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Old 07-16-2019, 03:11 PM   #21
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For decades Brazil has used waste sugarcane biomass to make methanol. Need to use waste to make it work. Legalize hemp I say!
Yes, ethanol. In their case they're not using 'sugar' as in white sugar. They're using what's left after extracting most of it. It's possible the quantities required might not be feasible in equipment haulable by a bus, but that is exactly the sort of thing guestimates cannot answer to my satisfaction.

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Old 07-16-2019, 03:11 PM   #22
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^^Biodiesel is quite different from waste vegetable oil..
The musician Fred Eaglesmith (he fixes The Eagles) tours in a bus that runs in vegetable oil

https://www.wichita.gov/News/Pages/2014-03-04a.aspx
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Old 07-16-2019, 03:14 PM   #23
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For decades Brazil has used waste sugarcane biomass to make methanol. Need to use waste to make it work. Legalize hemp I say!
Hemp is now legal in the US.
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Old 07-16-2019, 03:16 PM   #24
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Hemp is now legal in the US.
Let It Grow
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Old 07-16-2019, 03:50 PM   #25
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For a wonderment, I was trying to stay on the threads' track. Out of character, I know...
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I think a shorter path to that is recycling peoples trash oil. I though about it!

Thereís a YouTube series where these Aussie guys were pulling a biodiesel converter in a trailer. Even in the most favorable environments they still were challenged. Iíll post the video if I can find it.
A solar furnace could conceivably be used to heat the distilling kettle, but it would take a lot of fine tuning (both in the focal concentration and tracking the Sun) in order not to convert the water into vapor, too.
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Old 07-16-2019, 03:57 PM   #26
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Yes, ethanol. In their case they're not using 'sugar' as in white sugar. They're using what's left after extracting most of it. It's possible the quantities required might not be feasible in equipment haulable by a bus, but that is exactly the sort of thing guestimates cannot answer to my satisfaction.
Cmorgamskool gave you the bare-bones, pared-down quantities of the provisions required to generate a known volume of fuel suitable alcohol.
Not a guesstimate.
Just sayin'...
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Old 07-16-2019, 04:36 PM   #27
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I doubt distilling alcohol to use as a fuel for a bus is practical, but from experience gained as a youth, a bottle of 100 proof can get you back to the barracks late at night when you ran out of gas coming back from a party - it also works well as a disinfectant after getting dragged through a razor barb wire fence by an uncooperative foal ( different time of life and no drinking was involved )
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Old 07-16-2019, 04:53 PM   #28
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I like melting stuff with the fresnell lens on projection tv's.

Glad you posted that. I have one of those TV's I've been meaning to take to the dump. Looks like I'll salvage a few things off it first.
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Old 07-16-2019, 11:01 PM   #29
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I forgot to mention how much propane and how many hours it takes to boil off 400 gallons of liquid in this hypothetical. Iím going to guess it would cost $30 a gallon or more to produce at small scale. All alcohols are only cost effective to produce at industrial scale.
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Old 07-17-2019, 12:22 AM   #30
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As far as i see it, higher compression (required), cooler combustion, minimal point-of-use pollution, and abundant fuel source materials make it an obvious choice for the tropics, where, by the way, many good ole yellow buses end up in the afterlife. (whatever people say about quantities for the mash simply doesn't phase me. The earth produces vegetation almost as if it LIKED global warming)
It would certainly phase me. We've got a 6-window short bus we're struggling to find room in to host a shitter, much less a 400-gallon still, fermentation vessels, supporting equipment & containers, and - when talking unprocessed plant matter - literally tons of sugar-bearing veggies.

As for cooler combustion - I don't know if I'd view that as a positive. It's the direct result of significantly-reduced energy density compared to gasoline. So whatever lousy gas mileage you could expect to have gotten in a bus - particularly a heavily-laden bus - just got a lot lousier.

I think if it could be done, your whole life would pretty much revolve around producing enough fuel to get to your next stop.
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Old 07-17-2019, 08:29 AM   #31
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I had a classmate in college that was planning something similar. He was kind of a hillbilly and had experience in making moonshine before.

I'm a figures type person, so before he got too involved, we calculated up what it would cost per gallon to make the moonshine.

We came to the conclusion that it was easier and he'd be money ahead if he'd sell what he made as moonshine, then it was to burn it as fuel.

The only reason corn ethanol works as a viable fuel in the USA is the subsidies they receive for doing it and the scale they're doing it at.

Sugar Cane would work better for it, but that's not farmed to the same scale as corn is.
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Old 07-18-2019, 01:43 AM   #32
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Biodiesel (and liquid soap for that matter) can be economically produced from waste vegeable oil. However it takes a processor, time, and dilligence to keep up the production needed to be a reliable fuel source. In the US, you are limited to something like 10,000 gallons per year produced for fuel before taxes are levied.
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Old 08-07-2019, 11:42 AM   #33
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I agree with hazmat about the quantities not being a guesstimate. I have a still and the quantities are correct. Another thing you can ask any serious drag racer is it takes twice the volume of alcohol to get the same power output of gasoline. There are other advantages to alcohol for racing but cost is not one of them
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Old 08-07-2019, 04:24 PM   #34
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I should have said I agree with hazmats agreement with cmorganskool figures
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Old 08-18-2019, 12:08 PM   #35
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Stills are so cool. Iíd really like to mess around with one. Maybe build a more efficient wood stove such as a rocket stove batch heater and use this as a cogeneration unit for space heating and alcohol. Iíve tried biodiesel and veggie oil. What a mess!! Yucky stuff to collect, store, and dispose of. My supplier kept dumping water and gross stuff in it. With fuel one needs a reliable source obviously.
I have a trailer I was going to put a bunch of energy stuff on. I wouldnít even consider it inside my bus. I still may do the energy trailer and a small still just for fun.
Thereís a huge book I bought called Alcohol is a Gas that shows many projects with alcohol worldwide. Fun book to read. Good illustrations.
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Old 08-26-2019, 01:26 PM   #36
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Try woodgas! I had my Toyota truck running off a home made unit I built from junk after watching YouTube videos. The spectrum of possable fuel sources is huge!
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Old 10-11-2019, 10:05 AM   #37
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I looked for a thread on this and didn't find one so here goes.
Has anyone run there bus on straight alcohol? What did you have to change to make it work? Has anyone made there own fuel alcohol? What resources would you recommend to learn about both making the fuel and running a bus on it?

I am looking to convert an older(precomputer) bus bit haven't settled on a particular model. I want to be able to produce my own fuel and alcohol looks most practical for me at the moment, though I have researched wood gassification as well and if it could be made to work reasonably well might go that route.
IF you want to make your own fuel I'd suggest a diesel, IF you can find waste oil for free that is, or dirt cheap. I refine my own waste oils (hydros, ATF, brake fluid, power steering, motor oil (anything but veggie for me)).
Def easier than brewing up alcohol. I've been using it in trucks for years I cut it 80% waste to 20% off road diesel and haven't had a problem with it. Though if you do this I'd suggest a engine that uses HEUI injection as the fuel isn't ran through a high pressure fuel pump to destroy (HEUIs use high pressure oil to actuate the injectificators and they can put up with contaminated/dirty fuel more so than the others.
Use a centerfuge to clean up the fuel if you can throw a few hundred at your refiltering equip and if your real serious about it then you can distill it to make it super clean (I have but usually don't). $20 in diesel lasts me about 600 miles in a full sized F350.
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Old 10-11-2019, 10:20 AM   #38
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I tinkered with ethanol a bit.

I found it to be as much or more work to make than biodiesel. Finding cost effective fermentables was a big downside.

The only source I found that was cost effective was sugar that didn't not meet spec for human consumption. Unfortunately it was only available by the rail car load

Now, if you can crack the cellulosic (sp?) ethanol puzzle I have a few hundred tons of wheat straw available down the street.
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Old 10-11-2019, 11:11 AM   #39
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How about biogas as a fuel source? Again, the potential feedstocks for such a system are far and wide.
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