What is ethanol used for

Ethanol, also known as ethyl alcohol, is a versatile chemical compound with a wide range of applications. Here are some of the most common uses of ethanol:

What is ethanol used for

  • Alcoholic beverages: Ethanol is the active ingredient in alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine, and spirits. It is consumed for recreational and social purposes.

  • Fuel: Ethanol is used as a biofuel additive in gasoline. It is often blended with gasoline to reduce emissions and increase octane rating. Ethanol made from renewable sources such as corn or sugarcane is commonly used in the production of biofuels.

  • Industrial Solvent: Ethanol is a highly effective solvent and is used in various industrial processes. It can dissolve a wide variety of substances, making it valuable for applications such as cleaning, degreasing, and extraction.

  • Pharmaceuticals: Ethanol is used in the pharmaceutical industry as a solvent to produce various drugs including liquid formulations, tinctures and syrups.

  • Personal care products: Ethanol is a common ingredient in personal care products such as perfume, cologne, lotion, and mouthwash. It is used for its ability to dissolve and mix various materials.

  • Disinfectants and Sanitizers: Ethanol is a key ingredient in the production of hand sanitizers and disinfectants. It is effective in killing many types of microorganisms including bacteria and viruses.

  • Chemical Intermediates: Ethanol serves as a precursor or intermediate in the synthesis of various chemicals, including acetic acid, ethylene, and other organic compounds.

  • Food and flavoring: Ethanol is used in food processing and flavoring. It can be found as a carrier for extracts, flavors and some food additives.

  • Automotive and household products: Ethanol is used in the manufacturing of products such as antifreeze, windshield washer fluid, and some cleaning agents.

  • Laboratory and Analytical Chemistry: Ethanol is a common laboratory reagent and is used for a variety of analytical and research purposes.

  • Renewable energy: Ethanol can also be used as a fuel in some types of alcohol-fueled engines and as an energy source in alcohol-based fuel cells.

It is important to note that although ethanol has many industrial and commercial applications, it must be handled with caution due to its flammability and potential health risks when consumed in large quantities.

Ethanol molar mass

The molar mass of ethanol (C2H5OH), also known as ethyl alcohol, can be calculated by adding the molar masses of its constituent atoms. Here are the details of its molar mass:

  • Carbon (C): 12.01 g/mol (approximately)
  • Hydrogen (H): 1.01 g/mol (approximately)
  • Oxygen (O): 16.00 g/mol (approximately)

The molecular formula of ethanol (C2H5OH) indicates that it contains two carbon atoms, six hydrogen atoms, and one oxygen atom.

Molar mass of ethanol (C2H5OH):

= (2 × molar mass of C) + (6 × molar mass of H) + molar mass of O
= (2 × 12.01 g/mol) + (6 × 1.01 g/mol) + 16.00 g/mol
= 24.02 g/mol + 6.06 g/mol + 16.00 g/mol
= 46.08 g/mol

So, the molar mass of ethanol is approximately 46.08 grams per mole (g/mol).