What is the difference between ethyl alcohol and ethanol fuel?

Discussion in 'Chemistry' started by Testern, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. Testern Registered Member

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    What is the difference between ethyl alcohol and ethanol fuel?

    Are they exactly the same thing with just different names?
     
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  3. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    no, they aren't exactly the same thing.
    ethyl alcohol must be denatured to be legally used as a fuel.
     
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  5. Emil Valued Senior Member

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  7. origin Trump is the best argument against a democracy. Valued Senior Member

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    Denatured means basically you add a little gasoline or other substance to it to make it poisonous.

    edited to add: ethanol is essentally 200 proof moonshine. That is why it must be denatured - so it is not able to be consumed.
     
  8. Emil Valued Senior Member

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    "Because of its toxic properties, methanol is frequently used as a denaturant additive for ethanol manufactured for industrial uses — this addition of methanol exempts industrial ethanol from liquor excise taxation."
     
  9. Cifo Day destroys the night, Registered Senior Member

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    They probably could denature ethanol by adding something extremely unpleasant, like an emetic or a laxative or antabuse (or all three -- now there's a deterrent!), instead of something toxic, like methanol.
     
  10. arauca Banned Banned

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    One of the poison would be an ethanol amine type, you must add some amine since ethanol is hygroscopic and it will absorb water and water is corrosive for metals . An other additive an oily material to lubricate some of the moving parts in the fuel system.
     
  11. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    ethyl alcohol and ethanol as a fuel are 2 different things.
    you can drink ethyl alcohol, if you drink ethanol for fuel use you will either wind up dead or severely disabled.

    the chemical compound ethyl alcohol used in both is identical though.
    it's the addition of the denaturant that makes the difference.
     
  12. Emil Valued Senior Member

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    Ethyl alcohol and methyl alcohol, both can be used as fuel.
    If by ethanol for fuel you understand "ethanol manufactured for industrial uses", which is ethanol mixed with methanol as a denaturant additive, then yes, you're right.
     
  13. wellwisher Banned Banned

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    When you distill water and ethyl alcohol, you will reach a peak concentration of 95.63% ethanol and 4.37% water. This is called an azeotrope. Normally since the alcohol has a lower boiling point than water it should boil off all the way to 100%. But at the azeotrope, the higher boiling point water starts to boil off before the lower boiling point alcohol limiting the purity of alcohol to 95.63%.

    To break the azeotrope, so we can get pure 100% alcohol, small amounts of chemicals such as benzene, are added. The alcohol can now be distilled to 100%, but traces of the third component will be end up in the alcohol rendering it unfit for human consumption. This now called denatured alcohol. Denatured alcohol is often a by-product of breaking the azeotrope. Although you should not drink denatured, you still end up with a pure alcohol product for industrial and energy applications.
     
  14. Emil Valued Senior Member

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  15. Cifo Day destroys the night, Registered Senior Member

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    Does freeze distillation provide a higher concentration than evaporative distillation?

    Everclear is 198 proof, or 98%, so how do they make that. Not that I would personally know anything about the stuff. :bugeye:

    Also, although it may not be economically feasible, would pulling a vacuum help separate water from ethanol (their vapor pressures being differrent)? Or centrifuging?

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  16. arauca Banned Banned

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    very good point . In the past I assumed the 100 % was made from ethylene
     
  17. arauca Banned Banned

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    very good point . In the past I assumed the 100 % was made from ethylene
     
  18. Emil Valued Senior Member

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    http://www.alcoholcontents.com/:

    "Measurement of Alcohol Strength

    There are several methods of measuring the alcohol contents of various beverages. Find details on each below:

    ABV - Alcohol by Volume - This is the standard measure and used throughout the AlcoholContents.com website. It simply represents the amount of volume consumed by ethanol compared to the entire volume of the drink. It is expressed as a percentage.

    Proof - This term is used among the strongest spirits. To compute a liquor's proof you simply multiply the ABV by 2. The theoretic highest possible strength of any drink is therefore 200-proof. In reality though the maximum for distilled spirits is 191-proof because not all of the water can be distilled from ethanol.

    ABW - Alcohol by Weight - This is similar to ABV but instead of the volume consumed by the ethanol its mass is used instead. Beer brewers often used this measurement in states that require limits on strength of beer sold in food markets (i.e 3.2 beer). This is preferred over ABV in these cases because the ABW is roughly 80% of the ABV. Beer that is 4% ABV can be sold and still meet the 3.2 ABW limit."

    Ethanol purification
     
  19. aymanbinmoshi Banned Banned

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    Ethanol used as fuel is mixed with methanol and some other toxic elements so that you can not drink it. The reason is:
    You have to give a high tax on ethanol drinks but not in ethanol used as fuel. So people may use the fuel ethanol as drink. How to prevent it? Now it is mixed with such toxic elements which does not lessen it's fuel character but are poisonous so not drinking able. This is called methylated spirit which is used as fuel.
     
  20. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

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    No, Everclear comes in either 151 or 190 proof. Both are made by regular distillation - 190 proof is approximately the max achievable through conventional distillation.
     

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