Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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wine/steam engine

Alcohol removed at 75C heats remaining water-wine to run steam engine
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Wine heated to 75C. The Alcohol (Ethanol, mixed with water vapor) boils and leaves the container through a pipe (the alcohol pipe) from above.

This pipe then twists below and mixed with air, burns heating a second pipe in which the remaining fluid after the alcohol evaporation, is now flowing. This fluid turns to steam and runs a regular steam engine.

For recovery of energy from excess wine dumped in large quantities into the sewage system.

Low cost, few parts, simple - no distilling needed, and saving water.

The steam can then be sent to an underground cooler, where it is retrieved as clean water.

The remaining organic residue from the grapes will probably be good as plant feed.

pashute, Dec 22 2016

Carrot wine http://www.homebrew...thread.php?t=145532
Ah, alcohol enthusiasm ... [normzone, Dec 22 2016]

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       //excess wine dumped in large quantities into the sewage system// There is no such thing as "excess wine" - there is merely wine in the wrong place.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 22 2016
  

       [Max] you obviously were never the recipient of a gift bottle of my grandmother's neighbour's carrot wine.
pocmloc, Dec 22 2016
  

       And you have obviously never tried home distillation.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 22 2016
  

       A perpetual motion machine fueled by alcoholic beverages? I think there's a law about that - something conservation oriented, I think.   

       I've been looking for excuses to fire up the still again - the three legs of the tripod are:   

       Time - no getting around that one   

       Energy - This idea attempts to address that, but the amount of alcohol obtained will not be enough sustain the secondary heating function   

       Feedstock - Carrots ? Use what ever is available, I guess - in some parts of the world strange beverages are made from necessity
normzone, Dec 22 2016
  

       [normzone] raises a valid point. It is obvious that the alcohol contained in a glass of wine does not have enough energy to vaporize all of the liquid in the glass. If so, wine would be flammable. A more relevant question for this idea is does the alcohol contain enough energy to separate out the alcohol from the water.   

       I suspect that with careful application of counter-flow heat exchangers water could be heated enough to vaporize the alcohol, then most of the heat could be recovered from the alcohol depleted waste. Once started up using some external energy source (or stored alcohol from the previous time it ran) the heat from the alcohol could heat the preheated water from the heat exchanger with enough left over to vaporize a small amount of water for the steam engine.   

       The problem is that counter-flow heat exchangers are good but not perfect, so if you have a 95% percent efficient heat exchanger, you still have to provide 5% of the energy for heating. For a rough estimate, I've heard that 100 proof (50%) alcohol will burn completely. If you have some wine with 12.5%, you have a quarter of the energy per volume, so you'd need a 75% efficient heat exchanger to make up for that. So if you use an exchanger that's 90%+ efficient, that should cover a few other inefficiencies in the system and maybe leave a little bit of heat for running the steam engine.   

       The only significant problem I see with this idea as written is that it's being used on the wine after it goes into the sewage system. Assuming it's only diluted down to 1% alcohol, you only have 1/50th (2%) of the energy needed to vaporize the water. That means you need a 98% efficient heat exchanger. Getting a practical heat exchanger that good and expecting 1% or more alcohol concentration in the sewer both sound a little optimistic to me.   

       If you can find some way to keep the alcoholic beverages separate from other waste liquids, this might work.
scad mientist, Dec 23 2016
  
      
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