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Ethanol (ethyl alcohol) (C₂H₅OH)

Ethanol (ethyl alcohol) (C₂H₅OH)

The best known alcohol, important in the food industry.

Chemistry

Keywords

ethanol, ethyl alcohol, alkanole, alcohol, monohydric alcohol, hydroxyl group, oxygen-containing organic compounds, hydroxy compound, alcoholism, spirit, disinfectant, solvent, fermentation, beer, organic chemistry, chemistry

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Ball-and-stick

Ethanol, ethyl alcohol C₂H₅OH

Information

Molar mass: 46,07 g/mol

Melting point: -114.5 °C

Boiling point: 78.32 °C

Density: 0.7893 g/cm³

Heat of combustion: -1,366.8 kJ/mol

Properties

Ethanol, or ethyl alcohol, is a colourless liquid with a pleasant odour. It is lighter than water. It dissolves well in water and non-polar solvents. Ethanol itself is also an excellent solvent. It burns with a bluish flame; its combustion products are carbon dioxide and water.

An aqueous solution of ethanol has a neutral pH. It can act as a weak acid in certain reactions and releases hydrogen when it comes in contact with sodium with a clean surface.

Pure, 100% alcohol is called absolute alcohol. Its first oxidation product is acetaldehyde, the final one is acetic acid. Its typical reactions are dehydrogenation, dehydration and esterification.

When consumed in large quantities, ethanol damages the nervous system and the liver.

Occurrence and production

Ethanol is formed during the decomposition and fermentation of fruits. It is mainly produced from sugar, from fruits containing sugar and from plants with a high starch content.

It is also produced in the hydration of ethylene.

Uses

Ethanol is used in distilleries, in the manufacture of varnishes, fragrances and cosmetics as a solvent and in medicine as a disinfectant.

Space-filling

Ethanol, ethyl alcohol C₂H₅OH

Information

Molar mass: 46,07 g/mol

Melting point: -114.5 °C

Boiling point: 78.32 °C

Density: 0.7893 g/cm³

Heat of combustion: -1,366.8 kJ/mol

Properties

Ethanol, or ethyl alcohol, is a colourless liquid with a pleasant odour. It is lighter than water. It dissolves well in water and non-polar solvents. Ethanol itself is also an excellent solvent. It burns with a bluish flame; its combustion products are carbon dioxide and water.

An aqueous solution of ethanol has a neutral pH. It can act as a weak acid in certain reactions and releases hydrogen when it comes in contact with sodium with a clean surface.

Pure, 100% alcohol is called absolute alcohol. Its first oxidation product is acetaldehyde, the final one is acetic acid. Its typical reactions are dehydrogenation, dehydration and esterification.

When consumed in large quantities, ethanol damages the nervous system and the liver.

Occurrence and production

Ethanol is formed during the decomposition and fermentation of fruits. It is mainly produced from sugar, from fruits containing sugar and from plants with a high starch content.

It is also produced in the hydration of ethylene.

Uses

Ethanol is used in distilleries, in the manufacture of varnishes, fragrances and cosmetics as a solvent and in medicine as a disinfectant.

Narration

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