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DIY Ethanol: Startup E-Fuel to Sell Ethanol Kit

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Backyard biofuels is the latest venture of entrepreneurs Floyd Butterfield and Thomas Quinn. The two have started the E-Fuel Corporation, which will sell a washer-and-dryer-sized home ethanol system called the E-Fuel 100 MicroFueler for $10,000 (though it could be half of that with government incentives) according to a profile in the New York Times.

The system requires sugar plus yeast to create ethanol (no surprise there) and the company says the MicroFueler can make ethanol for a dollar a gallon. One of the product’s innovations is supposedly an advanced membrane distiller that can separate water from alcohol with fewer steps and lower heat than other ethanol systems.

Who are the guys behind the DIY ethanol kit? The article says Butterfield has been working on ethanol still designs for decades, and Quinn is responsible for innovations like the motion sensor in the Nintendo Wii.

While we applaud the distributed and DIY aspect of the duo’s design, we don’t think the technology will be as revolutionary as the entrepreneurs tell the Times:

“It’s going to cause havoc in the market and cause great financial stress in the oil industry,” Mr. Quinn boasts.

If this technology could offer something to the commercial world and help ethanol producers become more distributed, then the product could be game-changing. But as a backyard, DIY biofuel system? We’re thinking the hobbyists will be the most impressed.

11 Responses to “DIY Ethanol: Startup E-Fuel to Sell Ethanol Kit”

  1. Live in Costa Rica, and I have an interest in your machine. Have 350 orange trees and most just goes to waste. Any possibility for using this juice to make ethanol with your machine.

  2. Jai Paul

    I would like to get in touch with the designers to learn more about the product.I have numerous design/product/marketing adeas which will help launch this product world wide.
    Jai paul Chief Engineer Fortis Hospital Faridabad 00 91 9871094656 [email protected]

  3. Jeffrey DeWitt

    Fine, how long until someone starts drinking this stuff… sounds like what the moonshiners have been doing for at least a couple of hundred years.

    What to the “revenours” think of this?

  4. For the last eighty plus years the south has been producing moonshine for less than .50 cents per gallon
    Please be advised, this process is no different than having your own personal still.

  5. =v= “[T]he only cost is for the electricity used in processing.” So long as you completely ignore ECOLOGICAL costs, which are supposedly the reason for doing this in the first place? Hello?

    And I suppose that sugar ships itself overseas with no impact whatsoever.