Ethanol

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Ethanol, also known as ethyl alcohol or grain alcohol, is the most common alcohol. Its formula is C2H5OH. It is clear and colorless. Ethanol is useful mixed into gasoline because it has a higher octane number than gasoline, reducing engine knocking.[1]

It is a mild depressant when ingested, and is a common ingredient in many beverages. Besides its recreational use, ethanol is important to many industries and food preservation.

Production

Ethanol is produces from biomass, a wide variety of plant material.[1]

Fermentation

Ethanol is easily produced from sugars by yeast through fermentation.

Artificial Production

Ethylene is hydrated to produce ethanol.

Uses

Industrial Use

Ethanol is useful as a fuel. In contrast to most other chemical energy sources, ethanol is relatively non-toxic and unreactive.

Ethanol is an effective solvent for many chemicals.

Food Preservation

Ethanol is used to preserve fruits and other foods.

Recreation

Ingestion of ethanol in food or drink causes intoxication. It is a mild depressant, and impares judgement and reduces inhibitions. Managed use of ethanol may be used to raise morale. Ethanol ingestion will likely be restricted heavily in a settlement due to the risk to oneself and others.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 “Ethanol.” n.d. U.S. Department of Energy: Alternative Fuels Data Center.