Author Topic: My ethanol and water distilling set up  (Read 3822 times)

Offline gicts

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My ethanol and water distilling set up
« on: November 03, 2012, 09:08:28 AM »
Hi all!
I'd like to share my ethanol set up that doubles as a water distiller. Although I admire Steve Harris(and borrowed his air still idea), I felt his product was a bit cost prohibitive. My set up is not only less expensive, but can be used to distill water as well.


There are two versions offered by Megahome (many different names, same product and manufacturer), the main difference being the burner. One is a water distiller that has a 565 watt burner. The other, the ethanol version, has a smaller 305 watt burner.

The water distiller being cheaper($75-ish on eBay),I decided to reduce the wattage and have the best of both worlds. I built an electrical box with a 1000W dimmer switch and two outlets. This is plugged into a Kill-A-Watt so that I can manage the input power.
Because the 15 watt cooling fan is tied into the burner, decreasing the power to the distiller also decreases the fan's effectiveness. This is easily remedied by plugging the fan directly into a wall using a common computer plug.

Simple enough! When making ethanol, I am able to decrease the initial time by increasing the heat. After about 20 minutes, I adjust the watts from around 560 to around 300 and plug in the fan. If I have a need to use the water distiller, I simply use it as it is intended.

Wallah! Cheap and multipurpose.

Offline mangyhyena

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Re: My ethanol and water distilling set up
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2012, 05:51:30 AM »
Nice.  Your setup takes the place of a battery bank, if you use that ethanol to run a generator at a later date to generate electricity.  From the green angle, the question is what's worse, grid power to distill ethanol or using a battery bank, which becomes bad for the environment when disposal time comes.
From an economic point, you just compare the cost of producing ethanol to whatever fuel you would have had to purchase to meet the same energy need.  The price of your still was great compared to what I've seen for sale out there.
From a survival/prepper point, this setup rocks.  You're making your own fuel, independant from the energy distribution system we have in place.

What do you use the ethanol to run, vehicle or generator or both?  What is your production rate?  Is the quality/proof of ethanol up to fuel alcohol standards on the first distillation or do you have to run it through more than once?

Offline microdevil45

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Re: My ethanol and water distilling set up
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2012, 06:30:29 AM »
Hi all!
I'd like to share my ethanol set up that doubles as a water distiller. Although I admire Steve Harris(and borrowed his air still idea), I felt his product was a bit cost prohibitive. My set up is not only less expensive, but can be used to distill water as well.


There are two versions offered by Megahome (many different names, same product and manufacturer), the main difference being the burner. One is a water distiller that has a 565 watt burner. The other, the ethanol version, has a smaller 305 watt burner.

The water distiller being cheaper($75-ish on eBay),I decided to reduce the wattage and have the best of both worlds. I built an electrical box with a 1000W dimmer switch and two outlets. This is plugged into a Kill-A-Watt so that I can manage the input power.
Because the 15 watt cooling fan is tied into the burner, decreasing the power to the distiller also decreases the fan's effectiveness. This is easily remedied by plugging the fan directly into a wall using a common computer plug.

Simple enough! When making ethanol, I am able to decrease the initial time by increasing the heat. After about 20 minutes, I adjust the watts from around 560 to around 300 and plug in the fan. If I have a need to use the water distiller, I simply use it as it is intended.

Wallah! Cheap and multipurpose.

Nice setup, but if you see one on eBay for $75 ish send me a link cause all I have ever found was in the $150-$250 range.  But again nice.

Offline bigal7997

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Re: My ethanol and water distilling set up
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2012, 12:38:17 AM »
How has it been working? Do you think i could set this up for, say, 5 or 10 distillers? Btw, Ebay has the water distillers for $99 brand new. The shipping is $20, but i bet if you order several you could save on that...