BATFE Alcohol Production Permits

Ive looked around at alcohol-making stills, for my science project this year, and I found one. The only problem is that it requires a permit from the BATFE, and I don't know how to get one. I searched around for it on the net, but only found a bunch of PDF's, and they didn't help. Can somebody help me? Also, it involved comparing the flame burn time with gasoline, kerosene, and benzene on a fuel-burning lamp. What exactly do they mean fuel burning? Like alcohol burning? With a wick? And, is it safe to even use benzene? I thought it caused cancer. If I can avoid filling out a billion safety forms, I DEFINITELY will. If it helps, I got the project out of "the complete handbook of science fair projects", by julienne blair bochinski

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lemonie10 years ago
I made a still.
Benzene is both toxic (metabolises to unsaturated aldehydes and phenol), and carcinogenic. But it seems to be specific to leukaemia. Oh and it's an eye irritant too.

John Smith (author)  lemonie10 years ago
What size pressure cooker did you use?
Full capacity is a gallon or 4.5 L, but I only filled it half full each time (in case it foamed or 'bumped'). L
VIRON lemonie10 years ago
That's right. Just like leaded motor fuel. Don't drink or inhale it!
VIRON VIRON10 years ago
John Smith (author)  lemonie10 years ago
So your talking in the first person now? :D
I'll help with what I can =]

I think that this is the form you would need to fill out.

I would send an email to the national licensing center at ATF at: and just ask them your general questions on the permits needed for your particular project.

A fuel burning lamp is like an oil lamp. There is a reservoir at the bottom, and a wick draws fuel up to be burned. I guess you just get a few lamps, and have a different fuel in each one.

Benzene is controlled, I believe, so i'm not sure how you would get your hands on it. How old is that book, it may be from before it became controlled. And yes, it is a carcinogen, and can cause leukemia, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services.
That form is for explosives like fireworks and dynamite. You can easily get undrinkable alcohol from a drug or hardware store. If your teachers are smart AND willing to bear the fire hazard liability of this project then they can provide benzene too. I doubt it.
He says what he's doing requires a form from BATFE which is the ATF, and that form is the one for using such thing (versus the forms for fireworks and the like) ...He may be wanting to burn his own alcohol, because it would be a higher concentration? I forget if you can buy 100%..would his still even make 100%?
I thought you gave the wrong form because when I looked at it the bulk fireworks and explosives one came up. If he instead grew tobacco to prove labrats get cancer I doubt he'd use that form. 100% alcohol is hydrophilic and will pull humidity out of the air until it's about 95%. 95% is the highest concentration I've seen for sale. I also think it takes considerable effort to "moonshine" so that if he did d'still it, the ATF wouldn't go Waco over it because the quantity would be miniscule, compared to what he could legally buy denatured, but the school might call the police or expel someone for possession of contraband as if the project was a gun or bomb. Burning highly flammable liquids in school is not exactly considered good clean fun these days either. Keep fire extinguishers handy, and the local FD on standby!
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