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Author: Subject: How pure is denatured alcohol?
DieForelle
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[*] posted on 28-8-2012 at 12:07


Here we go, everything you could possibly want to know about this particular bureaucracy:
http://www.lyondellbasell.com/techlit/techlit/Brochures/Ethy...

Looks like flavoring manufacturers have to buy taxed alcohol, but can get most of the taxes back if they have the proper record keeping (somewhat bizarre) Still trying to figure out what the impact on someone like SAFC would be though, who, it seems to me, could theoretically manufacture/distill the alcohol they need in whatever form on premises under the $1000 "producers tax" and as long is it was consumed/destroyed in the production of something else, would not have any additional taxes to pay. Seems like it would be cheaper than worrying about 20 different denaturing formulas and which would be the best to use.
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Dr.Bob
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[*] posted on 28-8-2012 at 13:01


I think that she is stating, correctly, that if you use denatured ethanol for a reaction or to clean your workspace then you don't need to account for it all, just like buying denatured alcohol at the store.

Universities and businesses are "supposed" to account for every last drop of the untaxed, non-denatured, but I think most universities and larger businesses are given a lot of slack in the auditing of the records. However, the ATF may not be so kind or liberal to individuals or smaller companies. But it is legal for individuals to make distill untaxed ethanol for personal use as a fuel, provided you pay the highway taxes on it and get a permit. You can brew beer and wine as well, but if you distill for consumption, then they get upset, although there are numerous companies that sell very nice equipment to distill your biofuel to very high quality.

I think that if you use ethanol in flavorings to be consumed that you actually may have to use taxed ethanol for that purpose, since it is being consumed. Otherwise, some creative company would create food flavorings which were rum flavored or beer flavored and try to skip the tax that way. The ATF/taxman is way ahead of people there. However, medicines can use untaxed ethanol, such as for mouthwash, tincture of iodine, and cough syrups. And those purposes typically use 95% ethanol, as they usually add water anyway.

Lastly, most ethanol for fuel usage is created as absolute ethanol, as water is bad in fuel, but they must denature it before shipping for fuel use, as diversion would be too big a problem. Normally this is done by adding methanol and kerosene to each batch. But almost no one uses benzene azeotrope to dry ethanol now, most large biofuel plants use either alumina or molecular sieves to remove the water and then regenerate the column with steam heat to boil off the water under vacuum. That is one reason why using ethanol as fuel is so expensive and energy intensive. That would be a good purpose for solar thermal heating, but very few plants use it as best as I can tell, as they want to make fuel 24/7, even when the sun is not shining.
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DieForelle
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[*] posted on 28-8-2012 at 13:39


Right, the flavoring (or pharmaceutical) companies have to document that the products they make with the taxed alcohol actually become flavorings or pharmaceuticals, and not flavored alcoholic beverages! Then they get $12.50 of the $13.50 of taxes paid per gallon back.

Mouthwashes use a 1% menthol formula, but the TTB actually regulates those more carefully in some respect than plain taxed 200 proof ethanol, because they consider it purifiable. An entity can only buy a limited amount without getting a permit detailing what they do with it.

The key point to all of it is they don't really care what you do with it, as long as there's no way it gets diverted to beverage use in untaxed form. Even research labs or flavoring manufacturers who don't want to bother getting permits can certainly buy taxed 200 proof alcohol without a permit if they want. But $13.50 a gallon is a crushing overhead and presumably very few entities actually buy it that way.



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BromicAcid
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[*] posted on 28-8-2012 at 14:21


Quote: Originally posted by Dr.Bob  
I think that she is stating, correctly, that if you use denatured ethanol for a reaction or to clean your workspace then you don't need to account for it all, just like buying denatured alcohol at the store.


You hit the nail right on the head with that one. They prefer denatured solvents because then you don't have to account for every drop.





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mr.crow
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[*] posted on 28-8-2012 at 16:16


This thread is as good as any to post in

I recently purified some ethanol from the drug store. Rubbing alcohol contains ethanol, ethyl phthalate, denatonium and camphor. Yuck!

I added some NaOH to it in a jug and after about a month it turned a putrid red color (aldol condensation with camphor). Denatonium should be destroyed and phthalate hydrolyzed. Then distill 2/3 of it for pure ethanol. Obviously not for drinking!!!

This method should be able to purify most denaturants (except methanol of course)




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[*] posted on 31-8-2012 at 02:46


Hey mr. crow. I have the same rubbing alcohol.

Going from the govnt's denatured alcohols law, this is denatured alcohol "DA-2O", which is:

95% ethanol, denatured with (per litre):
2.5mL diethyl phthalate -- (why?)
7mg denatonium
0.4g camphor ( for smell? I can't really smell it. Maybe is enough to be cooling on skin?).

Oh - I can kinda smell the camphor on skin once the alcohol evaporates... has slight cooling feel also.

I wouldn't think camphor or DEP would come over on distillation? why bother with the lye?

Anyway, if yours is weaker than 95%, this type would be a better starting point... (I think I've seen 70% and 50% variations)

I was thinking I'd use it for fuel or cleaning or so, but I don't really like the idea of leaving phthalate film on things. I don't know. Wonder if the denaturants burn clean.

Could be a cheap reagent for someone if separated, certainly cheaper than everclear. :)
(also, for cleaning/fuel - half price of strong isopropyl, and probably cheaper than methanol... healthier too)
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mr.crow
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[*] posted on 31-8-2012 at 08:00


Hey thanks for the composition! I must have used way too much NaOH. I wanted to be sure it was all gone, they chose it so simple distillation isn't good enough

They put mineral oil in IPA rubbing alcohol so the skin still has lubrication. Maybe that's what the DEP is for.

In Quebec you can get Alcool. Who would want to drink this shit?




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[*] posted on 11-9-2012 at 13:31


The small college that I used to work for, had endless problems with the ATF. If you use even a gallon of un-taxed ethanol per year, a suspicious control agent may visit you multiple times per year. Our agent was perpetually telling us we were using too much ethanol. Even when we clearly hadn't used any at all. It comes with the territory.

It was such a hassle, that our lab techs employed denatured ethanols, when they shouldn't have. Thus, our thin layer chromatography experiments never worked right. Change the polarity of your solvent, and your solutes may not elute in the order they are supposed to. Bother.

If you are a small fry, it is easier to buy taxed ethanol, and thus exempt yourself from regulation. If you are able to use denatured ethanol without ill-effect on your process....fine. If not, pay the tax.

The production of beverage grade ethanol, without a permit, and without paying the tax, may be construed as a crime in the U.S..

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[*] posted on 12-9-2012 at 04:31


Quote: Originally posted by mr.crow  


In Quebec you can get Alcool. Who would want to drink this shit?


I believe it is mostly used to prepare drinks and other alcoholic beverages. Some pro winoes use it straight or with some water. But for chemical purposes, it is food grade, so it should be quite pure chemically. I guess that the last 6% water could be salted out...

Robert




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[*] posted on 12-9-2012 at 05:39


Can't say for certain. Many variations in different brands/makes. One might use mainly denatonium benzoate (which wont hurt you at all if you drink it's just bitter.) Others use mixtures, including methanol. From what I hear, the methanol in anything <%10 is not a problem as ethanol is the only known antidote to methanol poisoning,

Lavacol is the brand I always grew up with, and it contained methyl isobutyl ketone. Jimmy Carter let us all brew beer. Brewing a few gallons moonshine for personal use only doesn't seem to be a far stretch.
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[*] posted on 14-9-2012 at 11:51


Quote: Originally posted by Fennel Ass Ih Tone  
Can't say for certain. Many variations in different brands/makes. One might use mainly denatonium benzoate (which wont hurt you at all if you drink it's just bitter.) Others use mixtures, including methanol. From what I hear, the methanol in anything <%10 is not a problem as ethanol is the only known antidote to methanol poisoning,

Lavacol is the brand I always grew up with, and it contained methyl isobutyl ketone. Jimmy Carter let us all brew beer. Brewing a few gallons moonshine for personal use only doesn't seem to be a far stretch.


The government has tables of what is in different types of denatured alcohols, many called SD mixes. Just look in the BATFE website for details. Most will cause you to throw up or get violently ill, but some can kill you.

And methanol, even under 10% is certainly quite toxic to humans, at amounts larger than about a ml, even mixed with ethanol, which is used in poisoning cases as an antidote to help overwhelm the liver enzymes that oxidize methanol to formaldehyde. But that is an equilibrium reaction, and only helps, it does not protect against the damage of formaldehyde, which is bad for the eyes, nerves, and DNA, for starters. Please don't encourage people to drink denatured alcohol, it can easily cause blindness, and often does when mixed with illegal moonshine, as happened recently in Czech. where 28 people were poisoned by bad alcohol.

Also, ethanol is not the only antidote, there are pharmaceutics that block the liver enzymes for the oxidases as well, they are often used by ER doctors as well as vets as well for dogs that drink antifreeze. Fomepizole is one such compound.
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[*] posted on 4-10-2012 at 11:08


Quote: Originally posted by marko  

95% ethanol, denatured with (per litre):
2.5mL diethyl phthalate -- (why?)
7mg denatonium
0.4g camphor

...
I was thinking I'd use it for fuel or cleaning or so, but I don't really like the idea of leaving phthalate film on things. I don't know. Wonder if the denaturants burn clean.


according to the CDC, diethyl phthalate gives off irritating fumes or toxic gases when burned in open flame...
http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/ipcsneng/neng0258.html
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