View Full Version : New User Potatoes, Sugar Beet, Jerusalem artichoke

24th February 2008, 03:27 PM
I am currently growing Jerusalem artichoke to hopefully next year turn into ethanol. But currently have a large Potatoes surplus. Is it hard to make ethanol out of Potatoes.

My experience to date has been only to make ethanol from sugar and turbo yeast. Then distilled to about 85 % proof, running in my Honda Genset, and Water pump with good results. Lots of reading on the web, but doing is not the same as reading.

Currently using about 20 Litres per week, as we run on Solar power and only have 1KWh of panels and use about 7KWh day. So have to make up 50% of our power with petrol.

Have lots of wood to use as a fuel source, cant use electricity. Just got five 200 litre drums to make into a large still and fermentor.


Chris Scanlan

24th February 2008, 07:33 PM
i'm not sure that many on this forum are too up to speed on ethanol production. You could get a diesel genny they are more effient and you could run it on bio diesel or WVO.could save you some biccys

Tony From West Oz
25th February 2008, 01:07 AM
Vodka is made from potato. There are plenty of ethanol and brewing sites on the internet, just google "potato" and "alcohol" and I am sure you will find suitable recipes.

You may also consider anerobic compositing of the plant matter to produce methane, which can be used to power spark ignition engines..

Keep up the fgood work and don't forget, demand side management has potential to reduce your power shortfall.


25th February 2008, 02:58 AM
Not sure if this will help you...

How To Make Potato Vodka on Squidoo (http://www.squidoo.com/How-To-Make-Potato-Vodka)

I would assume you could modify the recipe to achieve a higher alcohol content.

Please let us know if you are successful.

Good Luck!

25th February 2008, 06:05 PM
Thank you for your responses, have kept away from diesel as it takes a lot more land to grow an oil crop compared to a sugar / starch. The methane idea is worth a try as I would not have to distill anything and no legal problem. Do you know what sort of yields for methane? I thought you had to use manure.

Tony From West Oz
25th February 2008, 08:36 PM
You can use any biological product to produce methane in an anerobic digester.
Divert the toilet effluent, all food wastes (after passing thru pets, chooks, etc) and all garden prunings and weeds (chopped into suitably small pieces to assist decomposition) into the digester.
Most likely you will need to use a batch operation and store feedstock until the current batch output drops below your needs (or operate 2 batches with staggered clean-outs), before re-charging and continuing the process (it could be that a new batch takes some time to become productive - no experience here, just read some)

Cold climates may require that you insulate the digester to enable year-round operation.

Google is your friend, there is a lot of info out there on methane.