Owning a still is legal in Iowa as long as it is not used for distilling moonshine.
Section 123.2 - General prohibition.
It is unlawful to manufacture for sale, sell, offer or keep for sale, possess, or transport alcoholic liquor, wine, or beer except upon the terms, conditions, limitations, and restrictions enumerated in this chapter.
There are no specific laws about using a still for non-alcohol production and no permits required for distilling water, essential oils, vinegar, etc.
Iowa Alcoholic beverages division
No information online about Iowa state licenses or regulations involving making your own fuel.
Iowa has both a distillers license and micro distiller licenses available.
Section 123.41 - Manufacturer’s license
Each application to obtain or renew a manufacturer’s license shall be submitted to the division electronically, or in a manner prescribed by the administrator, and shall be accompanied by a fee of three hundred fifty dollars payable to the division. The administrator may in accordance with this chapter grant and issue to a manufacturer a manufacturer’s license, valid for a one-year period after date of issuance, which shall allow the manufacture, storage, and wholesale disposition and sale of alcoholic liquors to the division and to customers outside of the state.
Subject to rules of the division, a micro-distillery holding a class “A” micro-distilled spirits permit pursuant to this section may sell or offer for sale micro-distilled spirits. As provided in this section, sales may be made at retail for off-premises consumption when sold on the premises of the micro-distillery that manufactures micro-distilled spirits. All sales shall be made through the state’s wholesale distribution system.
There are several licenses you need to request to legally manufacture spirits. Below are the federal licenses only. Additional state requirements will need to be followed as well.
You must submit a request for a license to manufacture spirits: TTB 5110.41 Basic permit.
This license only allows you to produce spirits. You also need a license for the distilling equipment / distillery: TTB 5100.24 Distilled spirit plant
For manufacturing ethanol fuel you will need to submit a request for a TTB 5110.74 for a federal license.
It is illegal to transport or be in possession of moonshine as well as trying to sell it.
Section 123.59 - Bootlegging
Any person who, acting individually, or through another acting for the person, keeps or carries on the person, or in a vehicle, or leaves in a place for another to secure, any alcoholic liquor, wine, or beer, with intent to sell or dispense the liquor, wine, or beer, by gift or otherwise in violation of law, or who, within this state, in any manner, directly or indirectly, solicits, takes, or accepts an order for the purchase, sale, shipment, or delivery of alcoholic liquor, wine, or beer in violation of law, or aids in the delivery and distribution of alcoholic liquor, wine, or beer so ordered or shipped, or who in any manner procures for, sells, or gives alcoholic liquor, wine, or beer to a person under legal age, for any purpose except as authorized and permitted in this chapter, is a bootlegger and subject to the general penalties provided by this chapter.
Current federal laws allow citizens the right to own a still and operate it for non-alcohol production.
This means legally you can: