The concept of ethanol alludes to ethyl alcohol: a substance whose chemical formula is CH3-CH2-OH. It is a liquid that is generated from the fermentation of products that present a high amount of carbohydrates.
Regarding its etymology, we can say that this term responds to the definition of the IUPAC (the acronym in English for the International Union of Chemistry Pure and Applied) for the chemical compound that is characterized by having one molecule and two carbon atoms (hence the prefix et-), related by means of a single link (this is understood by the suffix -year) and the presence of a group -OH (expressed with the suffix -ol).
In the year 1834, the German scientist Justus liebig coined the prefix ethyl, which he formed by contracting the French term ether (any substance that easily sublime or evaporate at room temperature) and the Greek ύλη (whose pronunciation resembles hylé y means “substance”). It was only in 1892, as part of the celebration of the International Conference on Nomenclature Chemistry In the Swiss city of Geneva, the word was coined ethanol.
Ethanol, under normal conditions of temperature and pressure, is flammable and colorless. In any proportion, on the other hand, it is soluble in Water.
Obtaining ethanol is carried out through the anaerobic fermentation of a solution containing yeast and sugars. By means of the distillation, you can separate the ethanol from the water.
One of the most common uses of ethanol is manufacture of alcoholic beverages. By fermentation, it is produced beer, came and other products. In the case of Geneva, the tequila and the whiskeyAmong other beverages, the process also includes distillation.
The amount of ethanol present in the drink varies in each case. While the spirits can have up to 70% ethanol, in the beer the level of ethyl alcohol is usually around 5%.
It is important to note that ethanol is a drug, whose consumption is legal in most of the world. However, the abuse of alcoholic beverages generates serious health problems. Those who consume a lot of ethanol can suffer an ethyl coma that even causes death.
Ethanol, on the other hand, can also be used as fuel, either alone or in combination with other substances. When ethanol is mixed with gasoline, it produces alconafta.
Used as fuel, ethanol is usually obtained from sugar cane. This makes it a product of renewable origin.
One of the most common uses for ethanol is in the beauty products industry, such as cosmetics. The reason is that it has astringent properties, ideal for cleaning the skin, and it also serves to preserve lotions since it prevents its ingredients from separating and the product loses effectiveness. In the case of hair sprays, ethanol allows the substance to adhere properly.
Ethanol is also used in disinfectants, since it effectively kills viruses, fungi and bacteria, among other microorganisms. For example, for any situation in which people do not have soap and water at their fingertips, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States (known by the acronym CDC) recommend it to avoid infections.
We can also find ethanol in certain household products, both for cleaning and for personal care. On the other hand, it is intended for the creation of solvents that are used in varnishes, lacquers and paints, from its combination with water and various compounds organic.