How is alcohol made

Fascination with chemistry

For example, by fermenting sugar-containing agricultural products such as grapes, fruit, beets and grain. The fermentation itself is carried out by yeast fungi, which feed on sugar and produce alcohols as a metabolic product. This process is also the basis for the production of bioethanol. It is currently a major challenge for the chemical industry to find efficient ways to produce bioethanol. You don't want to get this from food such as corn, but from cellulose, since cellulose is not used for nutrition. In addition to fermentation, there are also technical processes based on petroleum to produce alcohols.

Most alcohols are good solvents. Because their "R" of hydrocarbons dissolves a multitude of organic substances according to the motto "like in like". The hydroxyl group [-OH], on the other hand, ensures that alcohols also dissolve in water - thank God! Otherwise we could only drink 100% schnapps - we would be withheld from 12% wine (alcohol in water). Taxes have to be paid on the drinkable alcohol, ethanol. Untaxed ethanol for technical purposes is denatured to prevent abuse. This means that substances are added to it so that you can no longer drink it.

And what else do you need all these and even more exotic alcohols for?

Alcohols play an important role in chemistry. They are used for smells and flavors in the food and perfume industry. Geraniol, for example, is an oil that smells pleasantly of roses. Alcohols also serve as solvents for paints and varnishes or for fragrances in perfumes or active ingredients in liquid medicines. Oxidation of alcohols can form carboxylic acids, e.g. from ethanol acetic acid CH3COOH. So the wine, too, becomes sour from long standing due to oxidation with oxygen from the air, it wants to be drunk, as it is called in the Hermann Löns song.