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Turning everyday garbage into gasoline

At Demo Fall 2010, E-Fuel Corporation is showing off its home and business "reactor" that converts organic waste into ethanol or electricity.

Now playing: Watch this: Microfueler makes ethanol from garbage

SANTA CLARA, Calif.--Among a hotel ballroom full of enterprise, cloud, and mobile apps, one product stood out at Demo Fall 2010: The gas pump at the E-Fuel stand.

An upgrade from the EFuel100 Microfueler we covered in 2008, which converted sugars and discarded alcohols into ethanol fuel, the new MicroFusion Reactor can process nearly any "cellulosic waste" into ethanol. Said waste is pretty much anything that'd otherwise go into a compost bin.

CEO Thomas Quinn explained the fuel pump part of the Reactor in the video in this post, as well as a companion product, an electricity generator that harvests the heat from the chemical process.

Quinn says Reactor-produced ethanol is less than a dollar a gallon if you provide your own waste to process, or you can pay an E-Fuel service company to deliver you ready-to-react waste to make fuel from--still saving money compared to buying ethanol the usual way.

Quinn sees businesses ("like this hotel," he says) using E-Fuel systems to turn their garbage into fuel. He even sees the products in homes. The ethanol pump system, which requires the installation of a waste storage tank as well as the pump/reactor itself, is $10,000. The generator is $6,000. Quinn says there are government subsidy and incentive programs available that lower the cost to consumers and businesses.