Homemade Ethanol, How to Make E85 at Home

Homemade ethanol is a wonderful liquid. If you like the ideas of saving money, protecting the environment, and being more self-reliant, then you have come to the right place to learn how to make homemade ethanol! As we have discussed, most cars can run homemade e85 ethanol as a fuel source as an inexpensive homemade alternative fuel to gasoline. Conversion kits can take a non-e85 ready car and make it ready for homemade flex fuel. Once you have the vehicle, the next step is the e85 ethanol fuel. But where to get it, especially if there isn't a single e85 station in the state you live in? The answer, of course, is homemade ethanol.

But before we go headfirst into a 50 gallon drum of cellulosic material and sulphuric acid, lets take a minute to consider the safety measures and the process one should follow if they wish to make ethanol. After all, we don't need the consumption of a renewable resource to be more trouble than it is worth, do we? The best that can happen is we succeed in learning how to make homemade e85 ethanol, producing our own homemade ethanol fuel, and saving a few bucks and doing less harm to the environment. The worst that could happen is serious to fatal injury, but that is highly unlikely, especially if we proceed with caution.

Homemade Ethanol Safety

Home made ethanol safety is criticial, especially if you are going to make homemade cellolusic ethanol. If you are just making ethanol from sugar, all you really need are some goggles and some kind of face mask, such as a surgeon's mask. The fumes that are emitted from the ethanol production process are not likely to do any serious harm, but they could. At best, they may just make you a little nauseous. For that reason, any moist, permeable human membrane (eyes, mouth, nose), and of course the lungs, should be kept out of the fumes. Gloves would hurt, but the only things you may come in contact with are sugar and yeast... not such a threat to human skin. Cellulosic ethanol is a little different in that one of the most common ingredients is sulphuric acid, which has a reputation of being unkind to human skin. So if you pursue that route, make absolutely sure to get gloves that are resistant to that acid!

Homemade ethanol process

The FIRST step of the homemade ethanol process is to get yourself a goverment license from the UAF.

    Homemade ethanol hardware
  • 10-55 gallon drum
  • Ethanol Still
  • Empty containers for the 'liquid sunshine'
  • Heat producer (may be built into still)
    Fuel for the fuel
  • sugar
  • yeast
  • energy (heat)

Basically you put the sugar in the drum with water and yeast, the yeast eats the sugar over a couple of days and releases ethanol into the solution. The solution is distilled (with heat) until it is clean enough to use as fuel. Cellulosic ethanol requires an additional step. You don't need sugar, however, because the additional step is to make it out of cellulose. This is a great method because many waste products contain cellulose and can essentially be recycled through the vessel that is homemade cellulosic ethanol. This is where the acid comes in. It will turn the cellulose into 'wood sugar', which can then be treated with yeast to make the homemade ethanol soup.

Good news for cellulosic ethanol!!! In March of 2008, University of Maryland researchers discovered saccharophagus degradans. What, you ask, is that? It is the scientific name for a bacteria that can consume almost any kind of biomass and in one step convert it into sugar. Not just celloluse, but other biomass as well. It's not as caustic as acid, either.