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Finding fuel alternatives

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September 28, 2005

Baconton - When beer breweries like Miller finish with their final product, there are byproducts left behind.

"We take liquid brewer's yeast from Anheuser Busch and from Miller brewing company, we take the yeast in tankers. It comes in here, we remove the alcohol from it. The alcohol goes into gasoline and the brewer's yeast is used as a flavor enhancer for dogs and cats," says Desmond Stewart, Plant Manager of Wind Gap Farms.

For 15 years, Wind Gap Farms has been producing ethanol, but Stewart has only recently seen a major interest in the fuel. He says, "In the last year, we've noticed a substantial increase in the number of people that are looking at ethanol to use as a fuel source."

The the final product: 200 proof, 100% alcohol, as clear as water, and cleaner burning than gasoline. And more readily available, and home grown. With it, America won't need to depend on outside sources for energy.

Stewart says, "Fossil fuels are going to run out some day and they're getting so expensive that we have to look for alternatives... We have to do that to sustain our economy."

Ethanol can be used in most cars, but only as a blend. E-10 is 10% ethanol, 90% gasoline. E-85 is a majority ethanol blend, but only flex-fuel vehicles can use it, but more car companies are making compatible vehicles.

And although it is primarily only sold in the mid-west, it should be available in the Southeast within the next few years.

Another ethanol plant is planned for Mitchell County. That plant will produce ethanol from start to finish. From growing the corn, to fermentation, to fuel.

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