Jerusalem artichokes are good but there are many other highly efficient plants that may not even require propagation or if they do they do not have to be replanted for each crop. Two of them are cattails and Mesquite.
I recommend David Blume's book; "Alcohol Can Be a Gas" it is the definitive work on how to grow cultivate and produce ethanol efficiently and in a sustainable manner. It can be used in current cars and vehicles including diesels and airplanes etc. and is a high performance renewable clean burning fuel.
No new technology is required and most of the negative stuff you have heard about ethanol is not true.
Three key items need to be added to the design and the Development Work Template. Safe handling of the protein by-products. This is what the Bush government botched (to George W screaming horror) in the 2005 corn ethanol boom. For every ton of fuel you get a ton a Dry distillers grains with solubles (DDGS). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distillers_grains This is food and always was but it was not cleared fast enough be the FDA for human use so much of it wound up pet food. In Europe more of it made it into the food chain. The food vs fuel debate is moot if your handling the DDGS properly and using it as either human food: Bread, gravy mix, vegemite, boveral, etc or stock feed [its a safe protein source].
A village scale ethanol plant can easily get its DDGS or even wet distillers grains -- the raw beer -- back to live stock. An optimal means of storing is to dry wet distillers grains to 15% moisture content and freeze it for storage in a cold cellar. Don't try to augur DDGS it turns to glue. In the Ethanol boom FDA mandates that demanded augurs destroyed dozens and bankrupted some producers. We can have our fuel and eat it too. This allows most grain and starch crops to be used as fuel and food crops simultaneously.
Should I add all this to the main page or is a new page 'ethanol by-products' needed? Wesley bruce 05:00, 12 July 2011 (PDT)
If ethanol is used to power a stationary engine or a tractor that needs ballasting then an engine block still should work. The beer mash is plumbed through the engines cooling system, if your brave, or through a heat exchanger with the engine coolant on the other side. A thermostat keeps the beer at the boiling point of ethanol by diverted some water to the radiator. The ethanol vapour is condensed in a tower condenser on the vehicle or beside the stationary engine. A small insulated tank holds the 100 proof (100%) ethanol for start up in hot or cold weather. Advantages: The engine is the still using heat that would otherwise be wasted. There's beer on tap in your tractor. Disadvantages; The beer fuel tanks need to be much larger your carrying around a lot of excess weight as water. It smells like a brewery. and there's beer on tap in your tractor.;-)
The extra weight problem can be solved by partly distilling the beer to 60 Proof (34%) ethanol. It will re-absorb water but that's not a problem if your using an engine still. A properly insulated flat plate solar collector like a solar hot water system will achieve 60 proof easily.
None of the above is new every thing has been tried in the 1970's oil shock, the patents if there are any are not a problem they will have expired and any slight plumbing change with a real effect will allow a new patent, etc. Should I add all this to the main page or is a new page needed? I'm a Noobie. Wesley bruce 05:00, 12 July 2011 (PDT)
Yes, all of this is good stuff and should be added to the main page. Don't be shy, this is a meaningful contribution. Thank you for your efforts! Mjn 05:51, 12 July 2011 (PDT) PS. Shift it into third person. It doesn't need to be a personal account of your experience. State the faces and include linked references. Mjn 05:54, 12 July 2011 (PDT)
Is there a reason why Fuel Alcohol does not show up in the Category Energy listing on http://opensourceecology.org/wiki/Category:Energy page. It also does not show up in searches or give an error. The fact that there are two spellings may be the problem. Wesley bruce 04:20, 13 July 2011 (PDT)