Ethanol

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Ethanol. Definition from Webster:

Pronunciation: 'e-th&-"nol, -"nOl, British also 'E- Function: noun

a colorless volatile flammable liquid C2H5OH that is the intoxicating agent in liquors and is also used as a solvent -- called also ethyl alcohol, grain alcohol.




Alcohol is so anhydrous that if exposed to open air it will absorb a certain amount of moisture from the air. Therefore the highest proof which can be realistically achieved is about 193 degrees, or about 96.5% ABV. This is called the azeotrope maxiumum.

In order to obtain absolute ethanol, chemicals such as benzene must be used, effectively denaturing the alcohol and rendering it unpotable.