# I made the worst chem disaster in history

1. Sep 23, 2004

### ShawnD

Tomorrow was the day I was going to get a jump start on everybody by drinking all throughout the day instead of just at the end (keep class interesting ). Tonight I mixed some tequila and lemon juice about half and half inside of a 950mL Gatoride bottle so I could just grab it when running out the door the next morning. I checked on the bottled like an hour after making it to find a precipitate forming.
OH CRAP!! ESTERS!
But no, that can't be! There needs to be a strong acid!
I did some googling to find that the reaction between lemon juice and alcohol is actually spontaneous; strong acids and heat are just catalysts. So now I'm stuck trying to drink almost an entire litre of a half-half alcohol and lemon juice mix before going to bed. It's about 1:15 AM, I have to wake up at 7, and I've drank half the bottle in about 5 minutes. That's like drinking 5 beers in 5 minutes.

Needless to say, tomorrow will be the most fascinating day in my history (given I remember it...). Talk about fear and loathing at Shawn's school.

So let that be a lesson. Don't mix carboxylic acids with alcohols thinking it'll be cool, because it's not! These esters do taste surprisingly good though, and Billy Ocean has never sounded so entertaining :tongue:

Last edited: Sep 23, 2004
2. Sep 23, 2004

### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
ShawnD, have you considered that maybe you're drinking too much to be trying to arrive to class drunk and forcing yourself to drink some nasty concoction? Imagine how much smarter you could be if you showed up to class sober and remembered some of it?!

3. Sep 23, 2004

### ShawnD

The current system works, so I have to stick with it until failure.

And to think I was going to be an engineer :rofl:

4. Sep 23, 2004

### Gokul43201

Staff Emeritus
Sounds like you made an ester all right.

All you need are an alcohol (in your case ethanol, CH3-CH2-OH) and a carboxylic acid (citric acid, from the lemon, HO-C(CH2)2-(COOH)3, is a tricarboxylic acid).

The product should be something like 2-hydroxy-1,2,3-tripropanyl ethanoate (???)

Moonbear, everyone does stupid things when they're young an invincible, then we all grow up. I'm not condoning showing up for class drunk (nor am I claiming never to have done this).

It's a problem, however, if this becomes a habit...and I mean "serious problem."

5. Sep 23, 2004

### wasteofo2

Um...

For the chemically illiterate, what are esters, why did their formation make you say "Oh Crap!!", and then why would you drink something like that?

6. Sep 23, 2004

### Gokul43201

Staff Emeritus
Esters are pleasant (fruity) smelling aliphatic compounds that often get used as flavouring agents. Compared to most organic compounds, esters are more or less benign, though there are some toxic esters.

Why "oh crap" ? Perhaps, because something happened, when nothing was expected ?

7. Sep 23, 2004

### wasteofo2

Oh...

I was thinking esters would like, explode under pressure or something, so he had to drink it before they reached critical pressure in his bottle.

So it's just like, fruity tasting and good?

8. Sep 23, 2004

### Gokul43201

Staff Emeritus
:rofl: Nothing so "Sci Fi", I'm afraid.

9. Sep 23, 2004

### ShawnD

A reaction was changing two good things (lemon juice and tequila) into one useless precipitate.

10. Sep 23, 2004

### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
So, how are you feeling today? If you drank a whole Gatorade bottle-sized quantity of tequila last night, I imagine you might be a little under the weather today. If you're going to drink, pick something better than tequila :yuck: Once you have your one bad tequila story, you can stop, and last night sounds pretty bad, drinking stuff that's precipitating on you. :yuck: :yuck: :yuck:

11. Sep 23, 2004

### wasteofo2

So, you had to drink it quickly before all the alcohol changed into something not-so-crunk?

12. Sep 23, 2004

### ShawnD

Exactly.

Moonbear, today I was a zombie. I was totally fine when I woke up; it was like I never drank anything. As the day went on, I started getting drunk, but not in the fun social way. It was more of the "I think I've been poisoned" way. I didn't get sick or pass out, but it would have been a lot better if I did throw up. Throughout the day I've been drinking insane amounts of water, but never having to go to the bathroom at all.

Interesting situation.

13. Sep 24, 2004

### Hypercase

Hey thats quite an interesting situation ur in.
Hey think i can do that at a party and pretend to succumb to peer pressure.
May be i could add carboxylic acid to the beer and pretend to get drunk, and maybe i wont die in a car crash before im ready for college :)
How long does the reaction take? Why were u drunk the next day Shawn? Does the reaction reverse itself?
-Cheers.

14. Sep 24, 2004

### allanpatrick

cool! maybe i should start putting lemon in all alcoholic beverages in my boarding house's freezer because i think when women in my boarding house drink. i believe they are just pretending to be drunk. now i can catch them pretending to be drunk! or i could just play along...Ü

15. Sep 24, 2004

### ShawnD



Last edited: Sep 24, 2004
16. Sep 24, 2004

### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
[dims the lights and talks quietly]

I feel for you...really. I've had my one bad tequila experience, and it's awful. That stuff really does poison you! :yuck: Yes, that's sort of the effect it has, it doesn't quite kill you, but you start to wish it did. You were probably still a little drunk when you woke up, hence still feeling good, then you started to sober and the hangover kicked in. Force yourself to eat, B-vitamins supposedly help (I don't know if there's any real evidence for that, but sometimes old-wives' tales are worth a try). Go for the sports drinks rather than plain water...get the sugar into your system along with rehydrating.

If you're lucky like me, you'll develop a conditioned taste aversion to the stuff and never be tempted to touch it again (just a sip of a marguerita now is enough to make me nauseous...as soon as I get even the slightest taste of tequila). I really used to like margueritas too.

Feel better.

17. Sep 24, 2004

### Gokul43201

Staff Emeritus
According to Pliny the Elder, owl's eggs are good for getting rid of hangovers.

And if anyone knew a thing or two about drinking, it was the Romans !!

Got owl's eggs ?