What Common Wild Plants Can Be Used to Produce Lots of Alcohol for Fueling Cars?

Question by Sam’s Rights: What common wild plants can be used to produce lots of alcohol for fueling cars?
I know cattails, buffalo gourd, switchgrass, chestnuts, jerusalem artichoke

These sources were covered in David Blume’s “Alcohol Can Be a Gas” book.

But I was wondering about other wild plants in the environment that can be used as alcohol, and its yield of alcohol per acre. Because they are free and abundant, perhaps a lot of them can be used in alcohol making for fuel for cars.

Burdock root
Wild apples
Wild cherries?
Rose hips?
Parsley root?
Bindweed root?
Maple syrup?

What about the potential of making alcohol from flowers? Aren’t a lot of flowers sugary?

honeysuckle flower
dandelion flower
red clover flower
elderberry flowers
apple blossoms
rose blossoms

Best answer:

Answer by monkeyboy
You can probably make gas out of a large number of natural products, the problem is that the energy “created” (extracted?) from these plants is less than the energy it took to extract it. They’ve already figured that out for hydrogen and ethanol, which is why electric/hybrid cars are seeing such focus today.

Plug-in electrics, when combined with a solar system, are about as efficient and economical as you can get. Still serious shortcomings, but they are being worked on. Anything but solar, at this point, is not viable as an alternative to petroleum.

Answer by John W
The berries and fruits have sugar which is what is converted into alcohol by the yeast. The roots have carbohydrates which can be converted to sugars and then to alcohol by the yeasts but this takes longer. All others are cellulose which are also assembled from sugars but it takes much longer for the yeast to process cellulose and a lot of cellulose simply won’t get processed.

The nectar, pollen and stamen in flowers are sugary but the flower itself is cellulose, probably better than the rest of the plant.

If you are going to use a low sugar feedstock, consider boiling it for a while, then letting it cool and adding the yeast.

It takes 30% more energy to make corn ethanol than you get from the ethanol but if are doing it yourself, you are avoiding the road taxes.

Just go by sugar and starch content.

The real issue is the amount of sugar and starch that can be made from the available land and water. The advantage of wild is you’re using someone else’s land and water.

Bio-diesel is a much more efficient biofuel.


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