How to make ethanol

Ethanol is a fuel that can be made from biomass(corn, sugar cane). Mixed with a small amount of gasoline, it can be used in most car engines and used to fuel a generator. 


The first step in making ethanol is mixing the material or mash. The mash is comprised of yeast, corn flower, or meal, and sugar, mixed in a bucket. For 1 gallon of ethanol, one can mix the following combination:

  • 5 lbs of corn flower or meal 
  • 5 lbs of sugar
  • 2 packets of yeast
  • 5 gallon of water


The second step is to leave the mixture for four days in a warm area, making sure the bucket is completely covered. Fermentation occurs during this step and ethanol is produced. 


The third step is distilling the ethanol, which is removing the alcohol from the mash mixture. Removing the alcohol from the mash, after 3 to 4 days, requires a distiller or still. Many still configuration exist. The principal is the same. First heat the mash, so the ethanol turns into a gas, and then run the ethanol gas to a cooler that turns the alcohol gas to a liquid state, liquid ethanol, which is drained into a container.

A simple configuration is to have sealed a metal pot, with copper tubing at the top. The mash is boiled in the pot. The ethanol gas exits the pot via the copper tubing running through a second bucket of ice water, cooling the ethanol gas, turning into a liquid. The ethanol liquid at the end of the copper tubing drips into a container.

Works Cited