How Is Ethanol Made In 6 Steps

How Is Ethanol Made

Learn How Ethanol Is Made In 6 Easy Steps

Now we can start making ethanol. First we have to break down carbohydrate sugars. Such as the starch from corn. Create it into “Mash”. Grind or crush the feed stock (corn, soybeans, wheat, etc…). Then dilute and add an enzyme (alpha amylase) to turn the mixture into a liquid. But once liquefied a second enzyme is added (glucoamylase) to convert the starch into sugar. If the source is mainly sugar, rotten fruit, molasses, etc… The conversion step can be skipped.

How Is Ethanol Made

Step Two: Fermentation

Add yeast and make it into a beer (wine) type solution.

How Is E85 Made

Step Three: Distillation

The beer (wine) type solution needs to be run through a still to extract the alcohol from the solution.

How Is Ethanol Made Distillation

Step Four: Filtration

The ethanol now needs to be filtered to get rid of excess organic volatiles.

Step Five: Ethanol Dehydration

Step Five: Dehydration

The ethanol needs to be “dried”. After the distillation there will be a certain amount of water in the E85 you have just created. This can be dried running the ethanol through Zeolite a readily available product for drying E85.

Make Ethanol

Step Six: Making Ethanol Into E85

Now simply convert the pure ethanol into e85 by adding 15% unleaded gasoline. e85 is nothing more than 85% ethanol mixed with 15% gasoline.

Ethanol In 6 Easy Steps

Making your own ethanol will require some initial investment. But The rewards will be very beneficial. You can make your own e85 for right around a $1.00 a gallon if you buy the corn and for about $.60 a gallon if you grow your own corn.

Flex fuel vehicles are becoming more and more popular as the gas prices continue to rise. e85 is definitely going to be a major relief for the United States fuel problem.

You may even be driving a flex fuel vehicle now. Many newer models are equipped to handle both gasoline as well as E85. However the best way to check is to look in your owner’s manual, check in the fuel door for the e85 sticker or contact your dealer and have them run your vin number to see if your vehicle is compatible. I do suggest that you do all three, to be on the safe side. 

Beer Brewing Made Easy

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Super interesting! I can definitely see why ethanol is more sustainable and environmentally-friendly than traditional gasoline. I don’t think I’m ready to take the plunge into making my own but I think it’s fantastic that this is a feasible option for some.


You nailed it! It was interesting to read it with the chemical formulas. I will go ahead and try to make it on my own. Can you please write and share on other petroleum products as well? Thanks in advance.

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