Enactus and Juicer Heroes create alcohol fuel out of leftover pulp.
By Travis Doyle
Business management sophomore Claire Marshall and the owners of Juicer Heroes, an organic juice bar, have found a way to distill leftover pulp to power the building.
The business creates enough pulp every week to make about 100 gallons of alcohol fuel; about 15 gallons powers a generator for the building.
This pulp fuel is one of three projects the Enactus Club is entering to compete with 350-400 other colleges April 14-16 at the U.S. National Expo in St. Louis, Mo.
The other two projects are a venture with Unilever to make an aquaponics system out of the greenhouse on the grounds of Koehler Cultural Center and a project with Wal-Mart’s Women’s Economic Empowerment Project to help women in the workplace through a series of workshops.
A total of eight people will attend the conference. The three project leads for
Enactus will present documents detailing their projects.
This college’s Enactus team was also selected as one of the top teams in the 2014-15 Unilever Bright Future Project Partnership.
Juicer Heroes, 15337 San Pedro Ave., was founded in 2012 by brothers Jason and Josh Taylor and their father Drew Taylor. Two “partner” stores opened in Frisco and Plano.
Marshall started working at Juicer Heroes in 2014.
Marshall said she and Drew Taylor had discussions about what to do with the pulp left over from fresh fruits and vegetables. This led Drew Taylor to research how to make alcohol fuel through methods similar to distilling moonshine.
In December, Marshall received a grant through Sam’s Club Step Up for Small Business Project Partnership.
Distillation separates substances from liquid through evaporation and condensation.
Juicer Heroes uses a distiller that mixes yeast water and the sugar in a fruit mash and also adds water — at a temperature of 90-105 degrees Fahrenheit — into a fermenter, a 35-gallon drum, where the mash remains for three to seven days in an area where the temperature must be kept between 70-90 degrees so the yeast can stay active.
The yeast consumes the sugar, and the mash turns into a liquid wash. The wash is then pumped into a boiler and heated for about half an hour to raise it to boiling level. The blended alcohol and water rises as a gas from the pot, enters a copper column and condenses into a liquid ethanol, which then drips into a collection container.
“Currently the distilled alcohol we produce is only 140 proof, 70 percent,” Marshall said. “We want the fuel to be 180 proof, 90 percent alcohol. To raise the percentage, we have to use more fruit-based pulp with a higher sugar percentage, 90 percent, in the mash.”
Drew Taylor, an inventor with seven patents, is the chief executive officer of Elevate Life Wellness Center, a company that focuses on alternative approaches to health.
“This is a huge milestone for us,” he said. “Maybe other places will be aware of how easy it is, the cost of it, the planet aspect of it that it burns clean. I have big dreams of this going pretty far.”
It all began with an effort to be healthier. For a year, Jason Taylor was ill with heavy metal toxicity and sought medical help from multiple doctors. Then he discovered juicing.
“It changed the way I felt and what I was doing; I graduated college and started to sell my own, then I decided to open up and make a juice bar,” Jason said. “We want to provide a fresh, healthy alternative to other forms of fast food in a convenient form and to educate people about what they are putting in their body.”
Juicer Heroes stays true to its mission, buying everything local and organic, he said.
“When you look at the smoothie, it is all green and icky. You have no idea what you are drinking when you look at it,” Drew Taylor said. “Yet the body knows exactly what to do with the juiced fruit and how to process it. Once my sons decided they wanted this to be their business, they sold all their worldly possessions to open it.”
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