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Author Topic: Alcohol in Solid Form?  (Read 24767 times)

Offline Dr. Junix

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Alcohol in Solid Form?
« on: 28/06/2011 00:52:47 »
 ???Is it possible to turn alcohol into a solid form? If so please tell me how to. I think it will be a great business venture, turning alcohol into powdered concentrate. I hope there is a way. [8]


 

Offline CliffordK

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Alcohol in Solid Form?
« Reply #1 on: 28/06/2011 01:53:21 »
There would be a few ways.
Make it really cold.  The freezing point of pure Ethanol is -114 C.

Choose a different molecular structure.  For example, sugar is a type of alcohol that is solid at room temperature.  One could also imagine a long chain hydrocarbon with an "alcohol group" which would be solid at room temperature.  But, this, of course, would be an alcohol, but isn't ethanol.

Here is a most interesting thing.  Instant beer.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2007/06/06/us-dutch-drink-odd-idUSPAR64994620070606
It is probably a mix of ethanol and some sugars or carbohydrates.  The powder is likely only about 10% ethanol or so.  Mix it with adequate water, and one gets an ethanol/water/carbohydrate mix like beer.  It is unlikely to be as concentrated as Vodka, and certainly isn't pure alcohol.

 

Offline Bored chemist

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Alcohol in Solid Form?
« Reply #2 on: 28/06/2011 20:47:14 »
" I think it will be a great business venture, turning alcohol into powdered concentrate."
Alcohol is already 100% alcohol. How could you make it more concentrated?
 

Offline Dr. Junix

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Alcohol in Solid Form?
« Reply #3 on: 29/06/2011 01:07:35 »
Thanks CliffordK, I'll read that. that's actually the idea, making instant beer, just like instant coffees.

Sorry for my stupidity there Bored Chemist, What I mean by "Concentrate" of course is I mean like Powdered Juice Concentrates as in instant juice drink mixes..
 

Offline CliffordK

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Alcohol in Solid Form?
« Reply #4 on: 29/06/2011 04:14:25 »
I think Bored Chemist is right...  if the goal is to reduce the volume, then you would likely end up with pure alcohol which would be a liquid.  Adding flavorings and you might get a syrup. 

If you started with 99% alcohol.  Add 50% flavorings to give you a syrup with 50% alcohol.  Then to arrive at a 5% mix, you would only need to do about 10:1 mix with water.

As far as a solid.
Sodium Ethoxide would give you a solid form of Ethanol.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_ethoxide

You couldn't drink it straight.  But, if you could mix it with an equal molar acid, then you could make something like alcoholic Alka-Seltzer. 

If you want fizz, then add Sodium Bicarbonate.

So...
You could make solid alcohol with something like:

1 mole sodium ethoxide + 1 mole citric acid.

If you wished to make it fizzy, perhaps:

1 mole sodium ethoxide + 1 mole baking soda + 2 moles citric acid.

Add your sugars and other flavors.  You might be able to substitute any amino acids that would be solid at room temperature for the citric acid.

What did I invent?

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Offline Dr. Junix

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Alcohol in Solid Form?
« Reply #5 on: 29/06/2011 04:23:38 »
WOW... I might have to consult with a real chemist before I drink that.. hehe and possibly before I endorse that to the people for public consumption.

Thank you so much for that.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Alcohol in Solid Form?
« Reply #6 on: 29/06/2011 04:37:54 »
It should be safe enough as there is nothing toxic in it, assuming you neutralize the acids/bases.

You would want to check the pH when you mix it with water, and adjust your proportions to get a neutral solution.

Pure sodium (or Potassium) ethoxide would be very alkaline, but mix it with an acid and you should be able to neutralize it quite effectively.

Of course make sure you aren't buying "denatured alcohol".

If you look up the ingredients in Alka Seltzer, they are supposed to be: aspirin, citric acid, and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda).  Proportions are supposed to be: Aspirin 324 mg, Sodium Bicarbonate 1916 mg, Citric Acid 1000 mg.

The sodium ethoxide is a very strong base...
So it may be very hygroscopic, and may not store well, especially if mixed with acetic acid.
« Last Edit: 29/06/2011 04:50:28 by CliffordK »
 

Offline Dr. Junix

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Alcohol in Solid Form?
« Reply #7 on: 29/06/2011 05:28:31 »
It should be safe enough as there is nothing toxic in it, assuming you neutralize the acids/bases.

You would want to check the pH when you mix it with water, and adjust your proportions to get a neutral solution.

Pure sodium (or Potassium) ethoxide would be very alkaline, but mix it with an acid and you should be able to neutralize it quite effectively.

Of course make sure you aren't buying "denatured alcohol".

If you look up the ingredients in Alka Seltzer, they are supposed to be: aspirin, citric acid, and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda).  Proportions are supposed to be: Aspirin 324 mg, Sodium Bicarbonate 1916 mg, Citric Acid 1000 mg.

The sodium ethoxide is a very strong base...
So it may be very hygroscopic, and may not store well, especially if mixed with acetic acid.

we'll at lest the idea is there. Storage may not be a problem. as alcoholic substances tend to be consumed immediately by my targeted audiences.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Alcohol in Solid Form?
« Reply #8 on: 29/06/2011 20:29:11 »
I don't know if you are wanting to actually make this.

It would certainly be interesting for party tricks.

The article I linked above suggested that making "solid" alcohol would bypass many alcohol regulations.  And, in fact, if you are selling Sodium/Potassium Ethoxide, it wouldn't truly be ethanol (until it is neutralized and dissolved in water). 

However....  Sodium or Potassium Ethoxide is a very very strong base.  I don't think I would trust a bunch of drunk college students with it.  Somebody would come up with the bright idea of trying to eat it without first dissolving and neutralizing it, and it could cause severe burns in the mouth, esophagus, and eyes.  One should also wash one's hands after handling it.

Even if you could co-package the strong base with a weak acid, it would be much preferable to dissolve it in a glass of water than eating it, and still there would be a risk of getting caustic residue on the hands and into the eyes.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Alcohol in Solid Form?
« Reply #9 on: 29/06/2011 21:39:05 »
You could do it, but you wouldn't want to get it wrong.
Also, the mixed powders would be difficult to store.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Alcohol in Solid Form?
« Reply #10 on: 29/06/2011 23:05:51 »
You could do it, but you wouldn't want to get it wrong.
Also, the mixed powders would be difficult to store.
Certainly one must have "controls" in the manufacture of anything intended to be consumed.  A buffer would help with getting the proportions right. 

I don't know about storage, but you may need to design a method of delivery that would effectively isolate the caustic from the acid until it is mixed with water.  And, also isolate the caustic from being touched with fingers; not that it is particularly harmful to the fingers with transient short-term contact, but you run the risk of then touching your eyes or something that could be damaged.

There is also the risk of strong acids and bases creating unintentional byproducts.

It all seems awfully complicated when one can just go to the local bar and buy a beer.
 

Offline Dr. Junix

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Alcohol in Solid Form?
« Reply #11 on: 30/06/2011 00:44:39 »
yeah, you were right. I was just debating it with a chemist from our laboratory. But what he said was alcohol cannot be turned into solid. He even said it would not freeze. Hmm.. yeah I'd rather just buy a bottle of beer. Unless I store it in a glass material, the acid will corrode the storage i.e plastic or cellophane.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Alcohol in Solid Form?
« Reply #12 on: 30/06/2011 03:41:53 »
The freezing point of pure Alcohol (Ethanol) is -114°C.
The temperature of Liquid Nitrogen is -196°C

Thus, you should be able to easily freeze alcohol with Liquid Nitrogen.

Something like Helium, on the other hand, would be very hard to freeze (but apparently not impossible).

While I wouldn't recommend the "just add water" formula above for a Frat party, I could imagine it for a Chem Lab Party!!!

But, you would certainly want to do some lab tests before getting everyone drunk.  And, make sure you aren't getting Ethanol denatured with Methanol.
« Last Edit: 30/06/2011 03:47:31 by CliffordK »
 

Offline Dr. Junix

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Alcohol in Solid Form?
« Reply #13 on: 30/06/2011 04:13:09 »
LOL, but that is just what is available at the lab. Ethanol and Methanol.

No good if you have to sell frozen alcohol. People would still go for a Beer, or gin.

BTW. I enjoyed drinking beer laced with isophropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol)while I was in high school.
It doesn't taste that good, but makes you drunk faster. The only effect it had on me after is a splitting headache.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Alcohol in Solid Form?
« Reply #14 on: 30/06/2011 04:18:23 »
When I looked at Sodium Ethoxide on the WWW, it was saying 96% purity.
Just ask what the other 4% is, and whether it has been denatured. 

I'm guessing there is a small percent of water, and perhaps NaOH.

I assume you could pick up Methanol with IR or NMR tests, assuming you have access to the equipment.

You could also make a reflux still, and make your own, but it would be a lot of work.
 

Offline Dr. Junix

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Alcohol in Solid Form?
« Reply #15 on: 30/06/2011 04:24:28 »
wow.. LOL.. I'll try that but it will be a total waste of time if I died.
Sodium Ethoxide is purely poison. I wouldn't dare try to mix that in my drink.

Sodium hydroxide, we have but I also wouldn't drink a caustic soda, it may solidify in my guts.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Alcohol in Solid Form?
« Reply #16 on: 30/06/2011 06:02:49 »
NaOH is caustic, used for drain cleaner.
HCl is a strong acid (although it is also produced in your stomach).

Both of them are nasty if you were to ingest them in a high concentration.

However, if you mix them together in equal molar quantities, you get

NaCl + Water (salt water) + a little heat, but it is perfectly safe to drink, even up to quite high concentrations, although you can't drink only highly concentrated saltwater solutions.

If you took Sodium Ethoxide + an equal molar amount of HCl, and dilute it in water, you would get Ethanol + Salt + Water (which some people take as a drink).

The reason I suggested citric acid to neutralize the sodium ethoxide is that both of them are solids whereas HCl is a gas in pure form, and a liquid when mixed with water.
 

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Alcohol in Solid Form?
« Reply #16 on: 30/06/2011 06:02:49 »

 

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