Is Alcohol Methanol Or Ethanol?

Is Alcohol Methanol Or Ethanol
Ethanol is the primary ingredient of alcoholic beverages. Since methanol is highly poisonous it is not appropriate for use at all. Generally used in the manufacturing of products such as formaldehyde etc.

Is ethanol and alcohol the same thing?

What is alcohol? – In purely scientific terms, alcohol is the name for a whole range of molecules that are formed when oxygen and hydrogen atoms bind with an atom of carbon. But when it comes to alcoholic drinks, all of the alcohol is a specific small molecule called ethanol – and if affects your body every time you drink.

Does drinking alcohol have methanol?

Abstract – Methanol, a potent toxicant in humans, occurs naturally at a low level in most alcoholic beverages without causing harm. However, illicit drinks made from “industrial methylated spirits” can cause severe and even fatal illness. Since documentation of a no-adverse-effect level for methanol is nonexistent in the literature a key question, from the public health perspective, is what is the maximum concentration of methanol in an alcoholic drink that an adult human could consume without risking toxicity due to its methanol content? Published information about methanol-intoxicated patients is reviewed and combined with findings in studies in volunteers given small doses of methanol, as well as occupational exposure limits (OELs), to indicate a tolerable (“safe”) daily dose of methanol in an adult as 2 g and a toxic dose as 8 g.

  1. The simultaneous ingestion of ethanol has no appreciable effect on the proposed “safe” and “toxic” doses when considering exposure over several hours.
  2. Thus, assuming that an adult consumes 4 x 25-ml standard measures of a drink containing 40% alcohol by volume over a period of 2 h, the maximum tolerable concentration (MTC) of methanol in such a drink would be 2% (v/v) by volume.

However, this value only allows a safety factor of 4 to cover variation in the volume consumed and for the effects of malnutrition (i.e., folate deficiency), ill health and other personal factors (i.e., ethnicity). In contrast, the current EU general limit for naturally occurring methanol of 10 g methanol/l ethanol provides a greater margin of safety.

Which alcohol is toxic methanol or ethanol?

Methanol, sometimes called wood alcohol, is the simplest of the class of chemicals chemists call alcohols. Ethanol, the spirit many enjoy in beer, wine, and cocktails, is closely related. Both can be made naturally when yeast ferment the natural chemicals in grains and fruits.

And like all chemicals, both can be toxic when you are exposed to too much. But, when you consume methanol, the way your body metabolizes it makes it much more toxic than ethanol. Methanol poisonings were common during the Prohibition Era of the 1920’s and 30’s because methanol was intentionally added to industrially produced ethanol.

This was to prevent bootleggers from using it for alcoholic beverages. Ethanol treated to prevent it from being consumed is called “denatured” alcohol (so never drink denatured alcohol!). Because of concerns over possible toxicity, ethanol denatured with methanol is not allowed for use in things we apply to our skin, like cosmetics.

  1. Methanol in hand sanitizers used to combat COVID-19 has recently been in the news with the US FDA warning the public and recalling a number of ethanol based hand sanitizers contaminated with methanol.
  2. Why is Methanol Toxic, and How is it Different From Ethanol Toxicity? The answer to this question lies in the differences in what your body does to these two chemicals, often referred to as metabolism.

In the case of ethanol your liver first metabolizes it to something called acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde is rapidly metabolized to something called acetate, a far less toxic molecule that is readily eliminated from the body. For the average person there is no significant build-up of metabolic products.

We hasten to note however that you can certainly poison yourself with ethanol if you drink too much too fast and overwhelm your body’s ability to get rid of it. Moderation in drinking is wise! Methanol on the other hand is converted first into formaldehyde and then into formic acid. High levels of formic acid cause a range of different effects including something called acidosis, where the acidity of your blood gets too high and a number of organs (like the kidney) begin to malfunction.

Formic acid is also a primary cause for damage to the nervous system (what toxicologists call neurotoxicity). Damage to the optic nerve and subsequent permanent blindness is a hallmark for non-lethal methanol toxicity. Methanol is a great example of how your body can actually make a chemical more toxic.

How Much Methanol is Toxic? The lethal human dose of pure methanol is estimated to be about 2.5 ounces. This is the median lethal dose, meaning about 50% of people that consume this much may die. Consuming about half an ounce of pure methanol could cause blindness. By comparison, the lethal human dose of ethanol is estimated to be about 6 ounces for an average sized person.

Since alcoholic drinks are usually 45% ethanol or less, 6 ounces of pure ethanol is equal to about 14 drinks (assuming a drink with a 1 oz shot of a typical liquor). If a typical bottle of liquor was all methanol instead of ethanol it would only take about 1 drink to cause permanent blindness.

Please note that these are estimates for comparative purposes. Bottom Line Methanol is much more toxic than its close cousin ethanol and is a great example of how differences in the way our bodies handle different chemicals has an influence on both the nature and the extent of toxic effects. But, as always, the dose makes the poison and just because something may contain methanol (e.g.

many natural foods) does not mean ingesting it, or being exposed to it through air or skin, will cause harm.

Which alcohol is methanol?

Methanol is an alcohol that is found in all distilled beverages (such as tequila, whiskey, mezcal, etc.) in different proportions. This alcohol is considered an unavoidable compound in distilled beverages, since it is formed from the fermentation of pectins originating from the raw material with which the distillate is produced.

Why is alcohol not called ethanol?

Chemical structure of alcohol – Alcohols are molecules assembled from carbon (C), oxygen (O), and hydrogen (H) atoms. When 2 carbons are present, the alcohol is called ethanol (also known as ethyl alcohol). Ethanol is the form of alcohol contained in beverages including beer, wine, and liquor.

About the formation of alcohol in beverages. The chemical composition of ethanol can be represented either as a 1) molecular formula or as a 2) structural formula. The molecular formula of ethanol is C2H6O, indicating that ethanol contains two carbons and an oxygen. However, the structural formula of ethanol, C2H5OH, provides a little more detail, and indicates that there is an hydroxyl group (-OH) at the end of the 2-carbon chain (Figure 1.1).

The -OH group is characteristic of all alcohols. Figure 1.1 Two common ways to represent the structure of ethanol are shown. On the left is the atomic stick representation of the structural formula and on the right is the ball and stick model. The alcohol in alcoholic beverages is ethanol. Ethanol is a two carbon alcohol with a terminal hydroxyl group (-OH).

Does vodka have methanol?

The Analysis of Vodka: A Review Paper Vodka is the most popular alcoholic beverage in Poland, Russia and other Eastern European countries, made from ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin that has been produced via fermentation of potatoes, grains or other agricultural products.

Despite distillation and multiple filtering, it is not possible to produce 100 % ethanol. The solution with a minimum ethanol content of 96 %, which is used to produce vodkas, also contains trace amounts of other compounds such as, esters, aldehydes, higher alcohols, methanol, acetates, acetic acid and fusel oil.

Regarding that fact, it is very important to carry on research on the analysis of the composition and verifying the authenticity of the produced vodkas. This paper summarizes the studies of vodka composition and verifying the authenticity and detection of falsified products.

It also includes the methods for analysing vodkas, such as: using gas, ion and liquid chromatography coupled with different types of detectors, electronic nose, electronic tongue, conductivity measurements, isotope analysis, atomic absorption spectroscopy, near infrared spectroscopy, spectrofluorometry and mass spectrometry.

In some cases, the use of chemometric methods and preparation techniques were also described. Vodka is the most popular alcoholic beverage in Poland, Russia and other Eastern European countries. In Russia, vodka is mostly produced from wheat; while in Poland, a rye mash is most frequently used.

Vodka is made from ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin that has been produced via fermentation of potatoes, grains or other agricultural products. The obtained ethanol-containing solution is distilled or rectified to selectively reduce the intensity of taste and smell of the raw materials and the by-products of fermentation (Act of 13 September on the spirit drinks).

The distillation process takes place in a distillation column. Vodka owes its neutral character to the separation of the heads fraction (higher alcohols) from the tails fraction (the least volatile esters). The soft taste of vodka is achieved by multiple filtering of alcohol through activated charcoal, followed by dilution with water, the latter being distilled, demineralized or treated with Permutit or water softeners (Regulation, E.C.N.110/; Christoph and Bauer-Christoph ; Ng et al.).

The minimum strength of vodka is 37.5 % by volume. Besides pure vodkas, there are flavoured vodkas, which are characterized by a dominant flavour different than the taste of raw materials used in their production. Flavoured vodka can be artificially sweetened, blended, flavoured, matured or coloured. It can be sold under the name of any dominant taste, which is added to the name “vodka” (Regulation, E.C.N.110/).

Despite distillation and multiple filtering, it is not possible to produce 100 % ethanol. The obtained solution with a minimum ethanol content of 96 % also contains trace amounts of other compounds such as esters, aldehydes, higher alcohols, methanol, acetates, acetic acid and fusel oil (Regulation, E.C.N.110/; Hu et al.).

  1. The chemical and sensory analyses of flavoured spirit-based beverages concern the three main components of the product, i.e.
  2. Alcohol, water and flavourants.
  3. Both analyses are used for assessing the raw materials, production type, quality control, authentication and the detection of possible falsification.

The analysis of alcohol used in vodka production encompasses a sensory evaluation, the measurement of alcohol content, and a detailed chemical composition analysis. The sensory evaluation is usually conducted by the group of trained persons on the approved sample.

  1. The alcohol content measurement is traditionally performed by using the hydrometric or pycnometric method.
  2. The chemical composition analysis is commonly conducted by means of one-dimensional gas chromatography (GC).
  3. Due to the requirements imposed on alcohol used in vodka production, mainly the content of methanol, acetaldehyde, ethyl acetate and higher alcohols is measured via direct sample injection into the gas chromatograph equipped with a flame ionization detector (FID).

Such content analysis is useful for comparing different alcohols and confirming the compliance with the imposed requirements (Aylott ). Presently, besides the aforementioned analyses, studies on alcohol samples are conducted by using ion chromatography (IC), liquid chromatography (LC), mass spectrometry (MS), spectrophotometry, electronic nose, electronic tongue, isotope analysis and others.

  • Due to the low concentration of the analysed compounds, the techniques aimed at increasing the analyte concentration prior to analysis are often used, such as solid-phase microextraction (SPME) and solid-phase extraction (SPE) (Siříšťová et al.).
  • In this review paper, we describe research conducted by means of various analytical techniques whose aim was to determine more details of vodka composition, to detect falsified vodkas and to identify different vodka types, which are placed in Table,

Table 1 Examples of analysis of vodkas As previously mentioned, vodkas are produced from various raw materials of agricultural origin such as grains and potatoes. Due to diversity of raw materials, the final products are also highly diversified. At present, numerous brands of vodka are offered on the market, including pure and flavoured vodkas produced from one or more raw materials.

The types of vodka production also differ, which influences the final composition of the product. Due to the ever increasing number of vodka products and the client’s interest in new products, it is necessary to precisely determine their composition. Low concentrations of the compounds present in vodkas pose a big challenge for chemical analysts.

The majority of studies are conducted by means of one-dimensional gas chromatography because this technique has many advantages such as high resolution and high sensitivity. This allows the identification of a large number of analytes. Moreover, the possibility of coupling GC with different detectors makes this technique applicable to a wide spectrum of alcohol-based products.

  1. Flame ionization detector (FID) is most commonly used because of its relatively low price and universal application.
  2. A GC-FID system was used, among others, to determine methanol content in commercial and illegally produced vodkas.
  3. The obtained results differed depending on the vodka type, and ranged from 17 to 376 mg/l (Chłobowska et al.).

The admissible concentration of methanol in pure vodka is 100 mg/l of vodka; while in case of flavoured vodkas, the admissible concentration of methanol is 2 g/l of vodka. All the investigated samples were within these limits. A GC-FID system was also applied to analyse the volatile fraction of vodkas originating from Brazil (Pereira et al.) and Vietnam (Lachenmeier et al.).

  1. In the case of Brazilian vodkas, 32 brands were analysed with regard to the content of higher alcohols, acetaldehyde, ethyl acetate and methanol.
  2. Both methanol and acetaldehyde were present in these vodkas at the concentrations below the limit of quantification.
  3. For most samples, the content of higher alcohols and ethyl acetate did not meet the EU standards although the total content of contaminants was definitely lower than the values prescribed by the Brazilian regulations (Pereira et al.).

Lachenmeier et al. () analysed 11 samples of alcoholic beverages available in local stores in Hanoi, which included three vodkas, one whiskey, one brandy, one rum and others. The collected samples were analysed with regard to the content of ethanol, methanol, acetaldehyde, 1-propanol, 1-butanol, 2-butanol, isobutanol, amyl alcohols, 1-hexanol, 2-phenylethanol, ethyl acetate, ethyl lactate and ethyl octanoate.

  1. None of the analysed vodkas contained 1-butanol, 2-butanol, 1-hexanol, 2-phenylethanol, ethyl acetate, ethyl lactate and ethyl octanoate (Lachenmeier et al.).
  2. The GC-FID technique was also used to determine diethyl phthalate in vodka, ethanol and illegal alcoholic products (Savchuk et al.) as well as for assessing changes in the composition of vodka before and after filtration through activated charcoal (Siříšťová et al.).

In both cases, besides GC-FID analysis, the analysis by means of gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GC-MS) was performed as it gives better results compared to GC-FID analysis. A gas chromatograph coupled with a mass spectrometer is a configuration often used in the analysis of alcoholic beverages.

In comparison to FID, the MS detector is more sensitive and allows easier identification of the analysed compound. As previously mentioned, the GC-MS system was used to determine selected compounds in vodkas, ethanol and illegal alcoholic products (Savchuk et al.). A total of 13 samples were analysed, which included three samples purchased at the grocery stores in Stavropol, one reference sample purchased legally in the store in the city, and nine samples bought from individual home owners by the agents from the Kryzyl distillery.

All samples were analysed with regard to the content of ethanol, ethyl acetate, methanol, 2-propanol, n-propanol, n-butanol, ethylene glycol and diethyl phthalate. The composition of all analysed samples differed from the composition of reference sample (Savchuk et al.).

The content of diethyl phthalate was also the object of investigation in the article on the risk of consuming this compound via intake of various alcoholic beverages, among others, vodkas. Phthalates are highly durable esters of phthalic acid commonly utilized in the chemical industry. They are used as plasticizers in many products such as furniture, car air fresheners, medical devices, toys for children or food packages.

Phthalates are not chemically bound to plastic materials, which means they can migrate into the environment. Thus, people are exposed to phthalates via swallowing, inhalation or skin contact. Diethyl phthalate is applied as ethyl alcohol denaturing agent.

Acute toxicity of phthalates is LD50 1–30 g/kg. Moreover, chronic toxicity is observed, too. Aforementioned diethyl phthalate is also considered a potential carcinogenic and teratogenic agent. Due to this fact, it is of utmost importance to test spirit-based beverages for diethyl phthalate presence, especially in case of the products sold in Eastern Europe where alcohol is frequently denatured with phthalate in many production processes.

Leitz et al. () conducted the study by means of GC-MS, while the sample preparation involved the use of liquid-liquid extraction (LLE). Vodka was used as a blind sample because it did not contain diethyl phthalate (Leitz et al.). Due to the presence of sulphur compounds (including dimethyl sulphide, DMS) in some spirit-based beverages, Cardoso et al.

Analysed selected products for the presence of DMS; alcohols popular in Brazil such as cachaça, whiskey, rum, brandy, grappa, tiquira, tequila and vodka were among the investigated samples. The application of GC-MS was described however this technique did not detect DMS in the samples of vodka, tequila and rum (Cardoso et al.).

GC-MS was used to determine fatty acids and esters in some alcoholic beverages and tobacco. Vodka was also among the analysed alcohols. Samples were pretreated by solid-phase microextraction (SPME). This allowed for detecting the compounds present at low concentrations such as, ethyl dodecanoate, ethyl tetradecanoate, ethyl hexadecanoate, ethyl hexadecenoate, ethyl oleate, ethyl stearate and ethyl linoleate (Ng ).

Siříšťová et al. () described changes in the vodka composition after filtering through activated charcoal; the GC-MS system was used to create a list of volatile organic compounds that had been detected in the analysed vodka samples. As in the previous case, the head space (HS)-SPME technique was applied to preconcentrate the analytes.

A total of 29 compounds were detected, including acetaldehyde, limonene, dodecane, hexyl acetate and 2-methylfuran, which were identified based on their retention times and mass spectra (Siříšťová et al.). Studies on the presence of ethyl carbamate (EC) in spirit-based beverages are frequently conducted.

  1. Ethyl carbamate occurs naturally in fermented foods and alcoholic beverages such as, bread, yoghurt, soy sauce, wine, beer and particularly in spirits made from stone fruits and the stone fruit pomace obtained from cherries, prunes, mirabelle plums and apricots.
  2. The conducted animal studies proved that ethyl carbamate is a carcinogen.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified this compound as probably carcinogenic to humans (Balcerek and Szopa ; Commission recommendation 133/). The content of EC in Brazilian vodkas (Pereira et al.) and various spirit-based beverages, including vodkas purchased in Ontario (Clegg et al.), was determined by using GC-MS.

The gas chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS) was used to detect EC in Vietnamese vodkas (Nordon et al.). In all these studies, ethyl carbamate has not been detected. Besides the above-mentioned detectors, the electron capture detector (ECD) and flame photometric detector (FPD) have been used for analysing vodkas.

The ECD is a nondestructive detector which allows the determination of the concentrations of halogenated compounds at ppb-ppt level. The articles describing the development and application of the method for determining carbonyl compounds in alcoholic beverages can serve as an example here.

  • In both studies, the samples were subjected to derivatization with O-(2,3,4,5,6-pentafluorobenzyl)hydroxylamine hydrochloride (PFBHA) in order to separate the investigated compounds (Wardencki et al.
  • Sowiński et al.).
  • Wardencki et al.
  • Employed the HS-SPME technique for this purpose, while Sowiński et al.

() compared the results obtained by headspace injection with those obtained by SPME. In both studies, the analysis included methanal, ethanal, propanal, propenal, butanal, isopentanol, 2-butenal, pentanal and hexanal. Additionally, dimethyl ketone was determined by Wardencki et al.

  1. And isobutanal by Sowiński et al. ().
  2. Most carbonyl compounds have a negative impact on the aroma and taste of spirit-based beverages.
  3. Some of them, for instance propenal (acrylaldehyde), are highly carcinogenic substances and irritating to the eyes and respiratory tract.
  4. That is why it is important to conduct research aimed at their control.

Both techniques described in the aforementioned papers proved to be effective in the analysis of carbonyl compounds. HS-GC-ECD analysis revealed higher concentration of some investigated compounds compared to SPME-GC-ECD. This technique allows faster analysis than in the case of using SPME, thanks to the exclusion of preliminary preparation of the samples via solid-phase microextraction technique.

  1. With this method, the HS-GC-ECD technique occurred to be better compared to SPME-GC-ECD for most of the investigated carbonyl compounds.
  2. The FPD registers the intensity of light emitted by analyte particles returning to the ground state after excitation in the hydrogen flame.
  3. This detector is mainly used to determine the concentrations of compounds that contain sulphur (spectral line at 393 nm) and phosphorus (spectral line at 526 nm).

The FPD was used by Leppänen et al. () to determine volatile sulphur compounds present in alcoholic beverages at low concentrations. Even small amounts of sulphur compounds can have a negative effect on the quality of consumed alcoholic beverages. The samples of wine, beer, cognac, brandy, whiskey, rum and vodka were analysed.

  1. The vodka brands originating from Finland, Russia and Poland were among the analysed samples.
  2. The analysed substances included dimethyl sulphide, diethyl sulphide, dimethyl disulphide and dimethyl trisulfide.
  3. The application of FPD allowed the detection of only dimethyl disulphide in vodkas originating from Poland and Russia (Leppänen et al.).

Dimethyl sulphide was present in vodkas at very low concentration so its influence on the aroma and taste of the vodkas was insignificant. Besides one-dimensional gas chromatography, it is also possible to employ two-dimensional chromatography (GC × GC) (Fig.) for analysing spirit-based beverages.

Despite its many advantages (e.g. improved resolution, better sensitivity and structured chromatograms), two-dimensional chromatography is not used often. This is due to the fact that these techniques require qualified personnel and expensive equipment, the latter definitely more expensive than a one-dimensional chromatograph.

In the case of GC × GC, time-of-flight mass spectrometer (TOFMS) is the most frequently used detector. This technique was employed for analysing the volatile organic compounds in selected spirit-based beverages such as, cachaça, rum, vodka, whiskey, tequila, gin and some liqueurs (melon, banana, strawberry and Tia Maria) (Cardeal and Marriott ).

  • The lowest number of compounds was detected in vodkas which demonstrate their poor aroma profile compared to other analysed alcoholic beverages.
  • Among the detected groups of compounds were alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, esters, terpenes and aromatic compounds.
  • Fig.1 Schematic diagram of the GC × GC.1 injector, 2 first column, 3 modulator, 4  second column, 5 detector, 6 first oven 7  second oven Although the vodka composition is mainly analysed by means of gas chromatography, there are studies in which spectrophotometry, atomic absorption and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) have been applied.

The aforementioned techniques are used to determine specific compounds which cannot be determined or are difficult to determine by GC. In the case of spirit-based beverages, HPLC is used rather rarely. This is due to the composition of such beverages which contain many volatile organic compounds therefore their analysis is easier by using gas chromatography.

Coumarin is one of the vodka components which is analysed by means of HPLC. It belongs to lactones and can be found in some plants. Coumarin is present, among others, in Polish vodka Żubrówka which is made from rye and flavoured with the grass species Hierochloe odorata growing in Białowieża Forest in Poland.

The HPLC analysis of Żubrówka showed that coumarin concentration was at the level admissible by norms, i.e., below 10 mg/kg (Sproll et al.). In the case of flavoured vodkas, studies aimed at detection of calcium and citrate was also conducted by means of UV–VIS spectrophotometry and artificial neural networks (ANN).

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The aim of this research was the evaluation of aforementioned techniques in comparison to NMR technique (McCleskey et al.). Near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy and Raman spectroscopy were used to determine the ethanol content in vodkas (Nordon et al.). NIR spectroscopy is a nondestructive technique characterized by fast and precise measurements, low costs and the possibility of concurrent determination of multiple components.

The technique uses radiation in the range of 750–2500 nm (Chodak ). In Raman spectroscopy, the mechanism of operation is based on the scattering of radiation by a sample. Both these techniques allowed the ethanol content determination with only a slight deviation from the true value (Nordon et al.).

The aforementioned techniques possess some important advantages as compared to the standard techniques utilized for determination of alcohol content. These are non-invasive techniques that can be applied to the already bottled alcohols without the need to open them. Analysis takes a short time, which makes it suitable for online techniques.

NIR and Raman spectroscopies can be employed to determine falsification without destroying the sample. Unfortunately, it is extremely important to verify additional parameters such as bottle glass thickness or the bottle movement on the production belt.

  1. These elements limit the applicability of the above techniques on the production lines.
  2. Mid infrared (MIR) spectroscopy in attenuated total reflectance (ATR) mode was utilized to analyse ethanol, sugar and tartaric acid content in selected alcohol-based beverages including vodka.
  3. This technique was employed as an alternative to chemical analyses.

The results were comparable with the ones obtained using the classical chemical analyses. ATR method is fast, precise and easy to operate, which can contribute to its broader implementation for analysis of alcohol-based beverages in future (Nagarajan et al.).

  • Spirit-based beverages, e.g.
  • Vodkas were analysed by means of atomic emission spectroscopy and atomic absorption spectroscopy.
  • Atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) is characterized by high selectivity, the detection limit at ppb level, and a possibility to analyse ca.70 elements.
  • Because of that, AAS was used to determine the content of lead and copper in Brazilian vodkas for which the measurements were below the detection limit (Pereira et al.).

Atomic emission spectroscopy allows for the concurrent detection or determination of many elements even when they are present in infinitesimal amounts. Both techniques were employed to determine selected metal ions, e.g. sodium, magnesium, aluminium, iron and calcium in spirit-based beverages including vodkas (Nascimento et al.).

  1. Unfortunately, the detailed results have been published for cachaça only.
  2. Spectrofluorometry was used to determine formaldehyde in vodka samples (De Andrade et al.
  3. Tsuchiya et al.).
  4. This technique is characterized by high sensitivity and good selectivity.
  5. Formaldehyde is an irritating and carcinogenic substance so investigation of its content in spirit-based beverages is very important.

Spectrofluorometry is the technique suitable for determination of substances, which upon light absorption, emits the radiation of different wavelengths. In the case of aldehydes, it is necessary to conduct derivatization into the radiation-emitting products.

  1. Due to this fact, spectrofluorometry is not a common approach to determine other aldehydes.
  2. The measured concentrations of formaldehyde in Russian (De Andrade et al.) and Japanese (Tsuchiya et al.) vodkas were 0.33–0.65 mg/l and 18.4 nmol/ml, respectively.
  3. Formaldehyde was determined in alcohol-based beverages including two vodka samples using flow injection analysis.

A method based on the reaction between Fluoral-P and formaldehyde was used, which yields DDl compound that reveals fluorescence at λ ex = 410 nm and λ em = 510 nm. Formaldehyde was not detected in one sample, while in the other one, it was at the lowest level with respect to the other investigated alcohols (De Oliveira et al.).

  1. Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) was used to determine metals in vodkas (Lachenmeier et al.).
  2. ICP-MS is a very sensitive technique with high precision, which can be employed to make concurrent determinations of multiple elements and selective determinations of specific isotopes of the same element in complex matrices.

It also has low detection limit (at the level of pg/L in solutions) due to highly efficient plasma ionization, and a wide linear range of calibration curves, which allows for determining trace and macro elements by a single measurement (Szpunar and Łobiński ; Vanhaecke and Moens ).

ICP-MS enabled detection of alkaline earth metals, e.g. sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium at the level of milligrams per liter in vodkas originating from Vietnam (Lachenmeier et al.). This technique supplemented with photochemical vapour generation (PVG) was also utilized for determination of cobalt, nickel and tellurium in three cachaça samples, one vodka sample and one sweet vermouth sample.

It occurred to be superior to traditional ICP-MS due to lower limit of detection. The highest content of tellurium was detected in vodka, whereas nickel and cobalt content values are higher than the case of two out of three cachaça samples and lower than the case of vermouth and the third cachaça sample analysis (De Quadros and Borges ).

  1. Moreover, studies aimed at assessing the influence of water hardness on the transparency of vodka were also conducted.
  2. The samples of tap water, artesian well water and commercial bottled water were analysed.
  3. The hardness of water was determined by titration with Na 2 H 2 EDTA.
  4. Based on the study results, it can be concluded that the transparency of vodka depends, to a large degree, on the type of water used in vodka production (Krosnijs and Kuka ).

The important stage of studies on vodkas involves distinguishing vodkas from other spirit-based beverages. These studies allowed the determination of the unique composition of vodka which, in turn, enabled its appropriate identification. Distinguishing among alcohol-based beverages by means of an electronic nose can serve as an example of such investigations (Ragazzo-Sanchez et al.).

  1. The electronic nose is an analytical device for the fast detection and identification of odorant mixtures; its mode of operation mimics the human sense of smell.
  2. The electronic nose usually employs specific chemical sensors which generate a characteristic aroma profile, a so-called fingerprint, in response to being exposed to the investigated gaseous mixture.

The identification of mixture components is based on the comparison with reference profiles. Considering the mode of operation, the electronic nose is similar to the human nose. Conductometric sensors are the most frequently utilized. Metal oxide semiconductor (MOS) type sensors are the most characteristic ones within this group.

  • They are relatively inexpensive, stable, easy to operate and reveal high sensitivity (ppb  v/v ).
  • Electronic nose instruments based on sensors are not selective with respect to particular compounds.
  • Each MOS-type sensor utilized in the electronic nose is selective with respect to a particular compound group, which yields a summary aroma profile characteristic for a given mixture.

Hence, the electronic nose instruments of this type are suitable for distinguishing the samples, which differ in aroma profile in a significant way. Application of the chemometric methods, which allow identification of the most important data allowing distinguishing the samples, increases the distinguishing abilities of the electronic nose instruments.

Ragazzo-Sanchez et al. () analysed the alcoholic beverages such as, tequila, vodka, whiskey, beer and red wine. It was demonstrated that vodkas are characterized by the poorest aroma profile, which translates into the lowest content of volatile substances. Based on the principal component analysis (PCA), it was possible to divide the alcohols into groups.

Only tequila and whiskey partially overlapped, while vodka formed a separate, easily distinguishable group (Ragazzo-Sanchez et al.). It can be seen that the electronic nose based on MOS-type sensors enabled distinguishing the alcohol samples, which differ significantly between each other, especially in ethanol concentration.

However, there were difficulties in distinguishing the samples exhibiting similar aroma profile. Electronic nose instrument was utilized for distinguishing 21 different alcohol-based beverages (wine, beer, vodka, whisky and tequila). Data analysis was performed with PCA and discriminant factorial analysis (DFA).

Both DFA and PCA made it possible to distinguish the spirit-based beverages from wine and beer products. In the case of investigation of only spirit-based beverages, both methods allowed distinguishing particular types of alcohol; however, DFA occurred to be better in this field.

  1. In both cases, vodkas were distinguished in the best way, whereas whisky and tequila products were very close to each other on the plots (Ragazzo-Sanchez et al.).
  2. Similar research was conducted on vodka, gin, whiskey and brandy by applying sensory evaluation and spectral analysis (Sujka et al.).
  3. All samples were purchased in the stores in Warsaw.

Sample preparation consisted of lyophilization which resulted in the removal of water and, consequently, in analyte enrichment. The sensory evaluation was performed by profiling with the use of unipolar scale of categories (evaluation of taste and smell), namely, a 7-point scale in which the highest value had been assigned to the highest intensity of the investigated quality.

The team conducting the evaluation consisted of five trained persons. The vodkas were analysed with regard to the taste categories (sweet, bitter and grassy) as well as smell categories (sharp, sweet and pear). In comparison to gins, vodkas had a more intense taste and smell; sharp smell and grassy taste were best detected.

Samples after lyophilization were analysed by means of Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR). The obtained results were processed by using discriminant analysis which enables the identification or quality evaluation of an unknown sample. The best results were obtained from the model describing vodka because it correctly classified all vodka samples and rejected all samples of brandy, 73 % of whiskey samples, and 97 % of gin samples (Sujka et al.).

The task of distinguishing among the different types of alcohols was performed via ICP spectroscopy (Kokkinofta et al.). A total of 68 alcoholic beverages were analysed, which mainly consisted of different types of zivania and included only four samples of vodka from Russia and Sweden. The obtained data were grouped by using canonical discriminant analysis (CDA) or classification binary trees (CBT) depending on the content of metals in samples.

Thanks to the application of the aforementioned statistical methods, it was possible to distinguish between vodkas and other investigated beverages. Vodkas are produced on a very large scale by various manufacturers, by different production methods and from diverse raw materials.

  • All the aforementioned factors influence the quality of products and, as a consequence, their price.
  • Both the manufacturers and the clients expect that a given product will fulfil specific requirements which are important to them.
  • Due to the costs of alcohol production and prospective revenue from alcohol sales, the cases of falsification of alcohol-based products are frequent.

It happens that higher-quality alcohols are substituted with cheaper and lower-quality ones, or raw materials other than the required ones are used in the production of high-quality alcohols. Such types of falsification have become the subject of research for many analytical chemists who employ various analytical techniques, e.g.

Gas and ion chromatography to authenticate the alcohols and detect falsified products. In order to determine the authenticity of a given product, it is often necessary to check the raw materials used in the production. Flow injection analysis–isotope ratio mass spectrometry (FIA-IRMS) was employed for the investigation of authenticity of 81 selected alcohol-based beverages including vodkas.

Botanic origin of the investigated samples was verified with this method. Eight out of 10 samples were classified as the vodkas produced from potatoes or from crops such as rye and wheat. The remaining two samples were classified as the ones produced from molasses, which is a by-product of sugar cane processing (Jochmann et al.).

This method is effective in investigation of botanic origin of the samples, which can be especially useful in the case of vodka, the producers of which provide its composition on labels. FIA-IRMS makes it possible to detect falsification of vodkas via distillate produced from molasses. Reshetnikova et al.

() analysed different vodkas available on the Russian market with regard to the quality of spirit from which they had been made. The study employed gas chromatography (GC-FID), while the data were processed by using fuzzy logic. The investigated vodkas were made from the two types of spirit, i.e.

Pure spirit of best quality, Extra and Lux; and Pure spirit of best quality and Extra. Among 12 analysed vodka types, only 1 was incorrectly classified into a better quality group (Reshetnikova et al.). Similar research on the quality of ethanol used in vodka production was conducted by means of an electronic tongue (Legin et al.).

The electronic tongue (Fig.), also known as artificial tongue or taste sensor, is an analytical device mainly used for classifying tastes of various chemical substances in liquid samples. Its mode of operation is based on the human sense of taste. The electronic tongue can be applied to identify, classify and quantitatively and qualitatively analyse multicomponent mixtures by comparing the reference profiles with the profiles of investigated substances (so-called fingerprint method).

Potentiometric sensors, especially ion-selective electrodes, are the most frequently applied sensors in the electronic tongue instruments. The advantages of the potentiometric sensors engulf well-established principle of operation, low cost, ease of production, possibility of obtaining selective sensors and closest similarity to the natural mechanism of molecular recognition (Ciosek and Wróblewski ).

Fig.2 Comparison of the principles of natural and artificial sense of taste Legin et al. () analysed the samples of spirit from three quality categories (Lux, Extra and High Purity) in triplicates. The data analysis was conducted by using partial least squares (PLS) regression, which allowed for distinguishing among the samples.

Fourteen samples of vodka were analysed with regard to the prescribed quality standards. Four vodkas fulfilling the standards and nine vodkas departing from the standards were selected. As in the case of analysed spirits, PLS regression enabled the identification of the investigated vodka types. Besides this analysis, a study aimed at distinguishing among vodka brands was also conducted.

Ten brands produced from ethanol of different quality, diluted with various water types and containing defined additives, e.g. sugar, had been compared. The collected data were processed by PCA. Most of the vodkas were very well distinguished in the plotted graph, while some were too close to each other which had made the identification difficult.

  1. Nevertheless, this study demonstrated that the electronic tongue can be successfully used for identifying vodka brands (Legin et al.).
  2. The application of conductivity measurements to distinguish vodka brands was described by Lachenmeier et al. ().
  3. According to the authors, each type of vodka displays a specific conductivity due to the raw materials and methods used in the production process.

The authors also mentioned that the use of flavourings do not have a significant effect on the conductivity; therefore, the method can be used to distinguish among the vodka brands. In this study, vodkas originating from Russia, Poland, and Sweden and vodkas without the country of origin, but purchased in Germany were investigated.

  1. Conductivity measurements allowed the identification of the analysed samples (Lachenmeier et al.).
  2. Research on vodka identification also employs chromatography, for example, the study of commercial vodkas from the USA and Canada (Ng et al.).
  3. The samples were prepared by SPME technique, while the determinations were performed by GC-MS.

The analysed vodkas were produced from various raw materials. The authors distinguished between Canadian and American vodkas by using ethyl esters profiles and checking for the presence of compounds such as, 5-hydroxymethyl-2-furaldehyde (5-HMF) and triethyl citrate (TEC).

Besides gas chromatography, ion chromatography was also applied to identify vodkas. In this case, the concentrations of sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, chloride, nitrate and sulphate ions were determined in vodkas of Russian origin. In order to supplement the obtained results, GC-FID was used, which allowed for distinguishing among different vodka brands (Arbuzov and Savchuk ).

Ion chromatography was also employed to detect falsified rum and vodka based on the analysis of chloride, nitrate and sulphate ions, and the sum of anions. This allowed for discriminating between Russian and German vodkas (Lachenmeier et al.). Near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy was used for distinguishing the vodkas made in Russia from those produced in other countries.

  1. A total of 109 samples were investigated; 67 originated from Russia and 42 from Western European countries.
  2. The following chemometric methods were employed to data analysis: soft independent modelling of class analogy (SIMCA) and linear discriminant analysis (LDA).
  3. None of the statistical methods allowed ideal distinguishing of the investigated samples (Kolomiets et al.).

Despite such results, it can be stated that the technique employed could be useful while coupled with other chemometric methods. Besides authentication of vodka brands, scientists also check vodkas for possible falsification. Ethanol content different from the one stated on the vodka label can be an example of falsification.

  1. The study on this subject was conducted on 17 samples of commercial vodka purchased in Poland by using FT-IR spectrometry and two models, and by applying the alcoholometric method described in the Polish standard PN-A-79529-4:2005.
  2. In nine cases, the alcoholometric method gave different results than those stated on the labels of the analysed vodkas.

For all samples, the values obtained from experimental models differed from those stated by the vodka manufacturers. This study demonstrated that the true values often depart from the values on the labels, which points to, either conscious or accidental, product falsification.

  • Despite the observed discrepancies, all vodkas fulfilled the EU norm according to which the minimum ethanol content in vodka should be 37.5 % (Sujka and Koczoń ).
  • Another possible falsification of vodka concerns the use of synthetic ethanol instead of ethanol from natural fermentation.
  • Studies on this subject were conducted by using GC-MS; three compounds characteristic for synthetic ethanol, i.e.2-butanol, acetone and crotonaldehyde were determined.

All these compounds are present in synthetic ethanol, while 2-butanol does not occur in ethanol from natural fermentation. The samples of whiskey, vodka, cognac and synthetic alcohols were analysed (Savchuk and Kolesov ). Vodkas are the most frequently consumed spirit-based beverages, particularly in Eastern Europe (Hollensen ).

  1. Vodkas are not commonly analysed because of their matrix, which mainly consists of ethanol and water, and includes numerous organic and inorganic substances at low concentration levels.
  2. In general, gas chromatography is used to analyse the vodka composition; however, there were some reports on the use of other techniques for determining specific analytes.

The largest number of compounds comprising the matrix was detected by employing two-dimensional gas chromatography because this technique is characterized by high sensitivity and high peak capacity. Studies conducted my means of HPLC were the rarest due to the fact that the volatile substances present in vodkas are best analysed via GC.

  • Until now, the chemicals belonging to alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, esters, terpenes, aromatic compounds and volatile sulphur compounds have been detected in vodkas.
  • The product authentication and detection of falsified products are of utmost importance in relation to the quality of alcohol consumed.

In comparison to other spirit-based beverages, vodka has the poorest aroma profile; therefore, it is easy to distinguish it from other alcohols. Such studies were conducted thanks to the use of electronic nose, infrared spectroscopy and sensory evaluation.

  • The task of identifying different vodka types seems more difficult.
  • Until now, vodkas have been identified based on the quality of ethanol used in their production, which was assessed via electronic tongue or gas chromatography.
  • In addition, vodka brands were also identified because it was necessary for maintaining the high quality of a given brand (by making comparisons with other brands) and for avoiding the attempts of falsifying a given brand.

To this end, vodkas were analysed by means of conductivity measurements, gas chromatography, ion chromatography and FT-IR spectroscopy. This review paper shows that despite many years of research and using numerous techniques, vodka still remains an interesting object of investigations.

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Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 41:832–837 Commission recommendation 133/2010 of 2 March 2010 on the prevention and reduction of ethyl carbamate contamination in stone fruit spirits and stone fruit marc spirits and on the monitoring of ethyl carbamate levels in these beverages. Off J Eur Uni, 53–57 De Andrade JB, Bispo MS, Rebouças MV, Carvalho MLSM, Pinheiro HLC (1996) Spectrofluorimetric determination of formaldehyde in liquid samples. Am Lab 28:56–59 De Oliveira FS, Sousa ET, De Andrade JB (2007) A sensitive flow analysis system for the fluorimetric determination of low levels of formaldehyde in alcoholic beverages. Talanta 73:561–566 De Quadros DPC, Borges DLG (2014) Direct analysis of alcoholic beverages for the determination of cobalt, nickel and tellurium by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry following photochemical vapor generation. Microchem J 116:244–248 Hollensen S (2007) Designing the global marketing programme. In Global marketing: a decision-oriented approach. Pearson education, UK, pp.588–589 Hu N, Wu D, Cross K, Burikov S, Dolenko T, Patsaeva S, Schaefer DW (2010) Structurability: a collective measure of the structural differences in vodkas. Agric Food Chem 58:7394–7401 Jochmann MA, Steinmann D, Stephan M, Schmidt TC (2009) Flow injection analysis–isotope ratio mass spectrometry for bulk carbon stable isotope analysis of alcoholic beverages. J Agric Food Chem 57:10489–10496 Kokkinofta R, Petrakis PV, Mavromoustakos T, Theocharis CR (2003) Authenticity of the traditional cypriot spirit “Zivania” on the basis of metal content using a combination of coupled plasma spectroscopy and statistical analysis. J Agric Food Chem 51:6233–6239 Kolomiets OA, Lachenmeier DW, Hoffmann U, Siesler HW (2010) Quantitative determination of quality parameters and authentication of vodka using near infrared spectroscopy. J Near Infrared Spectrosc 18:59–67 Krosnijs I, Kuka P (2003) Influence of water hardness on the clearness and stability of vodka. 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PLoS ONE 4:1–7 Leppänen O, Denslow J, Ronkainen P (1979) A gas chromatographic method for the accurate determination of low concentrations of volatile sulphur compounds in alcoholic beverages. J Inst Brew 85:350–353 McCleskey SC, Floriano PN, Wiskur SL, Anslyn EV, McDevitt JT (2003) Citrate and calcium determination in flavored vodkas using artificial neural networks. Tetrahedron 59:10089–10092 Nagarajan R, Gupta A, Mehrotra R, Bajaj MM (2006) Quantitative analysis of alcohol, sugar, and tartaric acid in alcoholic beverages using attenuated total reflectance spectroscopy. J Autom Methods Manage Chem 1–5 Nascimento RF, Bezerra CW, Furuya S, Schultz MS, Polastro LR, Lima Neto BS, Franco DW (1999) Mineral profile of Brazilian cachacas and other international spirits. J Food Compos Anal 12:17–25 Ng LK (2002) Analysis by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry of fatty acids and esters in alcoholic beverages and tobaccos. 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See also:  What To Eat After Drinking Alcohol?

The authors acknowledge the financial support for this study by the Grant No.2012/05/B/ST4/01984 from the National Science Centre of Poland.

Why is ethanol drinkable but not methanol?

Ethanol is the primary ingredient of alcoholic beverages. Since methanol is highly poisonous it is not appropriate for use at all. Generally used in the manufacturing of products such as formaldehyde etc.

Why can’t we drink methanol?

Methanol: Systemic Agent

CAS #: 67-56-1 RTECS #: PC1400000 UN #: 1230 (Guide 131)

Common Names:

Carbinol Methyl alcohol Wood alcohol

APPEARANCE : Colorless watery liquid. DESCRIPTION : Methanol is a toxic alcohol that is used industrially as a solvent, pesticide, and alternative fuel source. It also occurs naturally in humans, animals, and plants. Foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, fruit juices, fermented beverages, and diet soft drinks containing aspartame are the primary sources of methanol in the human body. Most methanol poisonings occur as a result of drinking beverages contaminated with methanol or from drinking methanol-containing products. In the industrial setting, inhalation of high concentrations of methanol vapor and absorption of methanol through the skin are as effective as the oral route in producing toxic effects. The characteristic pungent (alcohol) odor of methanol does not provide sufficient warning of low levels of exposure. METHODS OF DISSEMINATION :

Indoor Air: Methanol can be released into indoor air as a liquid spray (aerosol). Water: Methanol can be used to contaminate water. Food: Methanol may be used to contaminate food. Outdoor Air: Methanol can be released into outdoor air as a liquid spray (aerosol). Agricultural: If methanol is released into the air as a liquid spray (aerosol), it has the potential to contaminate agricultural products.

ROUTES OF EXPOSURE : Methanol can be absorbed into the body by inhalation, ingestion, skin contact, or eye contact. Ingestion is an important route of exposure.

GENERAL INFORMATION : First Responders should use a NIOSH-certified Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear (CBRN) Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) with a Level A protective suit when entering an area with an unknown contaminant or when entering an area where the concentration of the contaminant is unknown. Level A protection should be used until monitoring results confirm the contaminant and the concentration of the contaminant. NOTE: Safe use of protective clothing and equipment requires specific skills developed through training and experience. LEVEL A: (RED ZONE) : Select when the greatest level of skin, respiratory, and eye protection is required. This is the maximum protection for workers in danger of exposure to unknown chemical hazards or levels above the IDLH or greater than the AEGL-2.

A NIOSH-certified CBRN full-face-piece SCBA operated in a pressure-demand mode or a pressure-demand supplied air hose respirator with an auxiliary escape bottle. A Totally-Encapsulating Chemical Protective (TECP) suit that provides protection against CBRN agents. Chemical-resistant gloves (outer). Chemical-resistant gloves (inner). Chemical-resistant boots with a steel toe and shank. Coveralls, long underwear, and a hard hat worn under the TECP suit are optional items.

LEVEL B: (RED ZONE) : Select when the highest level of respiratory protection is necessary but a lesser level of skin protection is required. This is the minimum protection for workers in danger of exposure to unknown chemical hazards or levels above the IDLH or greater than AEGL-2.

A NIOSH-certified CBRN full-face-piece SCBA operated in a pressure-demand mode or a pressure-demand supplied air hose respirator with an auxiliary escape bottle. A hooded chemical-resistant suit that provides protection against CBRN agents. Chemical-resistant gloves (outer). Chemical-resistant gloves (inner). Chemical-resistant boots with a steel toe and shank. Coveralls, long underwear, a hard hat worn under the chemical-resistant suit, and chemical-resistant disposable boot-covers worn over the chemical-resistant suit are optional items.

LEVEL C: (YELLOW ZONE) : Select when the contaminant and concentration of the contaminant are known and the respiratory protection criteria factors for using Air Purifying Respirators (APR) or Powered Air Purifying Respirators (PAPR) are met. This level is appropriate when decontaminating patient/victims.

A NIOSH-certified CBRN tight-fitting APR with a canister-type gas mask or CBRN PAPR for air levels greater than AEGL-2. A NIOSH-certified CBRN PAPR with a loose-fitting face-piece, hood, or helmet and a filter or a combination organic vapor, acid gas, and particulate cartridge/filter combination or a continuous flow respirator for air levels greater than AEGL-1. A hooded chemical-resistant suit that provides protection against CBRN agents. Chemical-resistant gloves (outer). Chemical-resistant gloves (inner). Chemical-resistant boots with a steel toe and shank. Escape mask, face shield, coveralls, long underwear, a hard hat worn under the chemical-resistant suit, and chemical-resistant disposable boot-covers worn over the chemical-resistant suit are optional items.

LEVEL D: (GREEN ZONE) : Select when the contaminant and concentration of the contaminant are known and the concentration is below the appropriate occupational exposure limit or less than AEGL-1 for the stated duration times.

Limited to coveralls or other work clothes, boots, and gloves.


Methanol reacts violently with strong oxidants, causing a fire and explosion hazard.


Mixtures of methanol vapor and air are explosive. Lower explosive (flammable) limit in air (LEL), 6.0%; upper explosive (flammable) limit in air (UEL), 36%. Agent presents a vapor explosion and poison (toxic) hazard indoors, outdoors, or in sewers. Run-off to sewers may create an explosion hazard. Containers may explode when heated.


Methanol is highly flammable. The agent will be easily ignited by heat, sparks, or flames. Fire will produce irritating, corrosive, and/or toxic gases. Vapors may travel to the source of ignition and flash back. Run-off to sewers may create a fire hazard. Caution: The agent has a very low flash point. Use of water spray when fighting fires may be inefficient. For small fires, use dry chemical, carbon dioxide, water spray, or alcohol-resistant foam. For large fires, use water spray, fog, or alcohol-resistant foam. Move containers from the fire area if it is possible to do so without risk to personnel. Dike fire control water for later disposal; do not scatter the agent. Use water spray or fog; do not use straight streams. For fire involving tanks or car/trailer loads, fight the fire from maximum distance or use unmanned hose holders or monitor nozzles. Cool containers with flooding quantities of water until well after the fire is out. Withdraw immediately in case of rising sound from venting safety devices or discoloration of tanks. Always stay away from tanks engulfed in fire. For massive fire, use unmanned hose holders or monitor nozzles; if this is impossible, withdraw from the area and let the fire burn. Run-off from fire control or dilution water may cause pollution. If the situation allows, control and properly dispose of run-off (effluent).


If a tank, rail car, or tank truck is involved in a fire, isolate it for 0.5 mi (800 m) in all directions; also consider initial evacuation for 0.5 mi (800 m) in all directions. This agent is not included in the DOT ERG 2004 Table of Initial Isolation and Protective Action Distances. In the DOT ERG 2004 orange-bordered section of the guidebook, there are public safety recommendations to isolate a methanol (Guide 131) spill or leak area immediately for at least 150 ft (50 m) in all directions.


Methanol vapors may be heavier than air. They will spread along the ground and collect and stay in poorly-ventilated, low-lying, or confined areas (e.g., sewers, basements, and tanks). Hazardous concentrations may develop quickly in enclosed, poorly-ventilated, or low-lying areas. Keep out of these areas. Stay upwind. Liquid agent is lighter than water.

NFPA 704 Signal :

Health: 1 Flammability: 3 Reactivity: 0 Special:


OSHA: 91 NIOSH: 2000, 3800

ADDITIONAL SAMPLING AND ANALYSIS INFORMATION : References are provided for the convenience of the reader and do not imply endorsement by NIOSH.

AIR MATRIX Allen TM, Falconer TM, Cisper ME, Borgerding AJ, Wilkerson CW Jr., Real-time analysis of methanol in air and water by membrane introduction mass spectrometry. Anal Chem 73(20):4830-4835.De Paula PP, Santos E, De Freitas FT, De Andrade JB, Determination of methanol and ethanol by gas chromatography following air sampling onto florisil cartridges and their concentrations at urban sites in the three largest cities in Brazil. Talanta 49(2):245-252. Leibrock E, Slemr J, Method for measurement of volatile oxygenated hydrocarbons in ambient air. Atmos Environ 31(20):3329-3339. Marley NA, Gaffney JS, A comparison of flame ionization and ozone chemiluminescence for the determination of atmospheric hydrocarbons. Atmos Environ 32(8):1435-1444. NIOSH, NMAM Method 2000 Methanol. In: NIOSH Manual of analytical methods.4th ed. Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication 94-113. OSHA, Methyl Alcohol Method 91. Salt Lake City, UT.U.S. Department of Labor, Organic Methods Evaluation Branch, OSHA Salt Lake Technical Center. Qin T, Xu X, Polak T, Pacakova V, Stulik K, Jech L, A simple method for the trace determination of methanol, ethanol, acetone, and pentane in human breath and in the ambient air by preconcentration on solid sorbents followed by gas chromatography. Talanta 44(9):1683-1690. Reichert J, Coerdt W, Ache HJ, Development of a surface acoustic wave sensor array for the detection of methanol in fuel vapours. Sens Actuators B: Chem 13(1-3):293-296. Tyras H, Spectrophotometric determination of methyl alcohol in the atmosphere. Z Gesamte Hyg 35(2):96-97. OTHER No references were identified for this sampling matrix for this agent. SOIL MATRIX Poole SK, Poole CF, Chromatographic models for the sorption of neutral organic compounds by soil from water and air. J Chromatogr A 845(1-2):381-400. SURFACES Almuzara C, Cos O, Baeza M, Gabriel D, Valero F, Methanol determination in Pichia pastoris cultures by flow injection analysis. Biotechnol Lett 24(5):413-417. WATER Blanco M, Coello J, Iturriaga H, Maspoch S, Porcel M, Simultaneous enzymatic spectrophotometric determination of ethanol and methanol by use of artificial neural networks for calibration. Anal Chim Acta 398(1):83-92.Martinezsegura G, Rivera MI, Garcia LA, Methanol analysis by gas-chromatography–comparative-study using 3 different columns. J Agric Univ Puerto Rico 69(2):135-144. Pettersson J, Roeraade J, Quantitative accuracy in the gas chromatographic analysis of solvent mixtures. J Chromatogr A 985(1-2):21-27. Wilson LA, Ding JH, Woods AE, Gas-chromatographic determination and pattern-recognition analysis of methanol and fusel oil concentrations in whiskeys. J Assoc Off Anal Chem 74(2):248-256.

TIME COURSE : Adverse health effects from methanol poisoning may not become apparent until after an asymptomatic period of 1 to 72 hours. EFFECTS OF SHORT-TERM (LESS THAN 8-HOURS) EXPOSURE : Methanol’s toxicity is due to its metabolic products. The by-products of methanol metabolism cause an accumulation of acid in the blood (metabolic acidosis), blindness, and death. Initial adverse health effects due to methanol poisoning include drowsiness, a reduced level of consciousness (CNS depression), confusion, headache, dizziness, and the inability to coordinate muscle movement (ataxia). Other adverse health effects may include nausea, vomiting (emesis), and heart and respiratory (cardiopulmonary) failure. Prognosis is poor in patient/victims with coma or seizure and severe metabolic acidosis (pH <7). Early on after methanol exposure, there may be a relative absence of adverse health effects. This does not imply insignificant toxicity. Methanol toxicity worsens as the degree of metabolic acidosis increases, and thus, becomes more severe as the time between exposure and treatment increases. EYE EXPOSURE :

Irritation, redness, and pain.


Ingestion of methanol may cause a wide range of adverse health effects:

Neurological: headache, dizziness, agitation, acute mania, amnesia, decreased level of consciousness including coma, and seizure. Gastrointestinal: Nausea, vomiting, lack of an appetite (anorexia), severe abdominal pain, gastrointestinal bleeding (hemorrhage), diarrhea, liver function abnormalities, and inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis). Ophthalmologic: visual disturbances, blurred vision, sensitivity to light (photophobia), visual hallucinations (misty vision, skin over the eyes, snowstorm, dancing spots, flashes), partial to total loss of vision, and rarely eye pain. Visual examination may reveal abnormal findings. Fixed dilated pupils are a sign of severe exposure to methanol. Other: Electrolyte imbalances. Kidney failure, blood in the urine (hematuria), and muscle death at the cellular level (rhabdomyolysis) have been reported in severe poisonings. Fatal cases often present with fast heart rate (tachycardia) or slow heart rate (bradycardia) and an increased rate of respiration. Low blood pressure (hypotension) and respiratory arrest occur when death is imminent.


Irritation. See Ingestion Exposure.

INTRODUCTION : The purpose of decontamination is to make an individual and/or their equipment safe by physically removing toxic substances quickly and effectively. Care should be taken during decontamination, because absorbed agent can be released from clothing and skin as a gas. Your Incident Commander will provide you with decontaminants specific for the agent released or the agent believed to have been released. DECONTAMINATION CORRIDOR : The following are recommendations to protect the first responders from the release area:

Position the decontamination corridor upwind and uphill of the hot zone. The warm zone should include two decontamination corridors. One decontamination corridor is used to enter the warm zone and the other for exiting the warm zone into the cold zone. The decontamination zone for exiting should be upwind and uphill from the zone used to enter. Decontamination area workers should wear appropriate PPE. See the PPE section of this card for detailed information. A solution of detergent and water (which should have a pH value of at least 8 but should not exceed a pH value of 10.5) should be available for use in decontamination procedures. Soft brushes should be available to remove contamination from the PPE. Labeled, durable 6-mil polyethylene bags should be available for disposal of contaminated PPE.

INDIVIDUAL DECONTAMINATION : The following methods can be used to decontaminate an individual:

Decontamination of First Responder:

Begin washing PPE of the first responder using soap and water solution and a soft brush. Always move in a downward motion (from head to toe). Make sure to get into all areas, especially folds in the clothing. Wash and rinse (using cold or warm water) until the contaminant is thoroughly removed. Remove PPE by rolling downward (from head to toe) and avoid pulling PPE off over the head. Remove the SCBA after other PPE has been removed. Place all PPE in labeled durable 6-mil polyethylene bags.

Decontamination of Patient/Victim:

Remove the patient/victim from the contaminated area and into the decontamination corridor. Remove all clothing (at least down to their undergarments) and place the clothing in a labeled durable 6-mil polyethylene bag. Thoroughly wash and rinse (using cold or warm water) the contaminated skin of the patient/victim using a soap and water solution. Be careful not to break the patient/victim’s skin during the decontamination process, and cover all open wounds. Cover the patient/victim to prevent shock and loss of body heat. Move the patient/victim to an area where emergency medical treatment can be provided.

GENERAL INFORMATION : Initial treatment is primarily supportive of respiratory and cardiovascular function. The goal of treatment is to either prevent the conversion of methanol to toxic metabolites or to rapidly remove the toxic metabolites and correct metabolic and fluid abnormalities. ANTIDOTE : Fomepizole and ethanol are effective antidotes against methanol toxicity. Fomepizole or ethanol should be administered as soon as possible once the patient/victim has been admitted to a medical care facility. See Long Term Implications: Medical Treatment for further instruction. EYE :

Immediately remove the patient/victim from the source of exposure. Immediately wash eyes with large amounts of tepid water for at least 15 minutes. Seek medical attention immediately.


Immediately remove the patient/victim from the source of exposure. Ensure that the patient/victim has an unobstructed airway. Do not induce vomiting (emesis). Seek medical attention immediately.


Immediately remove the patient/victim from the source of exposure. Evaluate respiratory function and pulse. Ensure that the patient/victim has an unobstructed airway. If shortness of breath occurs or breathing is difficult (dyspnea), administer oxygen. Assist ventilation as required. Always use a barrier or bag-valve-mask device. If breathing has ceased (apnea), provide artificial respiration. Seek medical attention immediately.


Immediately remove the patient/victim from the source of exposure. See the Decontamination section for patient/victim decontamination procedures. Seek medical attention immediately.

MEDICAL TREATMENT : Antidotes fomepizole or ethanol should be administered intravenously as soon as possible to block the conversion of methanol to formic acid and prevent acidosis. Fomepizole is preferred as its efficacy and safety have been demonstrated, and its therapeutic dose is more easily maintained. Once the patient/victim has become acidotic, administration of fomepizole or ethanol may not provide much benefit, but they may be administered at the discretion of the physician in charge. Hemodialysis is the most effective form of treatment for an acidotic patient/victim. Folinic acid (leucovorin) should also be administered intravenously to increase the rate at which formate is metabolized into less toxic chemicals. DELAYED EFFECTS OF EXPOSURE : The most common permanent adverse health effects following severe methanol poisoning are damage to or death of the nerve leading from the eye to the brain (optic neuropathy or atrophy), resulting in blindness; disease caused by damage to a particular region of the brain, resulting in difficulty walking and moving properly (Parkinsonism); damage to the brain caused by exposure to toxins, resulting in abnormal thought (encephalopathy); and damage to the peripheral nervous system. EFFECTS OF CHRONIC OR REPEATED EXPOSURE : Methanol is not suspected to be a carcinogen. Chronic or repeated exposure to methanol is suspected to be a developmental toxicity risk. It is unknown whether chronic or repeated exposure to methanol is a reproductive toxicity risk. Methanol may cause birth defects of the central nervous system in humans. Chronic poisoning from repeated exposure to methanol vapor may produce inflammation of the eye (conjunctivitis), recurrent headaches, giddiness, insomnia, stomach disturbances, and visual failure. The most noted health consequences of longer-term exposure to lower levels of methanol are a broad range of effects on the eye. Inflammatory changes and irritation of the skin (dermatitis), occurs with chronic or repeated exposure to methanol.


Consult with the Incident Commander regarding the agent dispersed, dissemination method, level of PPE required, location, geographic complications (if any), and the approximate number of remains. Coordinate responsibilities and prepare to enter the scene as part of the evaluation team along with the FBI HazMat Technician, local law enforcement evidence technician, and other relevant personnel. Begin tracking remains using waterproof tags.


Wear PPE until all remains are deemed free of contamination. Establish a preliminary (holding) morgue. Gather evidence, and place it in a clearly labeled impervious container. Hand any evidence over to the FBI. Remove and tag personal effects. Perform a thorough external evaluation and a preliminary identification check. See the Decontamination section for decontamination procedures. Decontaminate remains before they are removed from the incident site.

See Guidelines for Mass Fatality Management During Terrorist Incidents Involving Chemical Agents, U.S. Army Soldier and Biological Chemical Command (SBCCOM), November, 2001 for detailed recommendations.


STEL (skin): 250 ppm (325 mg/m 3 ) TWA (skin): 200 ppm (260 mg/m 3 )


TWA (8-hour): 200 ppm (260 mg/m 3 )


STEL (skin): 250 ppm TLV (skin): 200 ppm

NIOSH IDLH : 6,000 ppm DOE TEEL :

TEEL-0: 250 mg/m 3 TEEL-1: 694 mg/m 3 TEEL-2: 2,750 mg/m 3 TEEL-3: 9,300 mg/m 3


ERPG-1: 200 ppm ERPG-2: 1,000 ppm ERPG-3: 5,000 ppm

Acute Exposure Guidelines

10 min 30 min 60 min 4 hr 8 hr
AEGL 1 (discomfort, non-disabling) – ppm 670 ppm 670 ppm 530 ppm 340 ppm 270 ppm
AEGL 2 (irreversible or other serious, long-lasting effects or impaired ability to escape) – ppm 11,000 ppm* 4,000 ppm 2,100 ppm 730 ppm 520 ppm
AEGL 3 (life-threatening effects or death) – ppm ** 14,000 ppm* 7,200 ppm* 2,400 ppm 1,600 ppm

Lower Explosion Limit (LEL) = 55,000 ppm * = > 10% LEL; ** = > 50% LEL AEGL 3 – 10 min = ** 40,000 ppm For values denoted as * safety consideration against the hazard(s) of explosion(s) must be taken into account For values denoted as ** extreme safey considerations against the hazard(s) of explosion(s) must be taken into account Level of Distinct Order Awareness (LOA) = 8.9 ppm IMPORTANT NOTE: Interim AEGLs are established following review and consideration by the National Advisory Committee for AEGLs (NAC/AEGL) of public comments on Proposed AEGLs. Interim AEGLs are available for use by organizations while awaiting NRC/NAS peer review and publication of Final AEGLs. Changes to Interim values and Technical Support Documents may occur prior to publication of Final AEGL values. In some cases, revised Interim values may be posted on this Web site, but the revised Interim Technical Support Document for the chemical may be subject to change. (Further information is available through ).

Why is methanol so much worse than ethanol?

Methanol is an alcohol similar in structure to ethanol. An enzyme in the body, alcohol dehydrogenase, breaks down either one. With ethanol, the product is acetaldehyde, which is toxic but readily broken down even further. With methanol, the enzyme breaks it down into formaldehyde, which is highly toxic.

Which alcohol has most methanol?

Things you should know: Difference between ethanol and methanol Don your white lab coats, dust off your beakers and slip on your protective goggles – it’s time to get scientific. By Adam Devermann. We recently tackled the question of ; also sharing how some distilleries are now producing ethanol-based sanitisers.

  • In this piece, we’re pulling you deeper into the science of booze with an article from Issue 23 of DRiNK Magazine.
  • Ethanol, or ethyl alcohol, is the technical name for what most of us just refer to as “alcohol.” It is the most commonly used member of the alcohol family (chemicals that end in “-ol”), and is volatile, flammable and maintains a strong odour.

For you geeks, the molecular formula is CH 3 CH 2 OH. Beer, wine and spirits all contain varying amounts of ethanol intended for human consumption, though the most common use for ethanol is actually as a fuel additive. Other industrial uses include the manufacture of solvents, plastics, drugs, perfumes, anti-bacterial gels and cosmetics.

Methanol, meanwhile, is the simplest type of alcohol and is also referred to as “wood alcohol.” The molecular formula is CH 3 OH. Chemists describe it as light, volatile, flammable, slightly sweet and having a pungent odour. I would not recommend tasting it or even getting it near your skin because in quantities as small as 10ml it can cause blindness and just under 100ml will kill you.

Despite the danger, methanol is a highly traded commodity. Up to 40 percent is used to make other chemicals such as formaldehyde, which in turn is used to produce numerous products such as plastics, paints, textiles, dyes, adhesives, anti-freeze and fuel.

It is even present in trace amounts in the atmosphere – and in all our beloved spirits. Perhaps the most well-known case is tequila. Methanol is a natural by-product of making tequila, and according to Mexican law it must actually contain methanol. The minimum amount required is 0.3 g/L (grams/Litre) and the maximum allowed is 3g/L.

One hundred percent agave tequilas generally have the highest levels of methanol while mixtos have significantly less. This can cause issues with tequila arriving in China as the government has set the bar for the maximum amount of methanol allowed in spirits not made from grain at 2g/L. Is Alcohol Methanol Or Ethanol Agave plant The methanol in tequila is present for a number of reasons including the strains of yeast used, though the main culprit is the natural pectin found in the agave plant. But despite the Chinese regulations, methanol is not unique to tequila.

  1. Methanol can be found in numerous other beverages.
  2. One example is wine, especially red, which generally contains low levels of methanol, though they can contain as much as tequila.
  3. The International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV) sets the same maximum methanol standard of 3g/L as the Mexican government.

Brandy and beer also contain low levels of methanol; even orange juice and coffee are offenders – although even extreme consumers of orange juice (2 litres per day) will have less than the maximum advised daily intake of 600mg of methanol, as set by the UK Department of Health.

Methanol does however have a darker side. Since it is less expensive than ethanol and readily available, corrupt manufacturers of fake spirits will often use it as an additive, often in fatal amounts. Cases of methanol poisonings due to dubious bottles happen around the world. In September 2012, as many as 25 people died in the Czech Republic, with many more being admitted to hospitals after drinking methanol-laced spirits.

The Czech government enacted a prohibition on all spirits over 20% abv. In December 2011 as many as 40 people died and 150 people were hospitalized after consuming fake spirits in West Bengal, India. Another 17 died during New Year celebrations that same year in Southern India.

In China, fakes are also rampant, but if you happen to ingest methanol, fortunately there is an antidote. Ironically, the antidote is ethanol. Ethanol acts to block the toxic characteristics of methanol, allowing it to pass safely through your system. Unfortunately, it is not as easy as drinking a glass of whiskey for a cure – but considering that both methanol and ethanol are produced when making spirits, this might be nature’s attempt at equilibrium.

Tags : : Things you should know: Difference between ethanol and methanol

Does whiskey have methanol?

(i) Methanol – Methanol is not a by-product of yeast fermentation but originates from pectins in the must and juice when grapes and fruits are macerated. In general, the methanol content of commercial alcoholic beverages is fairly small, except in those produced from grapes in prolonged contact with pectinesterase and in some brandies produced from stone fruits, such as cherries and plums.

How can you tell if alcohol is methanol?

Introduction – Toxic alcohol consumption is a major cause of mortalities and morbidities worldwide, Although drinking alcohol is prohibited in Muslim countries and there have been major penalties determined for alcohol use in them, recent statistics show that these penalties have failed to decrease the frequency of alcohol use or misuse in some of them,

  • This has resulted in increased use of black market alcohol which may potentially be methanol-contaminated due to the lack of observatory quality control processes and outbreaks of methanol poisoning in different parts of the world,
  • Considering the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) as the region with Islamic countries within, both men and women in this area have the highest weekly heavy episodic drinking among drinkers in the past 12 months in both males and females worldwide,

The worldwide consumption of ethanol was equal to 6.13 l of pure alcohol consumed per person of 15 years of age or older in 2005. A large portion of this consumption – 28.6% or 1.76 l per person – was homemade, illegally produced or sold outside normal government controls,

  1. This increases the risk of introduction of hazardous chemicals into the ethanol, the most important of which is methanol,
  2. Both unsupervised production of alcoholic beverages and lack of quality control processes during their production increase the risk of contamination of the produced alcohol with unwanted toxic components including methanol.

Therefore, during the process of quality control of production of such beverages, it is generally important to be able to determine the presence of sufficient methanol concentration capable of resulting in poisoning. Police were usually asked to investigate the discovered consignment of suspected alcoholic beverages and report its content to the judiciary system to determine their alcohol concentration.

  • Based on Iranian legal medicine organization protocols, liquids with 3% v/v ethanol or less than that are not legally considered to be alcoholic beverage at all.
  • The gold standard method for determination of methanol content in alcoholic beverages is gas chromatography (GC).
  • However, this technique is expensive, calls for considerable knowledge and experience to be performed, and is not readily available in many developing countries although this technique has previously been used even in mass poisonings,

Having access to a safe, cheap and easy method to prove the absence of unauthorized quantities of methanol before ingestion is therefore highly advantageous, Generally, with the same methanol concentration, the possibility of toxicity increases with reduced ethanol content.

  1. Ethanol has a 20 times higher affinity for liver alcohol dehydrogenase enzyme which prevents methanol metabolism when blood ethanol level is 100 mg/dL or higher,
  2. Previous studies declare up to 5 mg/dL serum methanol level as the acceptable concentration of this toxic agent in human blood,
  3. Reaching this methanol level in an average 75-kg adult with about 41 l of body water (55% of the total body weight) would roughly be possible after consuming 251 mg methanol in 1–2 h.

This is approximately equal to 2.5% v/v absolute methanol in water, Thus, determination of the maximum acceptable methanol to ethanol concentration in an alcoholic drink without risking toxicity is a challenging concern. The “maximum safe” concentration of methanol in alcoholic beverages has previously been determined based on “permitted and safe content of methanol in the beverages” regulated by the European Parliament and the Council (4000 mg/L in alcoholic drinks with 40% v/v ethanol concentration) and US national research council of the national academies (Table 1 ),

  1. Therefore, “maximum safe dose” is defined to avoid a serum methanol concentration more than 5 mg/dL,
  2. Table 1 Methanol Concentrations in Food and Beverages We used a new kit designed based on the modified chromotropic acid (CA) method for this purpose.
  3. Using this kit, the relative concentration of methanol to ethanol is estimated since methanol/ethanol ratio can predict the potency of the drink to induce methanol toxicity.

Therefore, a positive test would indicate an unsafe beverage and the possibility of methanol poisoning. We picked a conservative approach to evaluate the potency for both acute and chronic methanol toxicities. The table for safe concentration of methanol in different food products and beverages (USA standard) was therefore used (Table 1 ) which determined all drinks with any concentration below the permitted levels as safe beverages.

Preliminary evaluations confirmed the efficacy of this kit in determination of possible toxicity risk of the alcoholic beverages, The aim of the current study was to firstly evaluate the methanol and ethanol contents of the suspected alcoholic beverages discovered by Iranian police as sample of the alcoholic beverages available in the Iranian black market using GC as the gold standard method.

As a second aim, we assessed the potency of toxicity of these suspected samples by detection of relative methanol to ethanol content using a new kit based on modified CA method and compared them with the results obtained by GC in order to determine the efficacy of the designed kit.

Can I drink pure ethanol?

Ethanol: Versatile, Common and Potentially Dangerous – VelocityEHS We have all heard of ethanol, somehow, somewhere. But what is it, exactly? How is it used? And most importantly – how can ethanol be dangerous in the workplace and beyond?

(Photo: by Seth Anderson) In this information post from the experts at VelocityEHS, we’ll take a look at what ethanol is, how this chemical is traditionally used, and the safety precautions needed to handle this substance safely. What Is Ethanol and how is It Dangerous?

Ethanol is a colorless, volatile and highly flammable liquid that has a slight odor. Ethanol has been around for centuries, having been discovered as a by-product of fermentation for alcohol. Ethanol is part of the hydroxyl group, which makes it a substructure of the water molecule.

Because of its incredible versatility, ethanol mixes very well with other solvents and water, as well as chlorides and hydrocarbons. Being this versatile, ethanol is used for a great many things – but it can also be quite dangerous. The most common blend of ethanol is E85, which is comprised of 85 percent denatured ethanol fuel and 15 percent gasoline or other hydrocarbons.

Where is Ethanol used in the Home or Workplace? Ethanol is most commonly used in alcoholic beverages; however, there are many more household and workplace items in which it is used:

Manufacture of varnishes Nail polish remover Perfumes Biofuel Gasoline additive Preservative for biochemical samples Medicines Household cleaning products Beauty products Various solvents

Hazards Associated with Using Ethanol Even though ethanol is very commonly used, it is a dangerous chemical. As previously mentioned, it is highly flammable; as such, it has exact which are important to know when using it. While ethanol is consumed when drinking alcoholic beverages, consuming ethanol alone can cause coma and death.

Ethanol may also be a ; studies are still being done to determine this. However, ethanol is a toxic chemical and should be treated and handled as such, whether at work or in the home. Safety Practices when Handling Ethanol Ethanol safety guidelines are similar to those for handling gasoline. Protective gear is important when handling any toxic substance.

The following should be worn whenever using ethanol:

Respirator Boots Long rubber gloves Industrial aprons Overalls Chemical safety goggles Face shield

Managing Exposure to Ethanol Exposure to ethanol can be in vapor form (breathing it in), skin/body contact or ingestion. All are serious and need to be managed appropriately to ensure more damage is not incurred while trying to attend to the exposure: Inhalation – if you are exposed to ethanol vapors, move to a well-ventilated area to access fresh air.

Contact emergency medical personnel for further assistance. Skin contact – should ethanol come into contact with your skin, gently wash the area with warm water and soap. If the skin is still irritated, seek medical assistance for further treatment. Contact with eyes – if ethanol splashes into your eyes, find a flush station and flush eyes for at least 15 minutes.

Contact emergency medical personnel. Ingestion – lay down and contact emergency medical personnel immediately. Do not induce vomiting as it can create more damage. Do not drink anything else. Safe Ethanol Storage Ethanol is a corrosive substance. If you need to store it, make sure the piping and container are not susceptible to the corrosion ethanol can cause.

  • The most recommended containers are those made of stainless steel when storing ethanol.
  • Tanks need to have secondary containment, be fire rated and impact resistant, the same as those for gasoline storage.
  • Underground ethanol tanks cannot be placed anywhere near water, and the preference is to have any ethanol storage tank above ground.

Ethanol is very prevalent. If you find yourself coming into direct contact, either through employment or home use, take the proper steps to maintain your personal safety. Follow all procedural steps and take care to wear the proper gear – just because it’s common doesn’t mean it can’t be very dangerous.

Is alcohol always ethanol?

All alcohol drinks contain ethanol, but the amount can vary – Whether you drink beer, wine or spirits, they all contain the same type of alcohol called ethanol. This is created when either fruits or grains are fermented to produce alcohol drinks. It’s the ethanol in these drinks that affects your mood and reactions – and ethanol affects you in the same way, regardless of what type of drink you choose.

Spirits have the highest concentration of alcohol and most contain around 40% ABV. Strength can vary considerably, however. Some vodkas contain 30% ethanol, while some bourbons may be around 60% ABV and certain ‘high proof’ spirits can have up to 95% alcohol content.Liqueurs, which are also spirits-based, generally contain less alcohol and their ABV may be below 20%.Wine is less concentrated than spirits and generally contains between 12 and 15% ABV. However, some wines can be stronger, and fortified wines like port or sherry are usually around 20% ABV. The alcohol concentration in beer as a category is lowest, and most regular beer ranges between 4% and 10% ABV. Some craft beers may be comparable in strength to certain wines at around 12% ABV.

Is Alcohol Methanol Or Ethanol

Is there ethanol in gin?

Toxicology and toxicokinetics – Distilled spirits (whisky, gin, vodka) usually contain 40–50% ethanol; wines contain 10–12% ethanol and beer ranges from 2–6% ethanol, while standard lager contains about 4% ethanol. Numerous over-the-counter medicinal or cosmetic products can also contain significant percentages of ethanol (10–40%). The lethal dose of ethanol is variable and depends upon previous drinking habits (due to tolerance) or upon the presence of organ complications in the alcoholic. Development of tolerance tends to increase the lethal dose and organ complications, while malnutrition tends to decrease the lethal dose. In our experience, the lethal ethanol dose for adults is about 3–5 g/kg in adults (75 kg), corresponding to a lethal serum concentration of 5–8 g/l (110–180 mmol/l). Chronic alcohol abusers may die with relatively low blood ethanol concentrations (2.5–4 g/l; 54–87 mmol/l) even when no other drugs are detected analytically. These fatalities may be related to alcohol-induced organ complications, such as cardiomyopathy and malnutrition, or to development of secondary infections, of which pneumonia is the most common. The lethal dose in children is significantly lower, about 1.5–3 g/kg, because of the greater potential for hypoglycemia. Non-tolerant adolescents having their first experience of ethanol may be severely poisoned even at blood ethanol levels of 1 g/l (22 mmol/l) and may develop hypotension or coma. The highest reported blood ethanol concentration in a surviving patient, 11.3 g/l (245 mmol/l), was found in a 65-year-old male following the suicidal ingestion of two and a half bottles of whisky over several hours, Despite cardiac arrest, disseminated intravascular coagulation, and acute renal failure, the patient survived with no latent sequelae. A blood ethanol concentration of 7.8 g/l (169 mmol/l) was reported in a young woman with no symptoms other than moderate CNS depression, which illustrates the importance of tolerance and interindividual variability when interpreting blood ethanol concentrations, In children, survival has been reported with blood ethanol levels as high as 4.6 g/l (99 mmol/l) in a 30-month-old boy (13 kg), The survival of patients with very high blood ethanol levels after hospital admission is probably due to the fact that acute ethanol poisoning responds very well to standard supportive care such as maintenance of free airways and administration of intravenous infusions. Ethanol is rapidly and completely absorbed from the stomach, which has recently been shown to contain sufficient alcohol dehydrogenase activity to account for a first pass metabolism of ethanol, The higher content of alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) in the male gastric mucosa results in lower blood ethanol concentrations in men compared to women following ingestion of similar ethanol doses, The volume of distribution of ethanol is 0.6–0.7 l/kg, with lower values in females. In ethanol poisoning, ethanol elimination is usually defined by zero order (non-linear) kinetics, since the main route of elimination, metabolism by the hepatic alcohol dehydrogenase system, becomes saturated. Renal, pulmonary and fecal excretion contribute very little to the elimination of ethanol. The elimination rate of ethanol ranges from 66–154 mg/kg/h with the highest values in drinkers. As a result, blood ethanol concentrations disappear at a rate between 0.06–0.40 g/l/h, with an average of approximately 0.15 g/l/h. The inducible cytochrome P-450-mediated metabolism of ethanol (via CYP 2E1), or MEOS, normally contributes to a limited extent to the elimination of ethanol in non-drinkers. In drinkers, MEOS is often induced sufficiently so that it contributes more to the elimination of ethanol. As this system is not saturated at blood ethanol concentrations seen in acute poisonings, its relative contribution compared to the ADH-system (which is saturated) will be larger at higher ethanol concentrations. This is the most probable explanation for the first order (linear) or mixed elimination profile often seen at the start of the blood ethanol elimination curve in patients with high concentrations (>4–5 g/l). Read full chapter URL:

Is ethanol basically alcohol?

Fuel Properties – Ethanol (CH 3 CH 2 OH) is a clear, colorless liquid. It is also known as ethyl alcohol, grain alcohol, and EtOH (see Fuel Properties search,) Ethanol has the same chemical formula regardless of whether it is produced from starch- or sugar-based feedstocks, such as corn grain (as it primarily is in the United States), sugar cane (as it primarily is in Brazil), or from cellulosic feedstocks (such as wood chips or crop residues).

  • Ethanol has a higher octane number than gasoline, providing premium blending properties.
  • Minimum octane number requirements for gasoline prevent engine knocking and ensure drivability.
  • Lower-octane gasoline is blended with 10% ethanol to attain the standard 87 octane.
  • Ethanol contains less energy per gallon than gasoline, to varying degrees, depending on the volume percentage of ethanol in the blend.

Denatured ethanol (98% ethanol) contains about 30% less energy than gasoline per gallon. Ethanol’s impact on fuel economy is dependent on the ethanol content in the fuel and whether an engine is optimized to run on gasoline or ethanol.

Is ethanol also known as alcohol? Properties of bioethanol – Ethanol, also known as “ethyl alcohol” or “grade alcohol,” is a flammable, colorless, chemical compound, representing one of the most commonly found alcohols in alcoholic beverages. It is often referred to simply as alcohol.

  • Its molecular formula is C 2 H 6 O, variously represented as EtOH or C 2 H 5 OH.
  • Bioethanol and ethanol are chemically identical and the properties of both bioethanol and ethanol do not differ much in parameters.
  • The properties of bioethanol are shown in Table 5.1 and compared to those of petrol.
  • It is found that the octane number of ethanol is higher than that of conventional petrol.

Ethanol is also increasingly used as an oxygenate additive for standard petrol as a replacement for methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) to improve its octane number. Because MTBE has toxic properties and is responsible for considerable groundwater and soil contamination, MTBE is more and more frequently replaced by ethyl tertiary butyl ether, which is produced from bioethanol.

Is ethanol called alcohol?

ethanol, also called ethyl alcohol, grain alcohol, or alcohol, a member of a class of organic compounds that are given the general name alcohol s; its molecular formula is C 2 H 5 OH. Ethanol is an important industrial chemical; it is used as a solvent, in the synthesis of other organic chemicals, and as an additive to automotive gasoline (forming a mixture known as a gasohol ).

Ethanol is also the intoxicating ingredient of many alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine, and distilled spirit s. There are two main processes for the manufacture of ethanol: the fermentation of carbohydrates (the method used for alcoholic beverages) and the hydration of ethylene, Fermentation involves the transformation of carbohydrates to ethanol by growing yeast cells.

The chief raw materials fermented for the production of industrial alcohol are sugar crops such as beets and sugarcane and grain crops such as corn (maize). Hydration of ethylene is achieved by passing a mixture of ethylene and a large excess of steam at high temperature and pressure over an acidic catalyst, Is Alcohol Methanol Or Ethanol Britannica Quiz 44 Questions from Britannica’s Most Popular Health and Medicine Quizzes Ethanol produced either by fermentation or by synthesis is obtained as a dilute aqueous solution and must be concentrated by fractional distillation, Direct distillation can yield at best the constant-boiling-point mixture containing 95.6 percent by weight of ethanol.

Dehydration of the constant-boiling-point mixture yields anhydrous, or absolute, alcohol. Ethanol intended for industrial use is usually denatured (rendered unfit to drink), typically with methanol, benzene, or kerosene, Pure ethanol is a colourless flammable liquid (boiling point 78.5 °C ) with an agreeable ethereal odour and a burning taste.

Ethanol is toxic, affecting the central nervous system, Moderate amounts relax the muscles and produce an apparent stimulating effect by depressing the inhibitory activities of the brain, but larger amounts impair coordination and judgment, finally producing coma and death.

It is an addictive drug for some persons, leading to the disease alcoholism, Ethanol is converted in the body first to acetaldehyde and then to carbon dioxide and water, at the rate of about half a fluid ounce, or 15 ml, per hour; this quantity corresponds to a dietary intake of about 100 calories.

The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica This article was most recently revised and updated by Adam Augustyn,