What is Ethanol?

Ethanol is also called ethyl alcohol, grain alcohol, drinking alcohol, spirits. Ethanol is an organic chemical compound. It is simple alcohol with the chemical formula C2H6O. It can be also written as CH3CH2OH or C2H5OH and is often abbreviated as EtOH. Ethanol is a volatile, flammable, colorless liquid with a slight characteristic odor. Ethanol is a psychoactive substance, recreational drug, and the active ingredient in alcoholic drinks. It is naturally produced by the fermentation of sugars by yeasts or via petrochemical processes such as ethylene hydration. Ethanol is used as a chemical solvent and in the synthesis of organic compounds. Ethanol is an alternative fuel source.

Chemical Formula of Ethanol

Ethanol is a 2-carbon alcohol. Its molecular formula is CH3CH2OH. An alternative notation is CH3−CH2−OH, which indicates that the carbon of a methyl group (CH3−) is attached to the carbon of a methylene group (−CH2–), which is attached to the oxygen of a hydroxyl group (−OH). It is a constitutional isomer of dimethyl ether. It is sometimes abbreviated as EtOH, using the common organic chemistry notation of representing the ethyl group (C2H5−) with Et.

Physical Properties

It is a volatile, colorless liquid that has a slight odor. It burns with a smokeless blue flame that is not always visible in normal light. The physical properties of ethanol stem primarily from the presence of its hydroxyl group and the shortness of its carbon chain. Ethanol’s hydroxyl group can participate in hydrogen bonding, rendering it more viscous and less volatile than less polar organic compounds of similar molecular weight, such as propane.

Uses Of Ethanol

  • In the cosmetics and beauty products industry.
  • Used in paints as preservatives because it is an effective solvent and also used in cleansing products for preventing a breach of organisms
  • It is used as a color additive and is also used for giving an enhanced flavor.
  • Used in gasoline for preventing the knocking of engines and maintenance of drivability.

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