Greening Your Gas Tank

Greening Your Gas Tank

Katherine Bagley
Published: 08/03/2009
Photo Courtesy of GreenHouse

Eco-conscious drivers no longer have to wait in long lines at the pump to get their ethanol gas. Instead, they can just fill up at home with the E-Fuel Microfueler. This isn’t your ordinary, highly-criticized, corn-based ethanol either. The system uses organic fuel produced from carbohydrate waste products like spent beer yeast, algae and cellulose (other than food-based products) – items otherwise sent to landfills. The new system is also friendly on your wallet. According to its manufacturer, GreenHouse, using discarded waste products means the organic fuel is roughly two-thirds the cost of regular gasoline.

Launched in June, the relatively compact system (pump = 3.5x6ft; 250 gallon tank = 5.5x5ft) breaks down raw material in a combustion-free process and creates ethyl alcohol that can be pumped directly into a vehicle. Generating the gas at the point of consumption helps eliminate many of the problems associated with large-scale ethanol production, including the environmental and financial costs of transportation and distribution. The system automatically communicates with the GreenHouse maintenance center when it is running low of organic fuel and needs new raw material. Distilled water is the only by-product of the process.

GreenHouse has partnered with Karl Strauss Brewing Company, Gordon Biersch Brewing Company and Sunny Delight in an effort to recycle liquid waste products for the ethanol production. To date, the company has converted approximately 29,000 tons of liquid waste into organic fuel using the Microfueler process.

The first residential Microfueler was installed in the Los Angeles home of Chris Ursitti, CEO of GreenHouse. But the company is gearing up for commercial distribution by late 2009. For more information about the technology, click here.