How To Make Your Own Fuel
There are things we can forego in the zombie apocalypse and things we cannot do without. Among the latter is fuel. So if you can’t get it from your usual distributor, you may as well need to invent your own trick to obtaining the energy. We are set to answer your question on how to make your own fuel.
An important fact to remember is that making your own fuel is not a choice pro saving. You may spend more to produce a liter of homemade fuel than you would on your gas station supply. So why would anyone want to embark on a task that isn’t economical? Two reasons:
- The thrill of discovery
- Being in a situation of survival as in the zombie apocalypse or post-war times.
If the second should be the case, it means that you previously build stock of the material you need before the war planes or the undead attacked. We will assume you did.
If the previous is your motivation to making your own fuel, you will need to meet certain requirements before experiencing the delight of your discovery:
- If you are planning to produce the energy in volumes, you will need to get a bond or license.
- You may be required to declare, beforehand, that the fuel is for personal use and not for business.
- Considering that the product has the nature of moonshine liquor, you will need to denature your product. In other words, render it unfit for human consumption by adding a hydrocarbon solvent such as naphtha or kerosene and consequently declaring it non-ingestible.
With the legal details in place, you are now ready to proceed with your fuel production. Follow our lead on how to make your own fuel.
There are two common types of fuel you can easily make. The first is ethanol fuel and the second biodiesel.
Making ethanol fuel follows a similar process as making alcohol. You need to procure feedstock that could be wheat, cane sugar, corn or switch grass. The raw material is crushed to allow the fermentation of starch and sugar into alcohol. The product is then distilled by passing it through a column still. A pot still could be used as an alternative but is cumbersome since you have to pass the crude product several times through the still to obtain the fuel. Besides, when using a pot still, each pass means losing a certain amount of ethanol.
While this process may sound easy, acquiring feedstock may not be such a simple task. Producing a small amount of ethanol requires a considerable quantity of raw material to create a large enough mash which you can distill and refine into fuel.
If you are producing fuel for consumption in ordinary situations, you may prepare for the process by producing the feedstock yourself or purchasing it in large quantities ahead of production. If your fuel production is an apocalyptic survival-action, you necessarily need to have produced or purchased the raw material in bulk to last you the longest period possible.
Making biodiesel is your next answer to the question of how to make your own fuel.
Machines with a diesel engine are easily powered by vegetable or animal-derived oils. If your intention is to run your engine using these oils, you will need to modify your engine to allow correct combustion of these fuels by filtering out the particulate matter. Doing this has an environment-friendly motive.
DIY biodiesel is altogether different from the mentioned oils. The core difference is in the fact that biodiesel is modified to make it chemically equal to petro-derived diesel.
Down to the biodiesel production process, the first thing you need to do is to obtain the raw material which is basically animal fats and vegetable oils. Again, if you are doing this for your invention-adventures or your personal use, you can get feedstock in three different ways:
- obtaining waste fats and oils from restaurants kitchens
- purchase the fats and oils
- produce the fats and oils
While the first option is viable, the last two are extremely expensive, considering you still have the biodiesel production to be done. Despite the cost, the second option is probably your only choice if your biodiesel production is a zombie apocalypse survival tactic. You will need to stock gallons and gallons of oil and packs and packs of fat.
Turning the oils and fats into biodiesel entails converting the chemical composition of the oils and fats by mixing them with lye and methanol. These two are toxic and should be handled with caution. To do this, you heat the oil/fat and add recommended amounts of lye and methanol to achieve transesterification. In other words, by mixing the compounds, you produce biodiesel and glycerin as a byproduct. The spinoff settles at the bottom and you can craftily separate your biodiesel by draining the glycerin from your production tank. You will still need to wash the biodiesel before use, but the greater part of your production is achieved.
Mist wash is the easiest procedure to wash your biodiesel. The idea is to remove any leftover methanol, lye, glycerin, or other unwanted chemicals of the process. Use a misting head to introduce water into the biodiesel already placed in a tank. The water droplets will send the target residue chemicals to the bottom of the tank. A few rounds of mist wash should leave your biodiesel purified.
Dry your biodiesel using a fan to pass air on the product and cause water to evaporate. Heating could be a quicker option. Once dry, your biodiesel is ready for use.
Set for Survival
You are set for survival if the foregoing has responded to your question on how to make your own fuel. Whether you want to make fuel for personal use in normal life circumstances or are fighting for survival in a zombie apocalypse era, alcohol fuel and biodiesel could be your ‘off the hook’ solutions. Your greatest hurdle would be acquiring the huge amount of feedstock that is required in both cases. If this is overcome, making fuel is a walk in the pack by using improvised equipment for the production and distillation procedures.