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Discussion board help and admin topics => Half Baked Ideas => Topic started by: KSW on February 25, 2007, 04:27:57 PM

Title: Vacuum Engine
Post by: KSW on February 25, 2007, 04:27:57 PM
Hi guys,
The past couple of days i've been looking into the uses of ethanol as a fuel.
One of the main problems i came across is the actual distillation to produce the alcohol.
I've read some articles suggesting that there is 30-40% more energy in the ethanol produced than what it takes to produce it, however after asking around on some forums it seems most people think this to be untrue, ie you cant run the process of distillation from the ethanol produced and also have fuel left over.

So i thought about this for a while and came up with an idea, it might be completely useless, but im no engineer or anything, which is why im asking you guys  :P

If you take a syringe and fill it about half full with water, then cover the end up with your finger, and now pull on the syringe and let it snap back, then pull it again, the water will start to boil.
Now what if instead of water, we had a alcohol/water mix?

As the pressure is reduced the alcohol will start to boil before the water, Then we could ignite this vaporised alcohol.

Would the amount of energy from the ignition be more than is needed to produce the vacuum? Anyone know how to calculate such things?

Sorry if this is a completely rediculous idea.

Title: Re: Vacuum Engine
Post by: Flit on February 26, 2007, 05:27:45 PM
To keep things even more simple you could distill ethanol using a solar still or an electric still powered with solar panels.  Then you have a nice clean process and you have lots of ethanol left over to run your car with, or to drink if you are too young to drive.  :)

On a related topic I read some articles about some new strains of yeast that have been bred.  They are capable of fermenting xylose sugar.  This means more ethanol can be created from the same amount of raw material.  It may also be possible to use waste paper and other organic material to produce ethanol.
Title: Re: Vacuum Engine
Post by: ResinRat2 on February 26, 2007, 06:29:26 PM
Oh yes. Every home should have a "still" in the backyard (solar of course) producing plenty of ethanol for personal use. :D

In the United States, just don't tell the ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms) agents. That should go over well. ;D

Of course all the "Hooch" you produce would go into the car. None to your neighbor, home medicinal use, or any extra during holidays, weekends, party days, etc. 8)

Title: Re: Vacuum Engine
Post by: idnick on February 26, 2007, 11:18:09 PM
 ;D I checked into this years ago. I could see the $$$$ pouring out of the old farmers corn silo.  ;)  Once I got my head back on straight I gave up the idea, cause I knew I wouldn't be makin just fuel.  ;D  And the ATF  ???  I don't care for them  :(


PS   The way I understand it ya just about gotta have a distillers license to fool with that stuff and that's sad!!  :(

Title: Re: Vacuum Engine
Post by: Flit on February 27, 2007, 01:36:00 PM
Here's a link to some information on producing ethanol in Australia. (

Even if you just produce it on your own farm for your own use you still have to pay an excise on it.  You can then claim that excise money back.  Slighty convoluted system.

I can understand the need for licencing.  You don't want any old nutter storing thousands of litres of ethanol in a dangerous way.
Title: Re: Vacuum Engine
Post by: innovation_station on March 11, 2007, 04:52:36 PM
email me if you want plans to make a still from hosehold things you already own works great and safe   

keep it simple stupid