What Is Denatured Ethanol and What Is It Used For?

What Is Denatured Ethanol and What Is It Used For?
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What Is Denatured Ethanol and What Is It Used For?

Ethanol in its pure form is 100% alcohol and while it is defiantly inadvisable, technically it is drinkable in its raw state. Various amounts of 100% pure alcohol are mixed with other ingredients to make alcoholic drinks.

Denatured ethanol has a small % of denaturing agent added to pure ethanol. This denaturant makes the ethanol undrinkable and aside from this, denatured ethanol is exactly the same as normal ethanol.

The denaturants are added to ensure that the ethanol cannot be consumed as a spirit. In this regard, denatured ethanol is very similar to methylated spirits.

Methylated spirit vs. Denatured Ethanol.

Methylated spirit is ethanol mixed with methanol. It usually has small amounts of other chemicals added, as well as a distinctive purple dye.

Although both methylated spirit and denatured ethanol have alcohol in them, they can't be consumed. As such, no alcohol duty is applied to it in the UK and this means it can be acquired quite cheaply.

On the face of it, both Methylated spirits and Denatured alcohol are very similar. So why would you choose one over the other?

Well, mixing ethanol and methanol gives “meths” which has a strong, unpleasant smell. Methanol is also very toxic when consumed, absorbed through the skin, or inhaled in high concentrations. For this reason Denatured alcohol, although still highly flammable, is a safer liquid.

Uses of Denatured Alcohol.

Denatured alcohol has a number of uses including:

  • • Disinfectant
  • • Window Cleaning
  • • Camping Stove Fuel
  • • Paint Removal
  • • Fire Juggling
  • • Making Jam
  • • Removing Ink Stains
  • • Woodwork
  • • Pest Control
  • • Model Locomotives
  • • Fuel For Marine Stoves