Fruit, Not Corn, Ethanol
Dan West already uses apples to feed his engines, after waiting for the fruit to fall off his trees.
"We're just a family-run operation," he said. "We're a 10-acre farm."
West lets the fallen fruit ferment into wine, then he distills the wine's alcohol into ethanol to run his farm equipment. He just received a $6,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture grant to build a machine to sweep up his fruit more quickly.
"The machine is supposed to gather the waste fruit and convey it to a hopper where it will be crushed, ground and pressed into juice," West explained.
But don't call him an inventor.
"I hate that word! But I am an experimenter," West said.
An experimenter who makes 190-proof fruit juice, a high-octane option for the future.
Missouri's Sustainable Agriculture Program said the state received 11 USDA grants, the most in the region.