Alcohol in its basic form is called ethanol, and It’s legal to consume it in most countries. However, there is a group of alcohol called denatured alcohol which is unfit for consumption. It’s usually a mixture of alcohol and other ingredients, and the sole purpose is to alter the taste, odor, and toxicity. This discourages recreational consumption, and you can dye it at some point.
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Here, we will discuss what denatured alcohol is in-depth.
Is Denatured Alcohol Safe for Consumption?
Ethanol is a byproduct of fermentation which is healthy for consumption. However, this is when it’s in the purest form and the right concentration. That is why traditional liquor will have a percentage of 40 when it comes to alcohol content. The denatured alcohol, on the other hand, is unfit for drinking. It’s the reason why manufacturers try to discourage people from taking it in any form they can.
The addition of substances such as denatonium, for instance, makes it much bitter and has a foul smell. Others even dye it to bring discouragement to whoever may get the temptation to take it. Some manufacturers include other more superficial forms of alcohol, such as methanol, making the solution toxic and life-threatening.
The formulations of denatured alcohol are many. Mostly, the additives have one core mission: Making it difficult to reverse the denaturation state. One cannot use simple methods or even distillation to recover the ethanol.
- The methanol compound, for instance, has a close boiling point to that of ethanol hence cannot be separable. Additionally, it’s toxic, which makes it a perfect denaturant.
- Pyridine is the other critical additive which manufacturers use. It results in the complete solution changing its natural chemical smell.
- To make denatured alcohol distinguishable from other forms of pure alcohol, some manufacturers consider dyeing with methyl violet.
What are Specially Denatured Alcohols?
The specially denatured alcohols (SDAs) are common types of denatured alcohols that are trendy in the modern world. In their manufacturing, the companies combine ethanol with other chemical substances such as ethyl acetate. This is primarily helpful for making the substance unfit for consumption.
Commonly, the SDAs have a wide application in the cosmetic industry. Many chemical manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, and solvents manufacturers consider the SDA as an essential alternative to ethanol. It’s both economical and less prone to misuse. The economic aspect comes in because the government generally imposes heavy taxes on ethanol, making a large or small-scale company handling ethanol spend a lot.
Denatured alcohol is growing more common these days. This is due to the more convenience it brings about to manufacturers. For instance, it becomes unfit for consumption since it has an unpleasant odor and high toxicity levels. It, therefore, means fewer chances of abuse. There are different additives that you can use interchangeably to develop denatured alcohol.