Making Your Own Fuel

Making fuel isn't just for the big oil companies. You CAN make your own! Hydrogen gas, Alcohol and Methane gas can be made at home for fun and profit. Well... its not very much fun and there isn't much profit in it, but it can be done.


Hydrogen Gas

Hydrogen gas can be used for heating, lighting and motor fuel. Making it requires large amounts of electricity. Unless you have a near infinite supply of free electricity making hydrogen is probably not for you.

The following are some links to sources of information and products for and about hydrogen production:

American Hydrogen Association

The American Hydrogen Association (AHA) is a non-profit association of individuals and institutions, technical and non-technical, who are dedicated to the advancement of inexpensive, clean and safe hydrogen energy systems.

Hydrogen FAQ

Hydrogen FAQ

Don Lancaster's Hydrogen Library

Hydrogen Library

This library page holds a collection of hydrogen energy resources.

But please do NOT call Hydrogen a fuel. Hydrogen is only an energy transport media. It is incapable of delivering net on-the-books BTU's of energy. Just as with a flywheel or lead acid, you'll first have to fill hydrogen with energy before you can empty it.

Hydrogen: The Perfect Fuel

The Perfect Fuel

The best pollution-free alternative to batteries while still using clean electric motors is the hydrogen fuel cell. Hydrogen-powered "fuel cells hold enormous promise as a power source for a future generation of cars" (Zygmont 20). They do not have the restraints that batteries do, either.


Alcohol can be used for heating, lighting and as a motor fuel. Alcohol is relatively easy to make, after all lots of hillbillies have done it for years, but making fuel grade alcohol is a little more difficult. For use as a motor fuel alcohol needs to be 180 to 190 proof, that's 90% to 95% pure alcohol with less than 5% to 10% water content. Ethyl alcohol is generally made by yeast, (as well as some newly genetically engineered bacteria), the yeast or bacteria make alcohol as a byproduct as they consume a mixture of corn, grain or other plant material, plus water and sugar. The yeast/bacteria can only convert a small percentage of the mixture to alcohol, requiring a distillation process to separate the alcohol from the water.

The following are a few links about alcohol fuels:

Below the following links are several books about the production of fuel grade alcohol.


These guys have an interesting link. Click on the "Methanol Price" button to see current pricing.



These guys claim to have been in the illegal moonshine business in the past, and are now in the fuel-alcohol still building business. Being a moonshiner probably gives them some good credentials. Looks like they probably know what they are doing when it comes to distilling alcohol, but their web page design sure needs some work.

They offer stills from 10 to 1,000 gallons. The only picture, of a 25-gallon still on their site, looks pretty good.


Ontario corn farmers

Ontario corn farmers are big supporters of the expanded use of renewable fuels including ethanol- blended gasoline, and “neat” ethanol (fuels containing at least 85% ethanol). So, too, are a growing percentage of Canadian automobile owners.

Distilling Ethanol - Grain Alcohol

Distilling Ethanol

The Department of the Treasury recently published regulations establishing a new category of distilled spirits plants for producers of alcohol exclusively for fuel. The Energy Tax Act of 1978 charged the Department of Treasury to encourage and promote alcohol fuel production.



In most areas of the world it is illegal to "Sell Moonshine". However it is not immoral to make it. It may even be legal to make it for home consumption. Therein lies the excitement of Illicit Distilling.



Links to many alcohol related sites.


Moonshine Supplies

This is the Home Page of Moonshine Supplies. We have been in the Home Brewing Business for 9 years and have built up and expertise in: Beer Brewing Wine Making & Spirit Distillation
Just about everything you need to know about alcohol production.

Home and Farm Production of Alcohol Fuel

The following are books about alcohol production listed by Most of these are out of print but Amazon offers to search their used book dealers and notify you if they turn one up.

Driving Without Gas
John Ware Lincoln / Published 1980

Fuel Alcohol on the Farm, a Primer on Production and Use
U.S. National Alcohol Fuels Commission / Published 1981

How to Make Your Own Alcohol Fuels
Larry W. Carley / Published 1981

Methanol and Other Ways Around the Gas Pump
John Ware. Lincoln / Published 1976

Alcohol Fuels : Policies Predictions and Potentials
Doann Houghton-Alico / Hardcover / Published 1981
Amazon Price: $34.00 (Special Order)

Alcohol Fuels : Options for Developing Countries
Published 1983

Alcohols As Motor Fuels (Selected Papers Through 1980) Vol 19
Published 1980

Alternate Fuels
Society of Automotive Engineers Inc / Published 1981




Methane Gas

Methane can be used for heating, lighting and as a motor fuel. Methane is relatively easy to make from bio-mass, "animal manure and many plants".

Methane is probably the easiest to produce of all the homemade fuels, but it's a messy and time-consuming process.

Click here Notes from Folks for "Notes From Folks" about the production of methane.

The following are links to several sources of information on the production of methane:


Methane Generation From Livestock Waste

The technology needed to generate methane from livestock waste and other farm refuse has been known for about 100 years. But due to inexpensive and abundant petroleum energy, its use has been limited in the U.S. Today, however, high energy costs and low profit margins experienced in some livestock enterprises as well as recent digester improvements through research are causing many farmers to re-evaluate the feasibility of on-farm production of methane gas from livestock waste.


Practically Green

Practically Green provides research, consultancy and engineering to convert organic wastes into biogas , electricity and hot water (Co-generation of Heat and Power CHP), compost and liquid fertiliser.

Turning Manure into Natural Gas

The production of methane gas from organic waste, primarily manure, is easily accomplished with equipment designed for efficiency.

Al Rutan of Rutan Research has been involved for over 30 years with the design and development of methane gas producing equipment, having assimilated and tested the work of pioneers in the field from South Africa, Asia and Europe as well as the US.




Did you know you could run your car on wood? Yes you can! During the 1930s many automobiles were fitted with a garage built contraption that allowed folks to run their cars from scrap wood. The following are a few links on this topic:

The gas producer

And: WoodGas Powered VW



Diesel Oil

Not really diesel, but plant oil. Most volatile plant oils like olive oil, rapeseed oil or just about any oil that can be used in a simple oil lamp can be used in a diesel engine.

Oils used in a diesel engine need to be exceptionally clean and free of all water. Some changes to the fuel system and timing may be needed to successfully use most alternate fuels in a diesel engine. For anything other short term emergency use of alternative oils as a diesel fuel will require processing the oil to remove undesirable components in the oil.

Pacific Biodiesel

And: Making Biodiesel at Home