Gas nozzleRising gas prices have sparked revived interest in a variety of solutions, including ways to make your own fuel. Advances in technology may eventually allow this process to become a little more practical – and safer.

This is not a new idea, and my local library has a book that claims to explain “how to make your own motor fuel at home.” It’s perhaps not a coincidence that it was assigned a place on the library shelf between two other books entitled “Fireworks.”

I recently read an article about a much higher tech approach that’s about to hit the market, and promises the ability to safely produce your own ethanol from sugar, not corn, for about a dollar a gallon. It doesn’t use table sugar, but cheaper surplus supplies, including inedible sugar from Mexico.

This approach obviously isn’t for everyone, and I don’t have first-hand information about the company or the process. The concept is at least intriguing, and if you’re interested, you can read about it here.

I wish the company success with their venture, because this is an example of the kind of innovative thinking that can help solve our current energy crisis. I’m certainly not making light of potentially promising technology, but this is a subject which also lends itself to a little fun.

In addition to using sugar for the raw material, this device allows businesses such as restaurants and bars to turn discarded alcoholic beverages into ethanol, and burn it rather than gasoline in vehicles. I guess this puts a new twist on the old line about “one for the road”!

If a portable, efficient and affordable device to rapidly convert processed sugar into ethanol for fuel could be developed, it might prove to be a mixed blessing. Perhaps a conversation like this would take place someday in campgrounds around the country:

(Mom to kids) “No, I’ve already told you – no s’mores again around the campfire tonight. You had some last night, and we need the rest of the marshmallows and chocolate bars to make enough gas to get back home tomorrow!”

Happy travels.

Jim Burnett

Life – it’s an adventure…. Find something to smile about today!

Leave a Reply


  1. Thanks for the comment, John. Yes, it’s ironic that while “sugar in the gas tank” has always been bad news, in today’s world sugar cane and similar items are being used to produce fuel.

    You are also on target with cautions about the “snake oil salesmen.” There are plenty of scams out there promoting gadgets or fuel additives that supposedly increase gas mileage. As always, a good dose of caution and research is required before trying a new “innovation.”

  2. John Malin

    Years past, “sugaring a carb or fuel tank” was bad news. Caution the “snake oil” sales are arrising again.

  3. TXBrad

    Sounds great & it will work, But, our politions in DC & localy, will Tax it, permitt it to take years to get one & regulate it to the hill.
    They need taxes from fuel to fund their “pork” projects ! The wackos & green global warming folks will find 1000 ways to stop anything like this.
    Their lobby folks would go balastic.
    But, like moon shine operations, just need to hide pumps.
    Coor’s brewery has been doing w/ waste beer for years. They used to dump it in a river & fish loved it! But, enviormental folks stopped it . It is mixed w/ gasoline & well taxed !

  4. Charles –
    Thanks for the comment, and you’re exactly right. For some of the new ideas on the energy front to become useful, some updates in regulations will be needed in many locations.

  5. Charles Gee

    Not sure about this, but up here in Canada the authorities frown on the distillation of ethanol real big time. The problem being that there is a heap of tax they might miss out on if this becomes wide spread. Like many good ideas to ease the present ridiculous situation there are a whole bunch of old laws that have to go before we can do this safely.