Suburban grass clippings, landfill or ethanol?

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Suburban grass clippings, landfill or ethanol?

Postby BiGs » Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:15 am

I am in the middle of some research in building a sustainable ethanol fuel source for myself and immediate family. At the moment I have only sourced information from internet sources although I plan to go to the local libraries as well. I also have David Blumes encyclopedia sized book on the subject but havent had a chance to read any part of it in depth yet as family members keep borrowing it from me, but I do plan on getting into this book too.

I live in suburban Sydney and like mentioned in one of David Blume's video lectures I see allot of grass clipping from local council and private lawn mowing businesses being thrown into green waste landfill. So far during my research I haven't found any detailed information on grass apart from that it is cellulose based, difficult to do for the home brewer and that not much R&D has gone into it. And I got most of that info from this nice info source: http://journeytoforever.org/biofuel_library/ethanol_motherearth/meCh5.html

Does this type of grass contain any starches at all?
What kind of methods are there to combat this evil "lignin" stuff?
Does anyone have any experience with cellulose mashing?

Thanks ahead for sharing.
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Re: Suburban grass clippings, landfill or ethanol?

Postby rad14701 » Thu Jan 20, 2011 6:19 am

Welcome to the HD forums, BiGs...

Grass clippings, as well as most other organic waste, primarily produces methane gas during decomposition, not ethanol... Work is being done on enzymes that will break down cellulose for fermentation purposes, however... Do a Google search for "cellulosic ethanol" for more information about the potential of making use of waste grasses...

Some of the information on the Mother Earth News (Journey To Forever) site is started to become a bit outdated... There are newer resources available...

Good luck...
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Re: Suburban grass clippings, landfill or ethanol?

Postby The Baker » Thu Jan 20, 2011 6:25 am

If you can learn how to capture and use the methane (well proven technology) you can heat the still with it, and use it for other heating and motor purposes (internal combustion engines and steam engines). Then make good compost from what's left.
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Re: Suburban grass clippings, landfill or ethanol?

Postby BiGs » Thu Jan 20, 2011 7:05 am

Thanks for the welcome and speedy reply. I will look into "cellulosic ethanol" thanks for the tip. A quick read indicates that there is once again much more process involved but has potential I think later on. I do have a backup plan, my mother lives on a 300 acre block and is keen to grow an ethanol garden and house the still etc. I think we should do this to start with, just to learn the whole process and maybe try cellulosic ethanol down the line. Im a boilermaker by trade and will probably whip up a small still without a problem and start playing around. Ill make a thread when I have progress. I will probably build something similar to this: http://journeytoforever.org/biofuel_lib ... eCh9a.html for a first still, with a mud brick firebox perhaps.

Thanks for the help. If anyone else has anything to say about cellulosic ethanol experience please post.

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Re: Suburban grass clippings, landfill or ethanol?

Postby BiGs » Thu Jan 20, 2011 7:15 am

The Baker wrote:If you can learn how to capture and use the methane (well proven technology) you can heat the still with it, and use it for other heating and motor purposes (internal combustion engines and steam engines). Then make good compost from what's left.


Thats a good idea mate but I wouldn't know where to start. One thing at a time I think. But thanks for the suggestion.
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Re: Suburban grass clippings, landfill or ethanol?

Postby rad14701 » Thu Jan 20, 2011 7:22 am

BiGs, you can do much better by doing a bit of research here in these very forums... Most of the reflux columns, whether Liquid Management (LM) or Vapor Management (VM) are capable of producing 95% ethanol... You want to use copper or stainless steel for your components, not pipe as was used in the original Mother Earth News articles...

Believe it or not, I was a subscriber of Mother Earth News back when those articles were originally published... Back in the day...
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Re: Suburban grass clippings, landfill or ethanol?

Postby BiGs » Thu Jan 20, 2011 7:26 am

rad14701 wrote:BiGs, you can do much better by doing a bit of research here in these very forums... Most of the reflux columns, whether Liquid Management (LM) or Vapor Management (VM) are capable of producing 95% ethanol... You want to use copper or stainless steel for your components, not pipe as was used in the original Mother Earth News articles...

Believe it or not, I was a subscriber of Mother Earth News back when those articles were originally published... Back in the day...


I see. Then I will definitely read up here then. I was a bit skeptical about using mild steel. I think the cost just jumped xD
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Re: Suburban grass clippings, landfill or ethanol?

Postby azeo » Thu Jan 20, 2011 4:59 pm

welcome, grass clippings and cellulosic material have huge potential for fuel, but especially so for very large scale production, the kind that is required to displace petroleum. The key to using cellulose is in the pre-treatment stage, where cellulose needs to be exposed some means (it's encased in protective lignin) to enzyme or acid activity to convert it to sugars.

This can be quite "difficult" to do effectively without the right process and equipment, and although a certain yield can be obtained just by pulverising apparently, and grass may be one of the easier ones with less lignin than wood for eg., an effective pre-treatment method will make it much more worthwhile.

There seems to be quite a bit of work going on by certain groups at the moment to take industrial methods of pre-treatment, optimised fermentation etc, and make them accessable for small scale producers, and do-able at the small and farm scale.

A good idea could be to trot on over to the yahoo ethanol fuel group (http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/alcoholfuel/), there are some people there doing fantastic work with cellulosic treatments, cattail crops etc, a lot of co-operation, effort going on, and there could well be something coming out of this soon that makes some cellulosic materials realistic to process at home or on a small scale.

This would be the best place to keep in touch with the latest discussions/possibilities, and a good site for fuel ethanol in general. Another alternative is bio-diesel, possibly with the land and climate you have access to, some vegetable oil crops could be a real possibility/adjunct too.

With enough land, sunshine and water, it will certainly be easier, much easier to begin with sugar and starch based crops. Access to 300 multi-use acres and only small scale production could well produce enough alcohol without looking at cellulosic crops, and a good place to start to get through learning curves etc.

It's still very feasible to use lignin based material as a fuel though, and this would be a good way to use it while investigating any ethanol production methods, crops etc.

I posted some links in the generator thread, they may be of interest also - good luck! let us know how you go.
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Re: Suburban grass clippings, landfill or ethanol?

Postby blanikdog » Thu Jan 20, 2011 5:27 pm

BiGs wrote:
The Baker wrote:If you can learn how to capture and use the methane (well proven technology) you can heat the still with it, and use it for other heating and motor purposes (internal combustion engines and steam engines). Then make good compost from what's left.


Thats a good idea mate but I wouldn't know where to start. One thing at a time I think. But thanks for the suggestion.


Remember the hullabaloo at Cranburne Baker, when the local land fill had houses built nearby and the methane began to leak into the houses filling the buggers with gas. I understand that they now have vent pipes all over the place. Housing is very economical there now. :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Suburban grass clippings, landfill or ethanol?

Postby The Baker » Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:32 am

BiGs, my main point was that the methane is currently well proven and practicable, with, I understand, not much involved in the set up, especially if you are only using it for heating. For example boiling the wash you will distill to get ethanol.

Making ethanol from clippings, etc., is the subject of a lot of research and will no doubt come to pass as a practicable operation. But my reading of the alcoholfuel site seems to show that it is not ready yet, especially for an enthusiastic newbie. If you are interested in being involved in the research, and trying it out, that would be fine, but probably not as a going operation, yet.

blanik, yes I remember the houses built on a methane-producing old rubbish tip site; caused a lot of angst at the time.
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Re: Suburban grass clippings, landfill or ethanol?

Postby BiGs » Sun Apr 24, 2011 4:21 am

So, i've changed plans now. We are going to use the property to produce some starchy crop to experiment with. Im having trouble which to choose, maybe you guys could help. Ideally we want a highest yielding crop that will not only survive in the Sydney basin bushlands area without much attention but will not be dug up and eaten by any wallaby that hops by. Im wanting this because I don't want to have to protect every square meter of this crop from the local animals with enclosures. It would be much easier if I could simply go on a planting spree on the mountainside and leave them be for many months of growth, maybe only watering them when seedlings. Im not sure how feasible this is however.

With little research ive done by just talking to some of the neighbors the best crop ive come up with is Arrowroot. Wiki says 23% starch (is this ok % in terms of ethanol production?) and locals say the wildlife do not eat this stuff and it actually spreads and expands by itself too. What are your thoughts on this? Or have you guys got any other suggestions to research ?

p.s. I remember seeing a graph online about the top crop yield per acre with seasonal periods etc but cannot find it now, can anyone link me who knows?
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Re: Suburban grass clippings, landfill or ethanol?

Postby rad14701 » Sun Apr 24, 2011 6:41 am

BiGs, make sure you weigh out the difference between crop loss versus starch conversion... Would you rather lose a small percentage of sugar crop or spend money converting starches to fermentable sugars...??? Think "look before you leap"...
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Re: Suburban grass clippings, landfill or ethanol?

Postby Dnderhead » Sun Apr 24, 2011 10:14 am

I thank If I was to raise something for fuel Id try jerusalem artichokes/sunchokes.
you dont need to convert and once established no need to replant.
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Re: Suburban grass clippings, landfill or ethanol?

Postby myles » Sun Apr 24, 2011 2:12 pm

Anaerobic digester for methane. Grow maize instead, use the corn to ferment and put the rest of the plant along with any green waste in the digester. Its not quite that simple but it is proven technology.
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Re: Suburban grass clippings, landfill or ethanol?

Postby The Baker » Sun Apr 24, 2011 6:23 pm

myles wrote:Anaerobic digester for methane. Grow maize instead, use the corn to ferment and put the rest of the plant along with any green waste in the digester. Its not quite that simple but it is proven technology.

Heat your still with the methane, too.
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Re: Suburban grass clippings, landfill or ethanol?

Postby BiGs » Tue Apr 26, 2011 3:46 am

Yeah good points rad. In my brief break fromk research I forgot about the difficulties of starch over ready to go sugers.

I dont think any of the high yielding crops you mentioned (corn, artichokes) would survive on this property for any length of time at all. Its not a matter of % lost, None of the plants would survive the season, they would all be eaten 100% before harvest time and not to mention a huge influx of wildlife in the area over the following seasons because of this. Its not open plains or even cleared land. Its harsh Australian bushlands. I think I would have to use a starchy crop in order to do this so I will do a bit more research on starch to ethanol feasability study or what not and see whats going to be the easiest path. Thanks for the suggestions and if you have a good info source on the starch ethanol methods then please share.

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Re: Suburban grass clippings, landfill or ethanol?

Postby azeo » Sat Apr 30, 2011 4:21 pm

well, it might be time to do some more intensive research! David Blumes' book has info on starch conversion methods, and makes many suggestions for crops/plants adapted to desertified or extreme/marginal land and conditions, but one would really also need to look closer to home for indigenous and/or locally developed crops easily available for trialling and eventual use. Cassava may also be a possibility. Sometimes the answer lies in plants already adapted to the environment but overlooked because they have been regarded as pests or weeds.

You would have to run a series of small scale trials of various crops, ring fenced, or bird-clothed etc (vineyards or other local food producers may have good examples?)to at least verify growing conditions and yield, but if you wanted unprotected "broadcast" crops, then likely candidates would also have to be tested in this way.

Perhaps taking a permaculture approach to planting multicrops to suit any micro-climates, companion planting, micro-sheltering, nutrient exchange etc might find success, and perhaps this would help find some crops suited to "broadcasting", and others suited to higher management and protection in smaller, more easily accessible areas that would give higher yield without having to intensively manage a whole property.

Advice too from local farmers could be very useful, and if arrowroot is resistant to pests, then it may well be a useful "adjunct" crop that suits low management. A starch content of around 20% is "ok", putting it in the region of potatoes, not spectacular, but possibly useable/doable.

The rest of the mass would be moisture, and matter unfermentable such as fibre and cellulose (at a guess), which might seem a waste disposal problem, but could be a good source of material for composting/land improvement, or later on, animal feed supplement and/or bio-gas digestion.

That percentage however, does mean it could be a struggle to acheive a high alc% potential when dilution may be (and is likely) required for cooking, mashing and fermentation. This is where small-scale trials woud be necessary if information not availble for this (or almost any) feedstock.

This may be interesting possiblibility, from another forum, about agave (woo hoo! tequila!)

"Some links to agave development and research in Australia for those interested."
http://www.ausagave.com.au/# https://rirdc.infoservices.com.au/items/10-104

Fibrous crops (if arrowroot for eg is fibrous) can certainly have a few issues with preparation (milling, shredding etc) for conversion to sugars ("mashing"), as the fibres can wrap around rollers/milling hammers, cutters etc, and around mashing agitators, if not sliced short, which in itself becomes a possibly more intensive preparation step, looking for a commercial solution, or a home-built solution or modification . There seem to be at least two schools of thought for tuber crops (and what about sweet potatoes I wonder, for your area? climate too dry?), slice, dice and shred, then cook, or cook/steam whole, them smash up. I don't know what is best and it may be very particular to the crop, and again to the equipment assembled, and capability of enzymes used.

This forum has plenty of information on starch conversion methods and techniques that work, plus background info, and plenty of advice on yeast management and nutrient needs, and recipes also that work. Since you have found this forum, it would be a good place to start to get a good introduction to sugar and starch based fermentation and distillation, build up a good idea of how this works, and even a basic set of equipment to gain familiarity with the basics.

Eventually, "fuel" specific info would be more useful, and this is where specific information and samples for trial from enzyme suppliers such as Novozymes (there is an Asia-Pacific division, or possibly a small volume reseller/agency/source such as in links below) would be required, and related forums and books so that approriate equipment and prcesses can be chosen, and best possible yields obtained with the available crops and plant machinery.

Water and energy useage also play a big part to consider. For fuel purposes, a "free" or low cost form of energy for mashing and distilling is the only way to go. One could use solar, or grow crops specfically for fuelling, a google search on "rocket stoves" will throw up some interesting ideas. Water (and even matter with residual sugars/nutrients/enzymes) can be re-used, but pH and eventual accummulation of compounds toxic to yeast can mean it's a balancing exercise.

Networking with other groups if they can be found is also useful and important if starting from the beginning, but it's also important to remember that unless one is *paying* for information services and consulting, collabaration and networking needs to be a bit of a two-way street, co-operation relies on sharing information, success and mistakes etc. The best way to get on well with other groups is to be as well informed as possible, maintain the learning, and share progress, ideas and solutions.

You may have some similar groups to these (and it would be good to find them!), but it's also quite appropriate and useful to reach out beyond geographical borders to find those pursuing similar work.

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/alcoholfuel/
http://www.liquidsunenergy.com/
http://www.liquidsunenergy.com/learning ... _home.html
http://www.liquidsunenergy.com/learning/gov.html
http://www.liquidsunenergy.com/learning/vendor.html

http://www.sustainabletechsys.com/

http://www.sare.org/Newsroom/A-Guide-To-This-Site
http://mysare.sare.org/mySARE/ProjectRe ... method=and
type "ethaonol" in search bar

example: http://mysare.sare.org/mySARE/ProjectRe ... y=2008&t=1
10 acre project

forgot to add in this one
http://harvestcleanenergy.org/

http://www.transitiontowns.org.nz/node/3050
http://news.ecocentre.co.nz/posts/fuel- ... e-turnout/
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http://www.murtagh.com/textbook.html
The "Alcohol Textbook" is an almost indispensable companion, online copies of earlier editions can be found.

There may well also be Australian publications of similar vein.

There will also be regulatory matters to attend to, even if one is "flying under the radar" it would pay to meet all local/state regulatory, policy and safety rules etc as much as possible, in case of an audit (even just to ensure one's own safety, and that of neighbours) or just to make transition to a developed enterprise that much easier.

It does take a while to gather (and absorb!) information, this is just part of the game. Often one just needs to know, what one does not need to know! It's an ongoing process. Start with feedstock and land suitability, then machinery and transport needs and uses (and testing conversion possibilities for such), then put something in the middle as a series of simple steps to expand feedstock capabilities.

Good luck!
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Re: Suburban grass clippings, landfill or ethanol?

Postby azeo » Sat Apr 30, 2011 6:24 pm

A few more links of possible interest

Water usage compared for various biostock for biofuels, Feedstock sustainability
http://twitpic.com/2hvqej

Ethanol database/website
http://gillesenergies.webs.com/

More information from larger entities
http://www.energy.wsu.edu/RenewableEnergy.aspx
http://pacificbiomass.org/Library.aspx
http://www1.eere.energy.gov/biomass/

might as well put this in again
http://www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/

Many of these originate from the yahoo fuel group, or referenced by those links
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Re: Suburban grass clippings, landfill or ethanol?

Postby jhammons01 » Wed May 04, 2011 3:03 pm

I'm confused, almost all threads on grass clippings turn to "can't be done"

or

"alternate crops yield better"

Yard clippings are free......they are going to the landfill

Sure, e-coli bacteria has the grass ferment "Faster" but will the grass ferment over time if left alone? If the feed stock is being brought to you for free from the landscapers and Lawn services in your community.....how is a crop that you have to grow yourself "better"?

I have to ask, if yard grass clippings produce low yields of Ethanol, if you have an abundance, what do you care what the yield percentage is? Bigger vats for fermenting....through another load in the mix....if you are only yielding 20% return, which leads to only ~50Gallons of ethanol .....make a bigger vat ...throw more grass in there.....

I'm just asking questions.....
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Re: Suburban grass clippings, landfill or ethanol?

Postby rad14701 » Wed May 04, 2011 3:33 pm

jhammons01 wrote:Yard clippings are free......they are going to the landfill

Not around here... Why send lawn clippings or leaves to the landfill...??? Leave them in the yard where they belong... Paying to get rid of your yard is just crazy talk... I have a neighbor who gets rid of his grass clippings and leaves and his yard has become a swamp scattered with shallow ponds... But that's just and off-topic comment...

jhammons01 wrote:I have to ask, if yard grass clippings produce low yields of Ethanol, if you have an abundance, what do you care what the yield percentage is? Bigger vats for fermenting....through another load in the mix....if you are only yielding 20% return, which leads to only ~50Gallons of ethanol .....make a bigger vat ...throw more grass in there.....

That figure of 20% is way on the high side... And remember, you have to expend energy to distill the alcohol out of all of the liquid required to ferment that vast amount of grass clippings... Even if you could get 20% out of the wash/slurry you would still need to distill 250 gallons to get 50 gallons of fuel... And the actual potential yield is far lower than that 20% so the total volume will be higher... And then there may be the issue of caustic or toxic byproducts which will require disposal...

Scientists are working on this every day but a practical solution of the home DIY'er that would be cost effective hasn't emerged yet to the best of my knowledge...
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Re: Suburban grass clippings, landfill or ethanol?

Postby jhammons01 » Thu May 05, 2011 3:20 pm

I understand your willingness to help, but regardless of where the grass clippings would "best" be used...the fact remains that lawn services (Yard man) is hauling truckloads of grass clippings to the dump on a daily basis. Large property management firms aren't going to accept grass clippings laying all over the grounds....

Back on the actual topic.....

Let's say you get a 7% Alc content from the beer. What is left over? grass? grass for mulch? what caustic or toxic byproducts?

But you answered my question in part......
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Re: Suburban grass clippings, landfill or ethanol?

Postby azeo » Fri May 06, 2011 12:35 am

My grass clippings go to compost, but i'm not far away from seeing what their potential for cellulose conversion is.

many people here are ripping up their lawns to plant food, or creating raised beds and "square foot" plots to get something of value from a wasted green space, so on an individual basis, this has far more merit. Gathering quantities of clippings and waste from a community has potential though.

It's as Rad says, a practical solution for the home diy'er has not quite emerged yet, and some pre-treatment methods require strong caustic or acidic solutions (not that you'd want to do this) leaving a neutralsiation problem, and possible unwanted chemical streams. weaker solutions require temperature and high pressure, other weak acid low temp schemes accept possibly lower yield, but do seem to be in development as a small producer solution.

Left over matter has been described before, anything nonfermentable such as fibre and lignin, plus dead and cooked yeast cells, a good source of protein or nutrients for another batch of fermentation. Grass (esp fresh green tender) even has a sugar %, but it's very low.

Anything with a low saccharide yield is not worth fermenting, due to the nergy required for distillation, unless it's a bonus adjunct for another feedstock. Feedstocks have to have a reasonable extractable sugar yield, or potentially convertable complex sugar content (such as starch and /or cellulose) to be viable, and the more the better.

Unfortunately there's no substitute for research and effort in this field, especially for the more "difficult" feedstocks, there are no quick easy answers.

This link is interesting however;...

http://www.chems.msu.edu/news/2009/grassoline-pump

Az
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Re: Suburban grass clippings, landfill or ethanol?

Postby azeo » Sun May 08, 2011 12:24 am

More links

... Using census data, satellite images, aerial photographs, and computer simulations, a NASA scientist estimated that turf grass is the single-largest irrigated crop in the United States, three times more than corn. Experts say the environmental benefits of lawns' carbon dioxide intake are not enough to offset the impact of water usage


http://www.sciencedaily.com/videos/2006/0404-greener_grass_less_water.htm

Other types of grass potential
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101101142522.htm
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101110141531.htm
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110126121102.htm

Agave potential
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110126121102.htm
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110217125125.htm

Organic potential
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 140548.htm

sweet potato potential
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080825200752.htm

Yeast strains
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100607142227.htm
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100513172902.htm
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Re: Suburban grass clippings, landfill or ethanol?

Postby Ace » Tue Jun 07, 2011 4:17 pm

What about potatoes?

Not a high-yielder for starch / alcohol, but they can be easy to grow in quantity. Not sure how Wallaby-resistant they are, though.
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Re: Suburban grass clippings, landfill or ethanol?

Postby frozenthunderbolt » Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:59 pm

Dnderhead wrote:I thank If I was to raise something for fuel Id try jerusalem artichokes/sunchokes.
you dont need to convert and once established no need to replant.


Can yeast attach the inulin in these directly DH? any links? . . . I have some outside now, do i have tequila potential then, or fuel only? :)
Where has all the rum gone? . . .
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Re: Suburban grass clippings, landfill or ethanol?

Postby Dnderhead » Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:43 am

84% is not that bad,I thank if you dont convert the rest you will have something like
tequila, then if you convert then you'd be making more for fuel or neutral.

here is one,,http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC202182/pdf/aem00032-0083.pdf
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Re: Suburban grass clippings, landfill or ethanol?

Postby azeo » Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:49 am

Nice find that Dh. Kojii plus yeast type fermentations have popped up here from time time, but haven't seen such a yield such as in that paper, does make sense for fuel/industrial though & it must be more common place since it was published a while ago. On the must-try list!
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Re: Suburban grass clippings, landfill or ethanol?

Postby azeo » Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:48 am

woo hoo! grass clippings on the agenda this year! crikes knows what the yield will be, but it will be fun finding out - just waiting for spring now, seems an awful long way away, brrr snow in Wellington on the hills last night .. a s*t load down south!.....
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Re: Suburban grass clippings, landfill or ethanol?

Postby ash33 » Tue Aug 02, 2011 2:08 pm

Since I'm new here I'll give a bit of back ground info on my self to help explain why I will say the things I'll say. I've been involved in the petroleum industry for 15yrs, including owning my own company that manufactured the equipment for biodiesel production on a commercial scale. For the last 5 yrs I've been lead project consultant in R&D for one of Australia's largest bio-fuel producers. Due to confidentiality agreements & Intellectual Property laws I Can't go into detail on some of the process's we covered because I don't own the rights to it.

While I understand the attraction of free feed stock such as grass, it is yet to be found that low yield biomass is energy efficient in regard to input < output.
To put it in lay terms - the amount/cost of electricity and chemicals used to produce a usable product is more than you could sell the product for. For the hobbist it means - it will cost you more to make it than than it would if you bought it from the servo. Sorry.

Currently the most viable crop (other than sugar cane) for Australian conditions to produce ethanol fuel from is Rape seed. This leaves you with investing in the equipment to sow and harvest the crop before the production of ethanol can start. In fairness any field crop will require a substantial level of investment in equipment.

The best crop for use in all regions is Algae, algae can be grown in controlled environments using photo bioreactors or in ponds on a commercial or hobbiest scale. Micro Algae is a single cell organism with massive yield per KG potential compared to field crops (some strains are better than others). My research in this area was focused on oil extraction for Biodiesel production but I have also conducted possible uses for the waste pulp including conversion to ethanol. Currently algae isn't viable for oil extraction so further research into the production of ethanol was shelved in my case.

As stated earlier in the thread your better off to convert your biomass into methane and use that to cut the cost of power required to ferment and distill a sugar wash. Pyrolisis or Gasification is well proven and used extensively in the USA for heating.

More questions than answers I know, unfortunately it's the nature of the beast :crazy:
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Re: Suburban grass clippings, landfill or ethanol?

Postby azeo » Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:18 am

Good info ash, great to have an industry rep on-board. Low yield = high cost/effort, many don't get this, although sometimes I fall into the "hopefull" catagory!
Hopefull being that sometimes the home/small scale producer can make some sacrifices or compromises to be self-sufficient, or integrate a few other processes, or burn some free waste oil or wood that wouldn't be viable for a large producer. Please feel free to contribute, we'll all be richer for the input and experience. Kind Regards, Azeo
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