Alcoholic Beverages: Types and uses
An alcoholic beverage is fermented liquor that is prepared by the composition of various fermented substances and the amount of alcohol is different in different types of wine. There are various types of 'wine like beer, champagne, cider, port and sherry, whisky, Rum, Brandy, and Gin etc. Also in the beer the amount of alcohol is extremely low, while in the Rum this amount is extremely high and the champagne is the most costly wine among all.
Types of Alcoholic Beverages
Broadly, alcoholic beverage has been classified into two categories: Distilled beverage; Undistilled beverage
Distilled beverage: These types of beverages are prepared by the distillation of without distilled beverage and the amounts of alcohol vary from (40-55) % as below-
Undistilled beverage: These types of beverage are prepared by the fermentation of fruits juices or food grains and on filtration of fermented liquid and some wanted flavour; colour and perfumes are accessed (intermixed). The amounts of alcohol vary from (3-15) % as below;
Uses of Alcohol
Alcoholic Drinks: The term "alcohol" in alcoholic beverages refers to ethanol (CH3CH2OH).
Industrial methylated spirits: Ethanol is usually sold as industrial methylated spirits, which is ethanol with a small quantity of methanol and possibly some colour added. Because methanol is poisonous, industrial methylated spirits are unfit to drink, allowing purchasers to avoid the high taxes levied on alcoholic drinks.
Use of ethanol as a fuel: Ethanol burns to produce carbon dioxide and water, as shown in the equation below, and can be used as a fuel in its own right or in mixtures with petrol (gasoline).
"Gasohol" is a petrol/ethanol mixture containing approximately 10–20% ethanol. Because ethanol can be produced by fermentation, this is a useful method for countries without an oil industry to reduce the amount of petrol imports.
Ethanol as a solvent: Ethanol is widely used as a solvent. It is relatively safe and can be used to dissolve many organic compounds that are insoluble in water. It is used, for example, in many perfumes and cosmetics.
Methanol as a fuel: Methanol also burns to form carbon dioxide and water: 2CH3OH+3O2→2CO2+4H2O
It can be used a petrol additive to improve combustion, and its use as a fuel in its own right is under investigation.
Methanol as an industrial feedstock: Methanol is also used to make other compounds, for example, methanal (formaldehyde), ethanoic acid, and methyl esters of various acids. In most cases, these are then converted into further products.
Terms related to alcohol
• Wood spirit: Methyl alcohol is also called wood spirit because in early stage it was obtained by the destructive distillation of wood.
• Grain alcohol: Ethyl alcohol is also called grain alcohol because it is obtained by the starch enriched substances.
• Absolute alcohol: The alcohol which is 100% pure is called absolute alcohol and it is completely pure and anhydrate.
• Rectified spirit: This is also called commercial alcohol in which 95.6% ethyl alcohol and 4.4% water exist.
• Power alcohol: The mixture of purified spirit, benzene and petrol is called power alcohol and it is used in propelling engine. As it is directly related to the power to carry out the engine so it is called power alcohol.
• Denatured alcohol: Ethyl alcohol which cannot be used for the beverage purposes is called denatured alcohol. To obtain such type of alcohol usually in purified spirit, methyl alcohol, piridin, acetone etc. type of toxic substances are mixed.