Fill 'Er Up— In Your Own Back Yard

Distiller could home-brew ethanol for as little as $1 a gallon
By Kate Rockwood,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 27, 2008 1:56 PM CDT
A Toyota Prius hybrid compact car is exhibited at the Tokyo Motor Show in Makuhari, east of Tokyo.   (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
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(Newser) – Backyard brew may soon ease the pain at the gas pump if two entrepreneurs pushing a home ethanol system have their way, reports the New York Times. E-Fuel Corporation's device is roughly the size of a stackable washer-dryer and will sell for about $10,000. Using sugar or feedstock and a specially designed yeast, it creates ethanol for as little as a dollar a gallon, which produces one-eighth the carbon of gasoline.

“It’s going to cause havoc in the market and cause great financial stress in the oil industry,” says a company co-founder. But experts aren’t yet convinced. Quality control and efficiency of home brewing are far weaker than commercial preparation, they say, and the cost of sugar doesn’t make this much cheaper than gas. “It’s entirely possible that they’ve done it, but skepticism is a virtue,” says one critic.