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How To Make Your Own Fuel from Switchgrass!


Some of the more promising advances with fuel technology is the creation of bio fuels. This is where the natural sugars in plants are refined and made into ethanol which can be added to the gasoline in a lot of the newer cars. Making your own ethanol really isn't all that difficult but if you are considering doing something like this it would be a good idea if you got a hold your local regulators to make sure that you are allowed to do something like this. Understand that you need a lot of land and the right equipment to do this. So this is actually directed more to those who farm than anyone else.

The first step you need to take is to get some switchgrass seeds and plant the seeds in early spring on a patch of land you have chosen just for this grass. This is a grass that is native to North America and doesn't need very much watering or fertilizing.

After the grass has grown, you will want to harvest the grass in fall right after the first frost of the season. You will need to cut it down and put it into bales in order to process. You will need to mow down your grass with a tractor that has a mower attached to it and then you will need a towed baler as well.

Once the grass is in bales, to process it you will need to cut the bales into little bits so that you expose the surface area as much as you can. This will expose the enzymes that will need to release all of the sugars that are n the cellulose of the grass. This is called enzymatic hydrolysis.

Next you will dump all of the grass chunks into a very large tank of water and you will need to add some cellulosic enzymes. This is what will transform the actual cellulose in the grass into sugars that will ferment. This is the most expensive part of the process, so be aware of that.

Next you need to drain the water and add yeast, this is what will help to ferment the sugars more and will assist in the processing of the ethanol. It's pretty much the same way that you would make wine.

You will then need to boil off all of the water so that you can separate the ethanol from the water and it will need to be collected in a separate tank. Once the ethanol is in a separate tank you will need to add benzene or cyclohexane to this mixture so that the ethanol your produce will be pure. These chemicals are what will bind the molecules together and remove all of the remaining water molecules that might be present. You can also use microscopic filters instead to do this final step of processing the ethanol gas.



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