[extropy-chat] Gasoline machine

Keith Henson hkhenson at rogers.com
Mon Apr 23 05:43:23 UTC 2007

Anyone with just a bit of chemistry beyond high school knows that liquid 
fuels can be made from virtually any reduced carbon source.  That included 
coal, wood, plant trimmings, paper, and any sort of plastic or rubber 
(except maybe PVC).

Come the revolution (the nanotech revolution of course) this should be easy 
to do, though for a number of reasons it could be that nobody would care.

The question is . . . given the kinds of automation you can get with 
microprocessors and what we now know about chemical processing, is a gadget 
that converted household waste into a liquid fuel (such as ethanol) 
possible?  The production need not be all that high since it wouldn't be 
that easy for most people to round up the 100 pounds of carbon a week that 
would be needed for 20 gallons of fuel.  I know.  Heated with wood this 
last winter and burned tons of wood.

Still, such a thing, if it could be built, would be saving a person $3000 a 
year at current prices.  Given slightly more than a 3 year payback, it 
could be sold for $10,000.

I realize that there are few if any chemists in this crowd, so suggestions 
as to where I should take this discussion would also be welcome.


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