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Ethyl alcohol is a clear, coluorless, mobile volatile liquid.

Molecular formula


Alternate name

Ethyl alcohol




Characteristic and spirituous



Ethyl alcohol has major uses as follows

  • Industrial alcohol
  • Potable alcohol
  • Fuel alcohol (blending with petrol)
  • Miscellaneous uses including pharmaceutical sector, as antiseptic in hospital etc

Grades of ethyl alcohol


Grade Purity
Rectified spirit 95.5%
Extra neutral alcohol 94 to 96%
Absolute alcohol / Anhydrous alcohol 99.5%

Process outline

The process adopted for ethyl alcohol production can be divided broadly into the following categories:

  • The petrochemical routes, which include production by indirect or direct hydration of ethylene
  • The routes that use renewable sources, including sugar cane molasses, beat sugar molasses, cane juices, liquid glucose, fruit juices, starch materials like wheat, barley, potato, tapioca cereals, paddy straw etc

Global Scenario

Global capacity

12870 millions of gallons per annum

Brazil and USA together account for 70% of the ethanol produced globally.