(griech.) Chem. Verbindung aus der Gruppe der Alkohole mit der Formel C2H5OH, eine farblose, brennbare Flüssigkeit, die gemeint ist, wenn allg. von Alkohol die Rede ist. Ä. wird durch Gärung von kohlenhydrathaltigen Rohstoffen gewonnen.
An alcohol derived from ethane.
Common name ethyl alcohol; C2H5OH alcohol found in beer, wine, cider, spirits, and other alcoholic drinks. When pure, it is a colorless liquid with a pleasant odor, miscible with water or ether; it burns in air with a pale blue flame. The vapor forms an explosive mixture with air and may be used in high-compression internal combustion engines. It is produced naturally by the fermentation of carbohydrates by yeast cells.
Industrially, it can be made by absorption of ethene and subsequent reaction with water, or by the reduction of ethanal in the presence of a catalyst, and is widely used as a solvent.
Ethanol is used as a raw material in the manufacture of ether, chloral, and iodoform. It can also be added to gasoline, where it improves the performance of the engine, or be used as a fuel in its own right (as in Brazil). Crops such as sugar cane may be grown to provide ethanol (by fermentation) for this purpose.