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Distilling Ethanol by Refrigerating

  1. Aug 4, 2007 #1
    Ethanol seems to be popular for an alternative fuel for cars. If you distilled the ethanol by cooling it and exceeding the saturation point, because it has a lower density than water (.789 grams/cubic cm), the ethanol it would float to the top. You could take the mixture below the freezing point of water and poor the ethanol off the top. My question is, could this work as a distillation method, or am I just wrong?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 5, 2007 #2
    i believe this is actually how high alcohol-containing beers were first made in germany..they would take two kegs of lager, leave them outside to be frozen, then take the part that didnt freeze (ethanol + other stuff) and combine that with a fresh keg of lager. (nowadays most places use new strains of yeast or just add pure ethanol).
  4. Aug 5, 2007 #3
    yes it works, but you are only going to be able to get the ethanol pure to a certain amount before the water will stop freezing out--just take like how a bottle of 80 proof vodka won't freeze if you put it in the freezer.
  5. Aug 5, 2007 #4
    distill it in the regular fashion after that
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