Organic chemistry - ethanol

Essay by 2GOODHigh School, 10th gradeA, September 2004

download word file, 1 pages 4.0

All alcohols' consist of a hydrocarbon named 'ethanol', now ethanol is a strand made up of two carbons five hydrogen's and one OH group (hydroxol) thus ethanol is considered to be a hydrocarbon.

The three main building blocks to producing alcohols are:

Sugars: there are many different types of sugars some include:



All three of these compounds added with ethanol can create a wide range of alcohols, anything from beer (left) to wine (right).

So with any combination of any of those three bonds you can have numerous combinations added, some are best used in factories as a type of cleaner/burning fuel but it is most prominent for being a popular drink at home or anywhere.


Ethanol can be produced synthetically from ethylene (hydration) or through alcoholic fermentation of material containing sugar or starch.

In starchy products the starch has first to be transformed into sugar. The sugar (glucose) is then fermented by yeast and transformed into ethanol and carbon dioxide (CO2).

Of one kilogram of glucose result about 0.5 kg ethanol and 0.5 kg CO2.

Raw materials from sugar cane, sugar beets, wood sugar, fruit and berries can be used to produce alcohol. There are also used mashes from starchy products such as potatoes, cereals, rice and corn.

Depending on the raw materials used, various additional by-products such as different organic acids and fusel oils are produced.

The ethanol obtained through fermentation must be separated, concentrated and rectified by distillation. Alcohol has a boiling point around 78* Celsius; therefore it is lower than that of water. This enables the separation of alcohol by distillation.

The most important step to producing alcohol, is the fermentation process, ironically one of the best ways to speed up the fermentation process is to use human saliva which rapidly speeds up...