would want to drink something that is 15% gasoline, pure ethanol with poison it, or even pure ethanol with no poison in it coming out of a gas tank.
28 posted on 05/16/2006 11:50:11 AM PDT by TKDietz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: oxcart

I heard the big oil guys way back when....got stills outlawed by the feds cause they wanted only to have gasoline/oil to fuel peoples cars stopping alcohol from being the fuel. Of course, the reason for stopping stills was actually a big ole' lie.


29 posted on 05/16/2006 12:02:27 PM PDT by shield (A wise man's heart is at his RIGHT hand; but a fool's heart at his LEFT. Ecc. 10:2)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MainFrame65
"The distillate must be chemically treated to remove the remainder of the water before it can be used for fuel in an engine that is not specifically built for the task."

Ethanol does not have to be chemically treated to remove excess water. Pure ethanol can be had simply by filtering through charcoal. Most people with home stills at least use molecular sieves made from zeolites to extract the water. These are generally little balls made from "microporous crystalline solids with well-defined structures." They soak up water but not ethanol, and can be dried and reused over and over again. The company that was the subject of this article well sell you zeolite pellets for $4.75 a pound with free shipping. There are also ways to dehydrate the ethanol using dried corn or other biomass to extract the water, different low pressure distilling methods, and other means that do not necessarily require the use of toxic chemicals.

"Also, An engine built to operate most efficiently with ethanol would need a higher compression ratio than one built for gasoline. This is determined in the engine design and not alterable during operation, so any engine that uses a variable mixture of the two is not optimized."

I've read that there are some turbo-charged fuel injected engines that run more efficiently on ethanol than gasoline. Ethanol normally produces something like 30% less energy than gasoline, but there are already cars with engines capable of doing better than that on or roadways, and there are modification people can make to existing engines that will allow them to use more than the 20% or 25% or so ethanol their engines can already handle and modifications that will help with fuel efficiency. And if gas prices remain high as they are expected to do, the lower efficiency of ethanol in standard engines won't matter that much to consumers because even if they have to burn more ethanol to get where they are going, they'll still spend less because ethanol is considerably cheaper than gasoline at the moment. If gas prices go much higher, I'm buying a still. I'd rather not fund the crazy Arabs with my fuel purchases anyway.
30 posted on 05/16/2006 12:26:16 PM PDT by TKDietz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: HEY4QDEMS

Sir, your gas cap is missing - I'm arresting you for an open container violation...


31 posted on 05/16/2006 12:27:40 PM PDT by 70times7 (An open mind is a cesspool of thought)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: JamesP81

Great American ingenuity strikes again!


32 posted on 05/16/2006 12:28:20 PM PDT by hdstmf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: USFRIENDINVICTORIA

"I understand that commercial operations burn coal to do the evaporation -- in effect a way of using coal for automobile fuel."

In Brazil they burn their sugar cane stalks for the distillation process and use ethanol to produce the electricity to run their ethanol plants. They end up selling excess electricity to their power companies and still make a nice profit on the ethanol.


33 posted on 05/16/2006 12:29:21 PM PDT by TKDietz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: 70times7

You can burn it in your car or your tummy.


34 posted on 05/16/2006 12:30:14 PM PDT by hdstmf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: MainFrame65

Also, An engine built to operate most efficiently with ethanol would need a higher compression ratio than one built for gasoline. This is determined in the engine design and not alterable during operation, so any engine that uses a variable mixture of the two is not optimized.

There always has to be a party-pooper.


35 posted on 05/16/2006 12:33:01 PM PDT by hdstmf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: B Knotts

"Well, it's still illegal to distill alcohol at home, something that should have been legalized long ago."

It is perfectly legal to distill alcohol at your home to use as fuel. You do have to get a permit and you do have to promise to denature (add poison to) your alcohol, but you can run a still legally as long as you are making the alcohol as a fuel and not for human consumption.


36 posted on 05/16/2006 12:33:39 PM PDT by TKDietz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Al Gator; heldmyw
It is not illegal to distill alcohol for use as fuel. You can do it as long as you get a permit, denature your alcohol, and don't sell it. Farmers are increasingly doing this and I bet we see a lot more individuals and businesses doing it as gasoline process continue to rise. I'm seriously considering doing it myself, both to reduce my dependence on foreign oil and to save a little money, that and I just kind of like the idea of having a still.
37 posted on 05/16/2006 12:39:04 PM PDT by TKDietz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: TKDietz
That makes sense. There was a thread a while back about using enzimes to break up the cellulose -- so that entire corn stalks, etc. could be fermented. I wonder how the economics of that process will compare to burning the material for process heat.

I'm generally suspicious of anything that needs a government subsidy to work (beyond the initial R&D and startup phases). If people can make a profit from producing ethanol, then the onus will be on opponents to show why it isn't a good thing.
38 posted on 05/16/2006 12:40:10 PM PDT by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: TKDietz

"...as gasoline _process_ continue to rise."

Should have said: "...as gasoline _prices_ continue to rise."


39 posted on 05/16/2006 12:40:53 PM PDT by TKDietz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: USFRIENDINVICTORIA

enzimes = enzymes


40 posted on 05/16/2006 12:41:19 PM PDT by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: MainFrame65
any engine that uses a variable mixture of the two is not optimized.

Turbocharger and variable pressure wastegate. Viola variable compression ratios. (Granted those wastegates are'nt cheap, about $500 for my burner, but weeeee it sure makes avgas fun.)

41 posted on 05/16/2006 12:42:58 PM PDT by Dinsdale
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: oxcart
"The American Petroleum Institute, which represents the oil industry, is all for putting ethanol into gasoline but questions the wisdom of doing it yourself."

The ATF people might also question the wisdom... and legality.

42 posted on 05/16/2006 12:46:19 PM PDT by Labyrinthos
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: oxcart

Go to the Tennessean.com and you'll find pictures


43 posted on 05/16/2006 12:51:09 PM PDT by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, and writes again.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: USFRIENDINVICTORIA
I expect to see production costs go down as new technologies are introduced. Big companies are now getting in on the game and they'll figure out how to reduce costs. I just read that Chevron invested in a big ethanol plant that's being built. I think we'll see ethanol production costs going down while gasoline prices continue to rise.

I don't know just how much the ethanol industry is subsidized, but any need for subsidy should decrease as the price of oil climbs. I don't think we'll ever see really cheap oil prices again. Reserves are depleting and what is left is harder and more costly to get and refine. Also, demand for oil is increasing as countries like China and India become more industrialized and the people their want to live more like we live. The cost of producing ethanol relative to the cost of producing gasoline kept ethanol from being a viable option before. Now production costs for producing ethanol are going down while the cost of oil is rising so ethanol is looking a lot more promising.

In Brazil now from what I understand more than 40% of all fuel burned in passenger vehicles on their roads is ethanol. They no longer have to purchase foreign oil. From what I understand their ethanol industry is not subsidized, but taxes are lower on ethanol and cars capable of running on ethanol. They do have the advantage of having dirt cheap labor and huge amounts of sugar cane (much better than corn for ethanol production). I am confident that good old American ingenuity can level the playing field though.

One thing they have in Brazil that we should have here are cars capable of burning 100% ethanol, 100% gasoline, or any combination of the two. I think most of those cars are actually produced in the U.S., but they are not marketed here. An awful lot of our new cars are capable of burning E85 though. It costs very little extra to build cars that handle E85 and manufacturers get tax breaks for doing it, so apparently an awful lot of the new vehicles on the road will run on E85 (5 or 6 million to date) even though manufacturers weren't making a point of telling people about that. These tax breaks are a subsidy of sorts, but if it ends up reducing our dependence on foreign oil it's worth it. That's a matter of national security. And besides, it keeps some of the money we are giving to the Arabs here at home. I'd rather see American farmers and other American businesses rake in that money rather than some jerk offs who fund terrorists. Even our oil companies benefit to a degree because they get tax breaks for mixing ethanol with gasoline. They could benefit more if like Chevron they would get into producing ethanol.
44 posted on 05/16/2006 1:11:49 PM PDT by TKDietz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: Labyrinthos

"The ATF people might also question the wisdom... and legality."

It is perfectly legal as long as you have a permit. The permit for small scale production (up to 10,000 gallons per year) is not that hard to get. A lot of people have them.


45 posted on 05/16/2006 1:17:36 PM PDT by TKDietz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: TKDietz
While I am "suspicious" of subsidies -- I'm not opposed for them for a well-defined purpose. Given the geopolitics today, energy self sufficiency is probably worth a subsidy.

Anything that helps out rural communities is "a good thing" in my opinion. If large-scale ethanol production helps farming areas, and draws some people from large cities back to the small towns, that will be a huge spin-off benefit.
46 posted on 05/16/2006 1:18:57 PM PDT by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: TKDietz

Its not that simple.

First you apply to ATF. They tell you what you can have and what the capacity is.

They tell you they can show up at your place, any hour of the day OR NIGHT and check on you and your equipment, for compliance.

Gets pretty raggedy here, if you don't like the ATF, you have a problem.

Two, its a LOT OF WORK. Making the mash is a ten day ordeal that is time consuming and dirty.

Bakers yeast gives such a low yield, its practically worthless. Higher yield yeasts are expensive. Unless you culture your own, which takes even more time and is more labb intensive.

Try it if you like, but in short order, you will probably let every thing collect dust in the closet and your permit expire because you "just can't find the time".

Have fun though!

Ps. DO NOT GET CAUGHT DISTILLING DRINKABLE ETHANOL.

Bad move.


47 posted on 05/16/2006 1:20:37 PM PDT by Al Gator (Refusing to "stoop to your enemy's level", gets you cut off at the knees.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: Labyrinthos

Here's a link to the form you use to apply for a permit: http://www.ethanolstill.com/alcoholpermit.pdf


48 posted on 05/16/2006 1:20:40 PM PDT by TKDietz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: TKDietz

I didn't know that. Thanks.


49 posted on 05/16/2006 1:35:24 PM PDT by Labyrinthos
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: Al Gator

"Try it if you like, but in short order, you will probably let every thing collect dust in the closet and your permit expire because you "just can't find the time"."

That's no doubt true. It would end up in the closet with my beer making equipment, my metal detector, and all of the other hobby things I've purchased over the years and used very little before putting them away and forgetting about them. My wife just loves it when I do that. I would not be surprised at all though to see a lot more people getting into this, especially farmers and small business owners who want to save on fuel costs and take advantage of the tax savings. As time goes on I suspect we'll see a lot more ethanol available for purchase as well.


50 posted on 05/16/2006 2:08:08 PM PDT by TKDietz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 47 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-55 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson