Ethanol is a chemical compound, better known as ethyl alcohol, grain alcohol, or simply alcohol, which appears as a colorless, transparent liquid and is flammable under normal conditions of temperature and pressure. Its boiling point is 78.4 degrees Celsius. In the production of alcoholic beverages such as wine, brandy or beers, it is the main ingredient.
Due to its ease of absorption into water and other organic compounds, it is also used as a component of various products such as cosmetics, varnishes, fuels and even paints. 97% of the gasoline used in the United States contains it, which is generally obtained by a mixture called E10, composed of 90% gasoline and 10% ethanol, used in this way to oxygenate the fuel and obtain a reduction of pollution produced in the air.
Ethanol has been classified by the Food and Drug Administration as a substance known to be safe for use in food. However, its use is regulated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, as well as the US FDA, as it is a fairly pure form of alcohol.
Uses of Ethanol
Due to its high effectiveness in eliminating microorganisms, such as viruses, fungi, and bacteria, it is used in hand sanitizers, and for this reason the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend using them in the absence of soap and water. .
It is widely used as a compound to make beauty and cosmetic products because it is composed of elements that help purify the skin, it also helps to protect the ingredients so that there is no separation between them and it preserves the lotions. It is found in products used for the hair, such as sprays.
Since it allows the uniform distribution of colorants in foods and improves the flavor of their extracts, it is used as a food additive. The production of alcoholic beverages such as alcohol, wine, beer.
In dentistry, due to its high desorption capacity, it is added to mouthwash in order to dissolve other ingredients, so that other elements such as eucalyptus and menthol penetrate the bacterial plaque. Alcohol is also contained, albeit to a small extent, in many over-the-counter liquid and cough products.
Due to its effectiveness in preservation, ethanol is used as an additive in the manufacture of household cleaning products. It is excellent for killing organisms that could harm consumers.
Foods containing ethanol
Some foods contain ethanol, some of which include plum puddings and fruit afternoons if some type of distilled alcohol is added as a preservative or flavoring in their preparation. Also sweets filled with alcohol contain it and fruits.
The production of ethanol is carried out in the first place after fermentation of the starch of corn kernels, in the United States. Biorefineries use the latest technologies to convert cellular biomass, food waste, beverages and grains into high octane ethanol.
This chemical compound can be used as a fuel mixed in various quantities with gasoline or alone. Its use has been extended to the replacement of petroleum-derived substances, to avoid the expansion of contamination produced by ethanol in soils and groundwater.
Ethanol is a colorless and volatile substance at room temperature and pressure. Since ancient times, its production consisted of anaerobic fermentation after dissolution with yeast, sugar content and finally the distillate.
The presence of ethanol is accompanied by various chemical substances that give it flavor, color, smell and other aspects, this varies according to the type of alcoholic beverage in question.
Safety measures after using ethanol
As it is a highly flammable compound, it should not be used in the presence of open flames. Inhalation can cause headaches and coughing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As a safety measure, to avoid consumption of hygiene and cleaning products in their pure state, a denaturant is added which gives it a bitter aroma, which does not imply any modification of its properties and allows the alcohol to be unfit for consumption by people.