Brewer to turn beer suds into car fuel

Beer maker Sierra Nevada Brewing will use E-Fuel's refrigerator-sized portable ethanol maker to turn "bottom of the barrel" beer yeast into ethanol to cut down on waste.

EFuel100's MicroFueler, a home ethanol maker now being used by brewer Sierra Nevada. Caroline McCarthy/CNET Networks

The inventor of the EFuel100 MicroFueler home ethanol maker has signed on Sierra Nevada Brewing to make ethanol from beer dregs.

E-Fuel on Tuesday said that the beer company will start testing EFuel's refrigerator-sized portable ethanol refineries in the second quarter of this year using discarded beer yeast as a feedstock for ethanol.

E-Fuel last year unveiled its $9,995 home ethanol machine which ferments a mix of water and sugar into ethanol. Ethanol is mixed into gasoline at 10 percent. Flex-fuel cars can run on E85, an 85 percent blend of ethanol and gasoline.

Sierra Nevada every year generates 1.6 million gallons of "bottom of the barrel" beer yeast waste, which it now sells to farmers as feed. The MicroFueler will be able to raise the alcohol content in that mix to 15 percent and remove water.

Initially, Sierra Nevada plans to use the ethanol in its own vehicles. Once it has excess fuel, it will look to supply employees and distribute through E-Fuel's distribution network, a company representative said.

In a statement, Sierra Nevada Brewing president and founder Ken Grossman said the MicroFueler has the potential to improve the environment by reducing waste and to make fuel domestically.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Don't Miss
Hot Products
Trending on CNET

HOT ON CNET

Delete your photos by mistake?

Whether you've deleted everything on your memory card or there's been a data corruption, here's a way to recover those photos.