Moonshine – Engine fuel

Q: I talked with a friend that grew up on a Wisconsin dairy farm and he says that his dad would put old, closed pottery crocks into the fresh silage as they were loading the silo. When it was time to start feeding the silage they would work carefully so as not to break the crocks. These were now full of alcohol, which they would drink like moonshine. Could this effluent be captured and made into engine fuel?

A: America is built on the inquisitive minds of folks like you. Making silage is the process of “pickling” farm products like corn stalks or fresh grass so it can be fed to livestock later on. Many farmers do this in tall, tubular silos which are sealed against oxygen and rain. If a crock full of corn or barley seed and water were stored in a silo for several months I have no doubt it would produce a skull-popping liquid sufficient to fuel a weekend-long hoedown. Your idea is a good one but scientists and farmers are already ahead of you. Lots of research is being done on producing alcohol from hay, pine chips, peanut hulls and other farm byproducts. Keep your eyes peeled for other uses for waste materials; our country needs them!

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