Alternative Energy

Published on August 24th, 2009 | by Guest Contributor


E-Fuel MicroFueler Makes Ethanol From Old Beer

The E-Fuel MicroFueler is a still that turns waste products into 100% ethanol that you can put directly into your car- and it does it in a tank you can store at your home. The 250 gallon holding tank converts organic feedstock, including wine and beer, into ethanol through a still inside the tank. There is also a fuel pump attached to the still that operates just like a standard gas pump. But what about waste? The only waste is distilled water.

Image Credit: MicroFueler.comE-Fuel Corporation in Los Gatos, California

E-Fuel Corporation in Los Gatos, California

“If we give everybody the ability to make their own fuel, you break the oil infrastructure,” said Silicon Valley entrepreneur and MicroFueler inventor Tom Quinn. “Three years ago, I looked at where the world was going and energy caught my eye. As a world, we had no replacement fuel for gasoline, and that led me to alternative fuels, such as ethanol.”

The MicroFueler has government backing- purchasers are eligible for a $5,000 tax credit from the government- and it’s got star power: Shaquille O’Neal is an investor the E-Fuel distribution company.

E-Fuel can be made from almost any waste- from lawn clippings or dairy to old chemicals, cardboard or fruit. According to Quinn, the waste can be fermented in minutes.

The first, and so far only, MicroFueler was installed this summer at Chris Ursitti’s home. Ursitti is the CEO of GreenHouse, the green-tech firm distributing the MicroFuelers. This video shows the installation at Ursitti’s home.


Under U.S. law, it is legal to create up to 10,000 gallons of an alcohol fuel each year on private property with a free fuel producer’s permit from the Federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, but that fuel cannot be sold.

Ursitti’s company, GreenHouse, has contracts with Karl Strauss Brewing Co., Gordon Biersch Brewing Co. and Sunny Delight to use 29,000 tons of their liquid waste in MicroFuelers. GreenHouse has its own tanker truck deliver the waste to home-based MicroFuelers.

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