Ethanol. Properties, application and operation
Ethyl alcohol is an organic chemical compound belonging to the group of alcohols. What are its properties and where is it most commonly used?
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1. What is ethyl alcohol?
Ethyl alcohol, i.e. ethanol (C2H5OH), is an organic chemical compound belonging to the group of alcohols. It is liquid, colorless and flammable.
There are several types of ethyl alcohol. It is food grade ethanol, pharmaceutical ethanol, industrial ethanol and bioethanol.
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2. Properties of ethyl alcohol
Ethanol is a colorless, flammable liquid (burns with a light blue flame). It is well soluble in water, mixes with it in all proportions. It has an intense, irritating smell and a sharp and stinging taste. Ethyl alcohol boils at 78 degrees Celsius.
3. The action of ethyl alcohol
Ethyl alcohol ranks first in the ranking of the most frequently consumed psychoactive substances. It is absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and reaches the blood directly in a very short time - after 5-10 minutes.
It has a strong effect on every organism, although it affects individual individuals to a different degree. Also, the amounts that affect a person may vary, but it is generally accepted that just two glasses of vodka or a half-liter of beer can change human behavior.
The effects of consuming even a small amount of ethanol include relaxation, a feeling of increased self-confidence, courage, better mood, humor, agitation, faster heart rate and larger pupils.
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The more alcohol you consume has many more effects. Too high a dose of ethanol can cause imbalance, problems with proper movement, blurred vision, speech disorders, severe vomiting or loss of consciousness.
4. The use of ethyl alcohol
Ethyl alcohol has a wide range of uses. It is used as a food product - for the production of bakery flavors or for the production of alcoholic beverages. It is often added during the preparation of many dishes and desserts.
In the pharmaceutical industry, it is used for the production of drugs. It works as a disinfectant, solvent, ingredient in perfumes, fuel, air fresheners and many household items. Ethanol has also found application in the printing and construction industries.
5. Ethyl and methyl alcohol
Ethyl alcohol and methyl alcohol have many things in common - similar taste, smell and appearance. However, methanol is a very dangerous poison that is harmful to health (e.g. by disrupting the work of the nervous system).
It can also be life-threatening. Methanol poisoning can lead to blindness. At home, it is practically impossible to distinguish between these two alcohols.
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6. Ethyl alcohol and spirit
Ethyl alcohol can be commonly purchased as a spirit, i.e. a combination of ethanol and water. Spirit is one of the products with the highest alcohol concentration (approx. 95%) available in stores. Absolute spirit, 100% concentration, is obtainable only in the process of azeotropic distillation.
One hundred percent alcohol has special hygroscopic properties - it is able to absorb moisture. Therefore, it should be kept in a tightly closed vessel.