Name for a liquid that is colourless at room temperature, easily flammable, with a burning taste and a characteristic, spicy(sweetish) odour. Older names are ethanol, ethyl alcohol and ethyl alcohol, as well as colloquially also alcohol of wine or industrial alcohol. The drug, which is classified as a liver poison, is produced from carbohydrate-containing material by fermentation triggered by yeasts during the production of luxury foods and alcoholic beverages such as wine, beer and spirits. Ethanol is commonly referred to as alcohol, although this is actually imprecise. It is a monohydric alcohol because one hydrogen atom is replaced by a hydroxy group (oxygen-hydrogen). In the course of winemaking, the colourless and odourless liquid is formed from sugar during fermentation of the must in a ratio of 51% ethanol to 49% carbon dioxide. Industrial production is done by distilling wine or by hydrating ethylene. Ethanol is mostly used for spriting (adding alcohol to the finished fermented wine). See also under alcohol.
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