On-farm ethanol production

On-farm ethanol production from alternative feedstocks

The EFuel100 Microfueler is being evaluated as a tool for on-farm bioethanol production from  high-carbohydrate waste products commonly available on small Kentucky farms. The Microfueler is a self-contained fermentation, distillation, purification, fuel blending, and pumping unit. 

The feedstocks being tested include:EFuel100 Microfueler

Sweet sorghum heads
  • sweet potato, a nutritious source of starch and antioxidants, which commonly has a 10-30% cull rate (see preliminary results);
Sweet potato
  • waste tree fruits, including pawpaw and peach, which are rich in fermentable sugars, but are highly perishible (see preliminary results).

The sustainability of on-farm ethanol production using alternative feedstock crops is being compared with existing large-scale corn-to-ethanol production in terms of land, labor, and energy-use efficiency. 

The project includes an aggressive outreach program designed to promote a decentralized and efficient renewable fuel initiative that benefits Kentucky’s small farmers and the environment.

Updated 12/17/12

College of Agriculture, Food Science and Sustainable Systems