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Petrol substitute, how can I make it at home? Answered

I want to make "petrol" at home, I'm quite handy and have a few tools and skills, it's my first post and I'm no science wizz! I can make wine etc, hope this will help in some way? Thanks All


Does it have to be a liquid fuel?   If the answer to this question is yes, and considering you already know how to make wine, then I'd suggest making ethanol, by first fermenting sugars, then using a still of some kind to make the ethanol more concentrated. There might also be "zeroth" step of breaking down starches, or other material, into sugars, using enzymes, acid-hydrolysis, or whatever's handy.  I've heard legends of people making ethanol form day-old bread and donuts discarded by bakeries.

There are, of course, other tricks. 

For example you can run diesel engines biodiesel, or even on straight vegetable oil (SVO),  provided you've got the engine warmed up first.

One of the most interesting alternative fuel methods  I have read about are the gasifier machines.  These burn solid fuel, like wood, or junk mail, and produce flammable gases as the product.  Such machines can be used to power IC engines, for cars, or other purposes.  Here's an example of one of these "gasifier" projects:

For everything else, erm... almost, Peswiki has a large collection of links of links to alternative energy projects. Here's the link into their "alternative fuels" category:

There's also a very active group on Yahoo called "WoodGas"


If you aren't a member, and you can't see anything, then probably yes.

Had to find my old Yahoo-ID and blow the dust off from it. Just joined the WoodGas group, and now everything is visible.  Like they say in the movies, "I'm in." ;-)

If this doesn't get Best Answer, I'll eat my hat!

You've tagged this with methanol, so I'd guess Jack's suggestion of purified ethanol might be where you want to go. But getting the water out of it is hard work, and distilling it is very probably illegal without the necessary paperwork.
Buying a diesel, and running it on vegetable oil would be easier, much easier.


Thanks for this lot, I have been running a few cars on new and/or used veg oil for quite a while now, going to have to try out a methanol burner though, stupid fuel taxs!!
Will be looking at the woodgas too,
Nice one weg.