Distillation of Ethanol

You may have seen news items on people distilling ethanol at home to supplement their gasoline needs. Unfortunately, some of the reports do not inform the public that it is illegal to distill alcohol without first obtaining a Federal permit through the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). Failure to obtain a Federal permit prior to engaging in this activity is a criminal offence under the Internal Revenue Code.

Federal law provides for the issuance of Alcohol Fuel Plant (AFP) permits for persons who intend to produce, process, store, use or distribute distilled spirits exclusively for fuel use. Persons wishing to distill ethanol for fuel use should contact TTB's National Revenue Center online or at 877-882-3277 in order to apply for a permit. There may also be additional permitting requirements and other restrictions on the State and local level.

Media inquiries should be sent to the Director, Congressional and Public Affairs online or at 202-453-2180.

Page last reviewed/updated: 09/04/2012