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Ethanol Design Process

The Financial Permaculture ethanol design team, lead by Pat Therrien, Greg Landua and Albert Bates has been working towards creating a business plan for an ethanol plant that meets the combined criteria of integrative ecosocial regeneration and positive total economic return.  This design shows how a model farm can meet the triple bottom line by creating co-products out of a closed loop system.

To hone in on our scale and create firm parameters for our business plan we went through several expansion and contraction phases as a group including a SWOT analysis of five separate business models.

After an instant run off vote and the deference of our local executive board we chose to create a plan for a hybred model that would allow for a family farm scale business that combines with a modular design that can be moved from farm to farm as a cooperative network is built meeting the criteria of continued growth and education as the region becomes more resilient and sustainable through the soil building and increased food production that are hallmarks of a successful permaculture energy farm.

The design map is below:


For a copy of our business plan template, our budget template, and other related material (including flow charts and diagrams) check out the Ethanol section of the financial permaculture wiki.

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3 comments to Ethanol Design Process

  • rachel studer

    I heard about this site on Flashpoints, a dynamic progressive radio show originating, I think, in Oakland, that I hear on Portland’s KBOO. Mentioned “mobile stills” to make ethanol.
    I flashed on my favorite short story, “The Value of Money,” in the book Pig Earth, by John Berger (Writers and Readers publ).
    A crusty French peasant shows up for the annual arrival of a mobile still making high-test gnole out of apple pressings just when the revenuers show up to raid the still. His revenge is to kidnap the officials and sequester them in a barn amidst a flock of sheep.
    Anti-authoritarians will love this escape fantasy and relish the peasant wisdom that speaks to us today.

  • I became interested in permaculture design after reading David Blume’s book.
    Our intention is to develop a small scale (25-50,00o gal.) ethanol plant that will support fish, shrimp, mushroom, tonmato , lettuce, and cucumber production.
    We want to take students from the city to gain hands on experience housing them for up to 6 mos. per year.
    We are looking for assistance (knowledge)in getting these systems in place.
    It will belocated in florence, SC.

  • Nemawashi

    Happy to hear you are moving ahead with a perma fuel farm!! You can contact the folks at Pesco-Beam for expert advice on the ethanol production side of things, and contact the Permaculture Design Guild at the Ecovillage Training Center for permaculture design consultation.
    Send and email to greg [at] thefarm.org for more information
    Thanks for your interest!

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