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Allard Energy’s Small-Scale Ethanol Refineries Could Power the Grow Ops of Tomorrow

Soon we could have a new DIY way to keep the lights on. Soon we could have a new DIY way to keep the lights on.

 

Those of us who are concerned about the threat of global warming and the problems with conventional oil have been pretty excited about the possibilities of ethanol as a fuel source. Since 2008, Allard Energy has been manufacturing and selling small- to medium-sized ethanol refineries, perfect for use in schools, labs, farms, grow ops and businesses that crave the freedom to power themselves without being constrained by the use of archaic fossil fuels.

Allard offers a revolutionary modular system, which allows owners to use cellulose to create ethanol. Cellulose is plant fiber, which can be found in household waste like paper, cardboard, sawdust and lawn clippings. It is also abundant in leftover plant materials like leaves and stalks. Because Allard Energy’s system is able to first convert the cellulose fiber into sugar, and then distill that sugar into ethanol, a much wider range of materials can be used to create the ethanol than in a traditional refinery.

With its unique techniques, Allard Energy has been able to market to a larger variety of customers, even suburban families who are looking to have a self-sustaining power and food system.

Historically, the big limiting factor for people wanting to make their own ethanol fuel has been a lack of abundant feedstock.

“The ability to economically use cellulose as a feedstock has been the last hurdle in widespread adoption of a distributed fuel production model,” says Sharon Allard, owner and CEO of Allard Energy. “Historically, the big limiting factor for people wanting to make their own ethanol fuel has been a lack of abundant feedstock. Since everyone has cellulose growing in their yards, not only are we able to make fuel from all that feedstock, we are also helping to reduce the amount of waste going to landfills.”

Growers looking to use an Allard Energy ethanol refinery have a variety of options. Their smallest system pumps out about 20 gallons per hour of pure ethanol, which can be used in specialty generators to power everything from grow lights and exhaust fans to automated watering systems.

Allard also offers an integrated hydroponic feedstock growing system, should a customer not have enough feedstock to create as much ethanol as they would like. Allard will also walk customers through the entire purchase process step-by-step, and offers automated systems that can be controlled using a computer or smartphone.

Sharon and her husband Adam see the potential for their ethanol refineries to create a whole new way of living for suburban homeowners. In the space of an average backyard, a family can operate a self-contained food and energy system utilizing a greenhouse with an attached below-ground fish pond to create an aquaponic system. Then they can use the Allard ethanol refinery and supplemental solar energy to power the system and their home. Allard’s vision is outlined on its website along with information about the company’s available systems and how to contact its salespeople for more information.

For hobbyist growers, Allard refineries are probably a little large and more powerful than necessary. For now, solar systems may be a better option as an alternative to the power company.

For larger grow ops, however, an Allard ethanol refinery may be the perfect addition. Not only will growers be able to create energy with plant waste that may normally not be used for anything more than compost, unused ethanol can be sold to create additional revenue and provide a clean energy source for others. These refineries also produce CO2, which boosts plant growth and helps to eliminate pests. As they exist now, Allard Energy’s systems are innovative and incredibly useful. In the future, they may well become a common household appliance.

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Last modified on Wednesday, 24 July 2013 12:35

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