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Sharing knowledge to build rich, sustainable lives.

Appropedia is for collaborative solutions
in sustainability, appropriate technology, poverty reduction, and permaculture.

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Homemade ethanol still to compare ethanol from local organic sugar beets and from imported refined cane sugar
Ethanol from organic sugar beets versus refined cane sugar. The purpose of my project is to determine the cost inputs and energy outputs of small scale ethanol production from local and conventional sources. I decided to use local grown organic sugar beets farmed with bio-fueled agricultural equipment. In comparison to the costs of a local source, I also used conventional sugar transported from Mexico and sold at a local restaurant supply company. In addition, I made Amal's ethanol still to do the testing.

Ethanol is a grain alcohol that can be used as fuel in most four cycle spark ignition engines. The process of making ethanol begins by extracting the sugars from a sugar crop such as sugar beets, or converting the starches of crops such as corn or potatoes to sugars. Crops used for ethanol production are titled "feed stocks". Starch and sugar crops both have their benefits depending on the region that they are produced in. The benefit of sugar crops is that they require less energy input since no starches need to be converted. The benefit of corn is that it can store much longer than sugar beets before rotting. I am using sugar beets since they were the most appropriate crop for the season and region. The sugars are extracted by juicing the beets and boiling with water. Now the solution is called "mash" and it can be fermented and then distilled to extract the ethanol.

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FBP Nutsy

Nutsy, the modified Universal Nut Sheller for home use.

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Community action news

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Mar 27 Switzerland: Compost, community and cash: tasting the new economy in Geneva [1]

Mar 22 Sustainable transport activism: Q&A: LibreTaxi's Roman Pushkin on Why He Made a Free, Open-Source Alternative to Uber and Lyft [2]

Mar 21 Towards sustainable economies: “Basic Income should be seen as a democratic right” [3]

Mar 21 Copenhagen: The Transition Flower Shop [4]

Mar 20 Community involvement USA: Participatory Budgeting Gaining Momentum in the U.S. [5]

Read More...


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Walter Lippmann in 1914
Unless the reformer can invent something which substitutes attractive virtues for attractive vices, he will fail.

Walter LippmannW
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Hot topics / In the news

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Blog

You can have a green Christmas.
Green living (or sustainable living) is about practical choices, large and small, to preserve the earth and have a better quality of life. It is a lifestyle that attempts to reduce an individual's or society's use of the Earth's natural resources and his or her own resources.

In order to make sustainable choices, it is very helpful to have solid, reliable information that tells us which behaviors are sustainable and which are unsustainable. In quantitative terms, which actions will make the greatest difference, and should be prioritized. Green living can be high tech (buying a hybrid vehicle), low tech (green cleaning, or completely "back to nature." It can be smart grid or off the grid. Sustainable city living explains some of the areas of action for a city dweller.

Practitioners of sustainable living often attempt to reduce their carbon footprint by altering methods of transportation, energy consumption and diet. Proponents of sustainable living aim to conduct their lives in ways that are consistent with sustainability, in natural balance and respectful of humanity's symbiotic relationship with the Earth's natural ecology and cycles. The practice and general philosophy of ecological living is highly interrelated with the overall principles of sustainable development.

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The Parras Summer Program, in Parras,W, Mexico is a summer immersion in Appropriate Technology, globalization and Spanish language and culture. See the Parras Invitation for more information.

Most of the Parras2005 group near Perote  
Most of the Parras2006 group near Perote  
Most of the Parras2007 group farming  
Most of the Parras2008 group near Perote  
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Energy

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