Equipping for disaster

Could you keep a vehicle running in the apocalypse?

While vehicles became less common as the show went on, certain factions and characters continued to use them a decade or more into the zombie apocalypse of the Walking Dead universe. Daryl Dixon, for example, never gave up on his love of motorcycles. But with oil fields and refineries out of commission, could you keep a fossil fuel burning vehicle on the road?

Collecting and refining biofuels is a sustainable way to power vehicles in a post-apocalyptic world. Biofuels are renewable energy sources made from organic materials, such as plants or animal waste. Ethanol and biodiesel are two common types of biofuels that can be used to power cars.

Here are the basic steps for collecting and refining biofuels:

  1. Collecting plant material: Depending on the type of biofuel you want to make, you’ll need to collect plant materials such as corn, sugarcane, or vegetable oil. These materials contain natural sugars and oils that can be converted into ethanol or biodiesel.
  2. Preparing the plant material: Once you’ve collected the plant material, you’ll need to process it to extract the sugars or oils. This can involve grinding, pressing, or fermenting the material to break down the cell walls and release the desired components.
  3. Fermenting the sugars: If you’re making ethanol, you’ll need to ferment the extracted sugars using yeast or other microorganisms. This will convert the sugars into ethanol and carbon dioxide.
  4. Distilling the ethanol: After fermentation, the ethanol will need to be purified and concentrated through distillation. This involves heating the fermented solution to vaporize the ethanol, which is then condensed and collected in a separate container.
  5. Making biodiesel: If you’re making biodiesel, you’ll need to process the extracted oils using a chemical reaction called transesterification. This converts the oils into biodiesel and glycerin, which can be separated and collected.
  6. Filtering and purifying the biofuel: Once you’ve made ethanol or biodiesel, you’ll need to filter and purify the fuel to remove any impurities or contaminants. This will ensure that the fuel is safe to use in your car.

It’s important to note that producing biofuels requires some specialized equipment and knowledge, and it may not be feasible or practical in all situations. However, if you have access to the necessary resources and expertise, collecting and refining biofuels can be a great way to power your car in a post-apocalyptic world.

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