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Thread: New forum for Ethanol

  1. #21
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    Re: New forum for Ethanol

    G Day Peter,
    Give me a few days and I will work something out.
    What variety of grape ?The pdf file Robert posted for me has a breakdown on the grape pulp content.
    I will have to dig up some Uni notes and revisit chapters.Cool.Will do mate.
    Have you got my private mail addy.Post it there.I will send you a pager with details.Also get skype.www.skype.com .It's for free and we can talk.
    Cheers
    Sauman

    Well I really love the Gong .Used to zoom down there with a mate and his Norton.Those were the days.Nostalgia.!!!Maybe one day some day in the near future again.

  2. #22
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    Re: New forum for Ethanol

    Quote Originally Posted by Healthy Earth
    Sauman,
    Mate I am about to apply for a liquor licence for another project i am on, so I will start to make enquires on legality of distilling fuel.
    It will take a while, mate do you have any Idea how much ethanol can be produced from a ton of grapes with a Baume of say 15? That would be a good bench mark.
    I know our paths are going to meet.
    Pete.
    Hi Peter
    There is no law against making Ethanol (read drinking spirit) rum whiskey grappa etc for your OWN use
    Now I don't see that as legislation stands currently it would be illegal to produce Ethanol for ones own use in a motor car
    In so far as how much you will get out of a tonne of grapes here it goes:
    Tonne of grapes= 750 litres of juice after crushing
    Standard fermentation=14.8% alcohol method as applied into red wine
    Yield of alcohol=111 litres of 100% alcohol per tonne of grapes
    Now, there are breeds of yeasts available especially bred for Ethanol production that will push the alcohol content up to 18%
    That is given sufficient food for them to convert into alcohol (sugar therefore high Baume)
    On the assumption that you will crush your grapes without separating the marc as well as stems you will increase production of alcohol by a further 4%
    This will also release fusel oil into your ethanol as well as other oils contained in the grape seeds, cannot make comments about that at the present I will find out
    You will also have to consider that the balance of the waste will have to be disposed of
    Sure you can make compost out of it But before you do take a trip up to Mildura and have a look at what happens to it
    The only thing they do is feed it to the cows as a part of their ration no more than 15%
    My mate has a contract from all the wineries there to cart the stuff away to a tartaric acid extraction plant
    He then tries to get rid of it 35,000 tonne of it per year a hard task
    There is mountains of it
    The seeds persist for years if you compost areobically
    In an anaerobic high temperature composting method you will get them to break down into compost which is about as good as teats on a bull
    I started with the same idea, the stuff refuses to break down after 3 years with a 40% moisture content in the compost piles turning them daily I had 1500 tonne of it as I only had to pay for transport of about 10 K
    If you put it out fresh you kill the ground as it ferments producing alcohol that kills just about everything besides taking out all available O as well as anything that will dilute from the fermenting liquor
    The next door neighbors cows did jump the fence and got stuck into it (Mate have you ever seen a p..sed cow? there was about thirty of them the would not do anything, just wobbled on the spot trying to stay up quite funny, we both had a good laugh)
    It seems to me that the reason that grapes are not used for ethanol production is due to the low yield as well as disposal issues with the remnants
    As an example Manildra produces ethanol from wheat starch which gives about 430 litres of alcohol per tonne with the best yielder being Corn or maize as we call it here about 485 L per tonne
    CSR produces it from Molasses a waste product in the sugar making process
    Furthermore it takes about 2.5 ML of water to get a yield of 5-6 tonne of grapes per acre which is an expensive commodity
    Say at $100 per meg as well as pumping costs at $34 per ML besides any inputs pruning picking crushing and then fermentation as well as distilling it is just not on whichever way you look at it
    Compared with wheat or barley for that matter that are grown in non irrigated areas
    It is just a waste of resources, for, the end result does not equate environmentally as well as economically
    Don't get me wrong about renewable fuels, but not grapes
    Peter the numbers are way out even if you where to add a further $1 per litre it does not work with grapes
    By the way the most you can distill out in any still is 95.1 % of alcohol from whatever source
    The process at that point becomes azeotropic it stops separating
    The balance of say 5% water has to be removed
    This done with either a flash evaporator or dried out in an absorbing bed which has to be re generated using heat
    Fuel ethanol is about 99.8% pure denatured with petrol as required by law Butanol is another denaturant
    As Sauman said energy in energy out
    This one is a bummer even if someone gives you the grapes for free
    My last visit to Mildura was witness to that (Monday gone)
    Grapes left on the vines dried up with a distilling plant available there mothballed for the last 10 odd years
    These grapes were not worth picking they will be removed during pruning The prunnings will be set alight and the dried grapes will be gone at least putting some potash back into the ground as done there for the last 100 years
    Cheers
    Chris

    Cheers
    Chris

  3. #23
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    Re: New forum for Ethanol

    Excellent Post Chris.Well researched and very very clear.
    You said it all.
    You are indeed a multi skilled walking dictionary.Guess thats what legends are made off.Besides being the Tong Man.
    And thanks for that .You saved me going back to my notes.
    Peter ,Chris has spelt it all out for you.

    Cheers
    Sauman

  4. #24
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    Tasmania
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    Re: New forum for Ethanol

    I'll show my ignorance here, can anyone explain why people distill biomass ethanol and not biomass butanol and can it be used in place of methanol in biodiesel production. And as butanol can be used at 100% why it isn't home brewed. I assume you'd be able to use the mass waste from crushing oil seeds and other biomass to do it, even add some white sugar. What alterations are required to suamans still if any, to get butanol rather than ethanol.

    I can get a reflux still to do 20lt, but it uses 2000w ($600) but I'd like to use solar or biofuels to run it. I can't find any plans telling me exactly how to solar power a reflux still. If I could get them, I'd make a hybrid to run on solar as well as biofuels like methane

    The further time goes on, the more I feel we really have to cover all our fuel requirements, for both diesel and petrol. There's so many small engines running on petrol, used for a myriad of industries and past times. I have chainsaws, pumps, brushcutters, lawn mowers, outboards etc, can't run them on biodiesel or straight ethanol.

    Considering the direction our leaders are taking us, we may well have to provide for each other, as they have no plans and their intentions mean nothing will happen for many years on a big enough scale to support the populace.

    After all, the middle east is increasingly becoming a basket case. What would happen to the oil fields, if someone drops a nuke, bet they don't know, but it may be environmentaly catastrophic, stopping all oil from the region. May be we could make butanol, make biodiesel, recover the butanol, then put it in the motor scooter, or V8.

    Just a thought

  5. #25
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    Jun 2006
    Location
    melbourne
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    Re: New forum for Ethanol

    Hi All
    Tks for the good words Sauman It is a simple case of hard work mate Dissemination of knowledge is part of our being as human beings
    In my view the more people know the better place this will be for all of humanity for now and for the future
    It is rather sad that the mass communication system as it exists today is quite poor in this regard
    There is a lot of sensantionalism as well as a lot of misinformation rather than hard facts
    Now back to the ethanol issue:
    Having elaborated on a previous post about grapes as a source of feedstock for the production of Ethanol I will now expound upon the issue looking into grains as a feedstock
    The important production cost element is not so much the cost of the grain but the cost of starch.
    One tonne of starch will produce around 620 litres of ethanol.
    This translates to grain at 60% starch producing 360 litres of ethanol, which at 70% starch the grain will produce 420 litres of ethanol (an increase of 17%).
    With the sale price of ethanol valued between 50 and 60 cents per litre the cost of starch is the critical issue for any grain ethanol producer.
    Given that molasses are offered at less than $80 per tonne ex sugar mill one can see the disparity
    There are mills in far north QLD that as recent as a year ago where giving the stuff away
    My recent call to a molasses supplier in Melbourne also verified less than $200 per tonne delivered Melbourne metro
    Considering transport costs from up the top that is a reasonable cost as it will yield about the same amount of Ethanol as a tonne of low grade feed grain
    It is to be kept in mind that 4 KG of molasses will produce 1 KG of Ethanol or about 260 litres of Ethanol per tonne which is not bad for a by product
    Molasses can be used directly as the feedstock for the fermenting liquor to produce beer or high wine as it is called
    Starch has to go through a fermentation process first so as to convert the starches into sugar first by the appropriate enzymes, then a different strain of enzyme has to be introduced so as to convert these sugars to alcohol which is then distilled so as to produce fuel

    One tonne of starch grain will generate the following:
    • 620 litres of ethanol (200% proof) 99.8% purity
    • 430kg of wet distillers grain (30% solids) sold for stockfeed
    • up to 2 kilolitres of waste water containing a trace of minerals and a minimal amount of organic matter remaining
    Now to obtain the same qty of Ethanol from grapes we will need about 3 times the amount of grape juice which will of course generate the same amount of waste water
    There will be no distillers grain to sell to stock feed people which will not help the ethanol from grapes case
    Here is a list of starch content of various grains
    For any one contemplating Ethanol production from this source as grain produced on farm that has been damaged by frost or is unsalable for a reasonable price
    Wheat 65%
    Barley 60%
    Maize 70%
    Shorgum 75%
    These figures are rounded off a bit
    It should be pointed out that an extra step is involved in the production of Ethanol from grain
    That is the sacharification of the starch into sugars which of course are already present naturally in fruit as well as cane sugar or molasses
    Molasses is the most common source of feedstock worldwide for ethanol production in sugar producing countries
    It also applies for sugar produced from beets as done in Europe as well as elsewhere sugar cane is not grown
    The massive installations in the US of Ethanol producing plants from Corn or maize it is in my view a terrible waste of human foodstuff in a hungry world
    Of course this installations are being put up so as to get the subsidy offered by the Government there not for any altruistic reason such as environmental benefits or the well being of the farmer
    Nevertheless Ethanol even though is a renewable source of energy it is a very energy hungry derived fuel in all aspects
    There are a lot of views as to wether this is a positive or negative energy fuel depending of which group you listening to
    In my view the only benefit that I can see clearly is very low emissions
    With the exclusion of utilising a by product such as molasses cannery waste or rotten fruit unsuitable for human consumption, to produce ethanol from any other source will be a marginal excersise
    Molasses is a product with a very low value from our extensive sugar growing as well as refining activities in this country
    For Australia to produce Ethanol from molasses seems to me a fair proposition
    Th facility should be placed close to a sugar mill, as most sugar mills are very close to sugar cane producing farms the waste water can be put to good use in growing another crop
    Producing ethanol from grains as well as expensive crops like grapes it would be a waste of effort as well as resources
    If low emissions are a sufficient benefit for ethanol production from other sources than molasses as well as food waste I am not so sure
    I am willing to be pointed to sources of information that show otherwise
    Cheers
    Chris

  6. #26
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    Re: New forum for Ethanol

    [quote=Chris]Hi All
    Tks for the good words Sauman It is a simple case of hard work mate Dissemination of knowledge is part of our being as human beings
    In my view the more people know the better place this will be for all of humanity for now and for the future
    It is rather sad that the mass communication system as it exists today is quite poor in this regard
    There is a lot of sensantionalism as well as a lot of misinformation rather than hard facts

    You have floored me again and I think everyone else in the forum.Excellent presentation of hard facts.JUST WOW.!!!

    Mate you are indeed a walking encyclopedia and the tong man .
    Bet you cook a mean bar-be.Can't wait to catch up.Don't worry I will bring a bag of mystic herbs from India.
    Cheers
    Sauman

  7. #27
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    Re: New forum for Ethanol

    Quote Originally Posted by Alga
    I'll show my ignorance here, can anyone explain why people distill biomass ethanol and not biomass butanol and can it be used in place of methanol in biodiesel production. And as butanol can be used at 100% why it isn't home brewed. I assume you'd be able to use the mass waste from crushing oil seeds and other biomass to do it, even add some white sugar. What alterations are required to suamans still if any, to get butanol rather than ethanol.

    I can get a reflux still to do 20lt, but it uses 2000w ($600) but I'd like to use solar or biofuels to run it. I can't find any plans telling me exactly how to solar power a reflux still. If I could get them, I'd make a hybrid to run on solar as well as biofuels like methane

    The further time goes on, the more I feel we really have to cover all our fuel requirements, for both diesel and petrol. There's so many small engines running on petrol, used for a myriad of industries and past times. I have chainsaws, pumps, brushcutters, lawn mowers, outboards etc, can't run them on biodiesel or straight ethanol.

    Considering the direction our leaders are taking us, we may well have to provide for each other, as they have no plans and their intentions mean nothing will happen for many years on a big enough scale to support the populace.

    After all, the middle east is increasingly becoming a basket case. What would happen to the oil fields, if someone drops a nuke, bet they don't know, but it may be environmentaly catastrophic, stopping all oil from the region. May be we could make butanol, make biodiesel, recover the butanol, then put it in the motor scooter, or V8.

    Just a thought
    Hi There
    Butanol can be produced by an aerobic fermentation of carbohydrates diluted in water with the addition of some minor micronutrients in the feedstock
    In this process the feedstock has to be very pure as the fermenting liquor has to be kept at a Ph of 7.2 which is very close to neutral to favour Butanol production
    This is unlike the fermentation of "beer" for the production of Ethanol which favours an acidic environment in the liquor of around Ph 4.6 to a Ph of 5.6 which effectively kills other bacteria as well as other enzymes
    Introduction of specific enzymes is very critical for the production of Butanol
    They are not hard to obtain in themselves but it is very hard to keep your brew from contamination by other "Wild" strains of bugs which will spoil your brew
    The process also yields isopropyl alcohol, ethanol, some methanol, fusel oil, as well as some other components which will not matter much if you are to use the Butanol for fuel
    Of course the resulting fermentation products have to be separated from the water which is done by distillation
    Now if you want to get purer products out of the fermentation process you have to use a fractionating distillation column and draw out the condensing liquids at different points along the length of the said column
    The alternative of course is to use the same still and do a double or a triple distillation,
    It goes like this, the first distilled product is distilled a second time the resulting products done a third time
    These steps are of course carried out at different temperatures according to the products contained in the brew resulting from the original feedstock based on their boiling point as well as their dew point
    A reflux still with a single distillation will be quite ok if you wish to burn the stuff in an engine, however the resulting distilled product will be a mixture of all of above mentioned products
    Finally you need lots and lots of time in your hands to watch the stuff coming out of the still a drop at a time even in a single step
    If you want to use the stuff to run your V8 that would be have to be a very big still indeed
    Cheers
    Chris

  8. #28
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    Re: New forum for Ethanol

    Hi Chris
    What an excellent post again.Man people would pay a motza to a consultant to just say what you did.And that to those guys would take a few weeks + fancy documentation+confusing bomblasting brain teasing words>which they can inly understand.To say what you said in about 1000 words.
    Keep it simple.Thats the way me mate.
    Sharing is caring.Love it.Keep it mate.

    Cheers
    Sauman

  9. #29
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    Nov 2005
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    Re: New forum for Ethanol

    Thanks Chris, excellent I understand a lot more now. I think I will play around with it and see how I go. I have small reflux still but will build a bigger one for butanol if I ever get round to it, or are forced to by circumstance.

  10. #30
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    Re: New forum for Ethanol

    Quote Originally Posted by Alga
    Thanks Chris, excellent I understand a lot more now. I think I will play around with it and see how I go. I have small reflux still but will build a bigger one for butanol if I ever get round to it, or are forced to by circumstance.
    Hi Alga
    If you have a small still and want to muck around a bit with ethanol as I have already said you will only get at best about 95.1 % purity
    That would be called Hydrous Ethanol the balance would be water
    The Ethanol for use as engine fuel is called Anhydrous Ethanol
    Now you can dehydrate the resulting distilled Ethanol from your small still in a bed of dry Corn or as we call it here Maize husks
    If they have been dried out completely and chopped up so as to pack down evenly and tightly
    You can put a layer of them in a containing vessel preferably something with a say 8 to 1 length to diameter ratio, let's say a length of pipe of six inch diameter about 48' long with a funnel style discharge at the bottom as well as some kind of a valve or tap
    Put about 24" to 36" of ground husks at the bottom of the pipe and pour the ethanol through them
    It will take out most of the water within the Ethanol and you will have a fairly good result without great loses to mix with your dino petrol
    Let the ethanol drain out from the bottom slowly so as it can reside as long as possible
    That way the husks will absorb as much water as they can and you can recover the maximum amount of dehydrated Ethanol
    If you also want to recover the remainder of the ethanol in the husks and given that you have used a stainless steel tube this is what you can do
    You can pour some water down there and recover a bit more of it which you can use as part of your feed stock in the next distillation
    Alternative uses would be to invite all your Italian friends around for a shot or two of a reasonably good Grappa
    You can dry the husks in the sun (when you get some in Tassie) and use them again and again
    Cheers
    Chris

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