Backyard ethanol?

Twenty percent of US corn production has been diverted to produce ethanol, and it is being heavily subsidized to get it up to speed. Now E-Fuel corporation wants you to make ethanol in your backyard from either sugar or liquor. In an article in Scientific American the company asserts that it takes 14 pounds of sugar to make 1 gallon of ethanol and the company will provide you with bulk rate sugar for between 15 and 30 cents per pound.

If my math is correct, that means that just the cost of the input, excluding the cost of the $10,000 machine, water, and electricity, is between $2.10 and $4.20 per gallon. In the same article the company states that one of its main objectives is for customers to be able to produce ethanol for about $1.00 per gallon. This seems to be unattainable until you consider the possible dilution of the ethanol (the same article states that 65% ethanol is acceptable to fuel an automobile, suggesting water for dilution).

Considering dilution the best possible cost is between $1.37 and $2.73 excluding the cost of the machine, electricity, and water. This also assumes that the company delivers on its promise to provide a source of sugar at the rate of 15 to 30 cents per pound. This may not solve our energy independence issues overnight, but it is at least a step in the right direction, putting power in the hands of the people.