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Author: Subject: Purification of E85 fuel to drinking alcohol
Refinery
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[*] posted on 10-7-2016 at 02:39
Purification of E85 fuel to drinking alcohol


E85 is a fuel solution containing 85% of anhydrous ethanol and balance of hydrocarbons. Considering its low price and availability it could be utilized as a cheap and a convenient source of drinking alcohol.

I heard that if water is introduced, the solution will separate into two layers since ethanol readily miscibles with water whereas hydrocarbons don't. Then one could simply separate the layers and perform secondary purification or do a fractional distillation to gain azeotropic ethanol. For drinking, this could still contain traces of impurities so it should be filtered through an appropriate activated carbon filter tube to obtain consumption safe, neutral alcohol.
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hissingnoise
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[*] posted on 10-7-2016 at 03:21


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For drinking, this could still contain traces of impurities so it should be filtered through an appropriate activated carbon filter tube to obtain consumption safe, neutral alcohol.

Ugh! Good luck with removing the vile-tasting bitrex denaturant?

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[*] posted on 10-7-2016 at 04:03


I wouldn't trust how it was stored either, as it's not meant for human consumption it could have been stored and transported in any old recycled tank, who knows what it might be contaminated with
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[*] posted on 10-7-2016 at 04:08


Reading a very old history book it details soldiers in the second world war, apparently bread laid on boot polish pulled ethanol out. I think if i drank and needed one bad enough i would do that than touch fuel.

Fuel ethanol is probably cheap for a good reason, you can get samples of Bitrex free if you ask them, try some ;).

It makes you want to take a angle grinder to your tongue! Not to mention it seems to pass through like an express train with no brakes!!
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[*] posted on 10-7-2016 at 04:13


Why not start with something like home made wine?
If you are going to have to distil the stuff to lose bitrex then why not start from something that is food grade.
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hissingnoise
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[*] posted on 10-7-2016 at 04:27


Bitrex comes over with ETOH and even oxidation of denatonium by hypochlorite is fraught as some fragments will remain...

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hyfalcon
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[*] posted on 10-7-2016 at 04:28


For that matter just do a fermentation with sugar and yeast. Way more palatable, but not maybe by much to certain pallets.
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[*] posted on 10-7-2016 at 04:34


Do you guys even read the post other than its title? It seems that people just look "oh, another denatured alcohol topic".

https://etd.ohiolink.edu/rws_etd/document/get/dayton13046847...

Activated carbon appears to have some success at removing denatonium benzoate compounds. Slow filtration is widely utilized in alcohol production to remove heavier-than-alcohol congeners and denatonium benzoate molecule is significantly heavier than ethanol. I am highly aware of yeast fermentation methods of alcohol, but the price of E85 is so low it appears an interesting topic. We should not talk about tabletop purification methods, but something that could fit in a carage or workshop for example.

Second to that, does denatonium benzoate really come over at fractional distillation? The substance is stated to have mp of 163C min. so it should be far away from coming over even at normal distillation, nonetheless fractioning.

[Edited on 10-7-2016 by Refinery]

[Edited on 10-7-2016 by Refinery]
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hissingnoise
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[*] posted on 10-7-2016 at 04:56


Quote:
Do you guys even read the post other than its title? It seems that people just look "oh, another denatured alcohol topic".

No! We said, "Oh look, another fucking bollocks wasting his time looking for cheap booze"!

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[*] posted on 10-7-2016 at 05:21


The only way I would utilize ANY product from such a process is solvent. I would never ever try drinking anything that has once had gasoline in it. During distillation there will always be a certain amount of entrainment or smearing depending on many factors that have been covered before other than to say you never get a 100% efficient distillation.
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[*] posted on 10-7-2016 at 05:22


Its not meant for drinking, its mineral alcohol extracted from petroleum, and why would you want to drink alcohol with water when beer is way better? :)
Drinking just to get drunk... Drink and enjoy your beverage!
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[*] posted on 10-7-2016 at 05:39


To be fair, had the op said he wanted Ethanol for solvent then fair enough. It would seem a reasonable way to get Ethanol at a cheap price, but to want to drink it???

By the time you make it fit to even consume you could have brought a decent malt whiskey! I have a sample of bitrex, i got it because i make my ethanol for solvent use and the law says i have to add it.

I dont actually add it but i wanted to try it out, i tried it in distilled water to see what it taste like (OMG!). I then tried getting it out of a plain sugar and yeast ferment, I tried really hard and to me it still tasted like junk.

You would be surprised how little you need of it to make you want to grind the inside of mouth out. Drinking Ethanol from fuel is pointless, you might as well just drink methanol with orange juice added.
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[*] posted on 10-7-2016 at 06:05


Quote: Originally posted by hissingnoise  
Bitrex comes over with ETOH and even oxidation of denatonium by hypochlorite is fraught as some fragments will remain...


Bitrex should remain in the flask while ethanol evaporates or is distilled...if not it can be done in a two step process
1°) with an acid step so the tetraalkylammonium salt remains into the flask with benzoic acid.
2°) with a basic step so the benzoic acid remains as benzoate salts.

Bitrex




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[*] posted on 10-7-2016 at 06:37


I would like to perform a test for E85 out of academic interest on this. I would first separate the hydrocarbons with water, dilute the ethanol partition to 50% and distill it to azeotrope with purpose-made column, dilute it again to 50% and filter it with appropriate carbon filter. I don't expect having any detectable amounts of denatonium with it, but I'm not so sure about hydrocarbons or other health-hazardous compounds. The smell would tell only a bit of it, tasting it could be hazardous. I wish I had access to lab testing methods. :D
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[*] posted on 10-7-2016 at 08:18


Quote:
Bitrex should remain in the flask while ethanol evaporates or is distilled...if not it can be done in a two step process.

If it were that easy, everyone'd be doing it?

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[*] posted on 10-7-2016 at 08:27


Probably not everyone has got a fractional distillation apparatus. The effort purifying it is next to making moonshine type alcohol with yeast right away so it is not feasible to make it practically impossible. Alcohol is not quite cocaine, anyways, it's just heavily taxed commodity.

I read from moonshiners forum that one guy had tested it and got rid of most of it with simple pot still, so fractional still should pretty much completely remove it.

I'd test it like this: I'd pour the E85 into sep funnel, pour some water on it and mix it good, let it clear and separate alcohol layer, dilute to 50%, mix 5-10g/l of sodium hydroxide and fractional distill it according to moonshine directives (heads, hearts, tails, according to temp meter) and then carbon filter it, and, if necessary, re-fractionate it to azeotrope again if rectified spirits is needed.

I'm not intending to drink it, but more to find out if it would be plausible because I've got the equipment and time. In theory though, gasoline is not very toxic in acute terms and even water separation will remove all but traces of it, and NaOH treatment + fractional distillation and carbon filtering would reduce any harmful compounds even below human detection treshold (odor+taste) and remainders would probably be measured in PPM amounts, so the alcohol itself becomes much more dangerous to human health than those traces. Europe does not allow lead or other such high concern compounds to be used in gasoline so they do not raise an issue. Residual benzene and other stuff could be one of those, though.

But let's talk academically here, I find this interesting topic.

[Edited on 10-7-2016 by Refinery]
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[*] posted on 10-7-2016 at 08:47


Can you strip bitrex with an ion exchange resin?
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[*] posted on 10-7-2016 at 09:24


Biofires fuel is rated 97% ETOH ─ I've used it for MF and got a fairly clean product.

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[*] posted on 10-7-2016 at 10:43


One cleaning alcohol contains 2% MEK. Other topic states that it polymerizes with NaOH. Is this the case?
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[*] posted on 10-7-2016 at 15:04


Quote: Originally posted by Refinery  
One cleaning alcohol contains 2% MEK. Other topic states that it polymerizes with NaOH. Is this the case?

You already asked the very same question in various treads...you are not playing by the rules ... beware for administrator noticing it...

Check my answer to you question into Miscelaneous, short question 4 tread...




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[*] posted on 10-7-2016 at 15:13


Quote: Originally posted by hissingnoise  
Quote:
Bitrex should remain in the flask while ethanol evaporates or is distilled...if not it can be done in a two step process.

If it were that easy, everyone'd be doing it?


Not everybody has a full understanding of chemistry...nor has the distillation setup to do it cleanly.
Bitrex almost not volatile as compared to ethanol...why would it pass as an azeotropic or codistillate?
Being charged, the molecule should remain into the initial flask.

I have already made 15 L of 97% Ethanol (drinkable) from killer yeast (kind of Porto yeast to go up to 18% alcohol), fruits, suggar and water. The high tolerance to ethanol allows one to almost recover 1L of ethanol from 5L of brew...with all glass distillation Vigreux column, and thermometer (took all what passed between 75°C and 95°C) I disgarded what was below (etheral-ester) or above (watery and acidic with a burning taste).




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[*] posted on 10-7-2016 at 23:23


Turbo variation yeasts tend to produce off-tastes so much that they are difficult to remove even with high fractioning columns.

The biofuels appear to contain benzene, toluene and other hydrocarbons that are slightly soluble in water and their BP is too close to ethanol, therefore impossible to remove via normal distillation methods.
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[*] posted on 11-7-2016 at 03:16


Quote: Originally posted by hyfalcon  
The only way I would utilize ANY product from such a process is solvent.


Solvent? Why not spirit lamp fuel?




Smells like ammonia....
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[*] posted on 11-7-2016 at 10:16


I think if you're using it as lamp fuel you can just use E85 directly...

Anyway you could probably achieve this by passing the E85 over CaCl2, forming the adduct CaCl2 * 4EtOH, and then filtering this, washing with clean DCM, dissolving in water, and distilling off the EtOH/H2O azeotrope.

It's completely fucking stupid, though.

edit: Praxichys's post, below, reminded me to say that this method will not remove methanol, and thus will still not produce drinkable alcohol.

[Edited on 11-7-2016 by clearly_not_atara]
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[*] posted on 11-7-2016 at 10:46


Quote: Originally posted by Refinery  
E85 is a fuel solution containing 85% of anhydrous ethanol and balance of hydrocarbons. Considering its low price and availability it could be utilized as a cheap and a convenient source of drinking alcohol.


Methanol is a natural byproduct of fermentation. E85 can contain up to 0.5% methanol and up to 2% of higher alcohols.

http://www.afdc.energy.gov/fuels/ethanol_e85_specs.html

It doesn't take much methanol to blind you and cause brain damage:
Quote:
Our patient demonstrates that accidental ingestion of even small amounts of denatured alcohol containing methanol can cause irreversible blindness with intracerebral lesions.

There is no practical laboratory method to remove methanol from ethanol completely in these volumes.

E85 also contains detergents which will inevitably help carry components of the petroleum part along with the ethanol during extraction. Their similar vapor pressure will cause some of them to co-distill with the ethanol, and those with similar molecular size will be unaffected by the activated carbon.

Consider that in addition to up to 0.5% methanol in your final product, there will also be traces of these hydrocarbons, many of which are known to be carcinogenic.

For solvent use it is probably fine, but drinking it might be the last mistake you ever make. I know I'm reiterating a lot of what this thread is about, but I feel it is important because addiction is real, and so are the consequences. Do not drink this.




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