Ethanol and Petromax : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I've heard there is a formula for making ethanol from grains, or something to this effect.

(1) Would the Petromax run on ethanol

(2) Does anyone know the formula for making it? I recall a forum thread where someone posted the name of a book from where this is described. Anyone remember?

(Don't bother linking to the promotions of a David Owens for his $12 brochure on making ethanol, which is apparently a scam!)

-- D B Spence (, February 18, 1999


Yes and YES!

From my archives:

: Been lookin for info on carb to use alky (for genny, but maybe : also for wheels) Any ideas or help? : Thanks in advance, glad you're back. ----no problem, quick overview... basically, in a gaz motor, you got 2 deals. The gaskets and fuel lines, and diaphram in fuel pump--and the jetting and settings. Alkyhaul tends to corrode*some* gasket material and hoses, etc. These have to be the correct material. The guys with the straight skinny on this build racing motors that run on methanol. Local speed shop guys, or hot rod magazine ads might be of help. On the carbs, it's ROUGHLY(from what I remember) about 40% bigger jets. Thas it. Maybe some advance tweaking, little curb idle setting. Fuel injection, got NO idea--on yer own, there! You'll get less miles per tank, but at least you'll be gettin miles! Recommended old book called Brown's Motor Fuels Cookbook(methinks) If ya find a source for this book, let us(me)know! It must be out there, I've seen it, a dandy resource.

zognote: cars in brazil now run on ethanol made from the cubic miles of sugarcane they got--and you can still get a NEW beetle there(the real one)!

In Reply to: Re:Zog: carb??? posted by zog on December 15, 1998 at 02:03:20:

: Recommended old book called Brown's Motor Fuels Cookbook (methinks) : If ya find a source for this book, let us(me)know! It must be out there, I've seen it, a dandy resource.

Zog, Thanks for your response. Good ideas, as always! Here's the source, I haven't ordered yet, but gunna! Y2D

Re: Books on alc production Date: Wed, 09 Dec 1998 12:50:04 -0600 From: Dianne Miller

We deal the old fashioned way. Just send a check or money order for the book you want and we will ship your order to you. We don't wait for checks to clear before we mail out the orders.

Brown's Alc Motorfuel Cookbook is $15.00. How to Build a Junkyard till is $12.00. All prices include shipping.

Sincerely, Mike Brown

-- Y2D (MorePower@2.Us), February 19, 1999.

If you're going to try and use ethanol in any device (lamp or automobile engine) look for rubber components in the fuel delivery systems and find a way to replace them with something resistant to alcohol. The previous response made references to richening fuel mixtures in engines, but to avoid burning everything to the ground, you've got to get rid of the rubber, lest you WILL have a leak and there will likely be flames. And since it's ethanol, you won't know there are flames until other things start melting or burning themselves (and hope your body isn't one of them). A second point for converting to ethanol fuel is that engines running on ethanol run an awful lot cooler than on gasoline. You'll have to experiment with the cooling system to get the engine back up to correct operating temperatures or put up with "doggy" performance and not very much heat during the colder months.


-- Wildweasel (, February 19, 1999.

This sounds way too complicated with too many gotchas (i.e. out of my league!)

I'm now seeing that I should stick to what's tried and true, where fuels are concerned. It's not something I'm very comfortable with, or know a lot about, and sounds like it could be dangerous. (But I was very curious, so thanks for the responses!)

As with lots of things, in the time I would have spent futzing around trying to make some wonderful-sounding offbeat scheme work, I could have gotten scads of other necessary preparations taken care of.

What appeals about the idea of making one's own fuel is, of course, that it is renewable, whereas stored gasoline, diesel, kerosene and propane are not. So far, the only use for fuel that I anticipate will be the Petromax lamp and stove, since we are not getting a generator, instead preferring to put a small solar charging system together (and enjoying every minute of learning about it!). Yah batteries for the solar are not renewable either, but I figure that if, by the time the batteries conk out (five years), the infrastructure is not back to functioning, solar technology will have long since become irrelevant anyway. :-)

So I guess we can store some normal fuel, no problem. :)

-- Debbie Spence (, February 19, 1999.

Hi, Debbie!!

Just a quick note to let you know that YES, YOU CAN use the ethanol in the Petromax lanterns. Any fuel that will burn can be used. It would be good for the rubber pieces, put kerosene (when the tank is empty) or spray with WD40 in the pump system. Whatever oil fuel (i.e. lamp oil, etc.)you prefer to use. Pump it up, turn it on for a second (letting it touch the rubber parts) protects them.

Hope this bit of info helps.


-- Diana Clifton (, February 19, 1999.

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