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Ethanol..The Meaner, Greener, Cleaner, Energy Source!

History Of Ethanol

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Ethanol has been used for several thousands of years now for the purpose of intoxication. Nine thousand year old pottery was found in northern China with dried up residue hints that alcohol was used among the Neolithic people. Egyptians about 3000 years B.C. brewed their own beer. The first recording of the consumption of an alcoholic beverage was in the Egyptian book of the Dead. Early Islamic alchemists were the first to find relatively pure ethanol by using the distillation process. Jabir Ibn Hayyan wrote about the flammable vapors from wine boiling. The first person to remove the water from the ethanol mixture after distillation to get 100% pure ethanol was Johann Tobias Lowitz in 1796. He achieved this by filtering the 96% ethanol 4% water mixture through charcoal. In 1808 the chemical formula of ethanol was found by Nicolas-Théodore de Saussure.  Archibald Scott Couper was the first perosn to figure out the structural formula of ethanol, making ethanol one of the first chemical structures found. Ethanols origanal use was for drinking nearly 9000 years ago, but now ethanol is used in many different products from automotive fuels to making beer.