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Can you drink ethanol fuel?

  1. Dec 21, 2008 #1
    What would happen if you tried?

    I mean, I assume by default and in reasonable quantities you can, since grain alcohol is basically just ethanol, right? But do they put any additives in the stuff used for fuel, say? (Let us of course assume this is not ethanol/gasoline mix.)

    (This somewhat dumb question was prompted by a discussion elsewhere about a deleted scene from Jackie Chan's Legend of Drunken Master, in which Chan apparently suffers permanent brain damage from drinking industrial-strength alcohol.)
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 21, 2008 #2


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    I have heard (but cannot back up) that producers add a certain amount of kerosene to the mix because otherwise people can and do drink the stuff.
  4. Dec 21, 2008 #3
    If its pure ethanol, yeah sure its basically just moonshine. However, the stuff that you would regularly buy you can't because its not pure ethanol.
  5. Dec 21, 2008 #4
    You can buy Everclear, which is 95% alcohol. However, if the alcohol is intended for use as fuel, they generally add some amount of a toxic agent (such as methanol), so that it isn't taxed as an alcoholic beverage.
  6. Dec 21, 2008 #5
    yup, fuel and industrial use ethanol is "denatured". if you want the cheap untaxed stuff, you'll have to make your own. after checking your local laws, of course.
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