Beer and Driving Don’t Mix—Unless It’s in the Tank
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by Kevin Maddaford on 02/06/2009
A home ethanol machine will turn a brewer’s yeast into ethanol for use in vehicles.
The EFuel100 MicroFueler is a $9,995, refrigerator-sized home ethanol maker introduced last year by E-Fuel. The machine is designed to produce the fuel wherever it is consumed by fermenting a mixture of water and sugar into ethanol. Sierra Nevada will use discarded, "bottom of the barrel" beer yeast (of which it generates 1.6 million gallons annually) leftover from the brewing process as a feedstock for the EFuel100.
Ethanol is typically mixed with gasoline at 10%, and this can increase to 85% for use in flex fuel vehicles. Sierra Nevada plans on using the ethanol it produces to power its own vehicles and will look at broader distribution once they produce more than they need. You can read more about this at CNET News here.
This is another great example of things we consider "waste" being used to create power. The more we learn to maximize our use of resources across their life cycle, both through new technology and new mindsets, the better equipped we will be to minimize our impact on the environment. And if some beer has to be brewed to help us along the way, then so be it.
Kevin Maddaford is a Customer Service and Resource Development Associate at Renewable Choice Energy.