Monday, 2 March 2009

Ethanol

Ethanol - this is a Google translation of French Wikipedia on ethanol, just for an experiment. It is totally unabridged except for the word catabolisé, which Google should have translated into catabolized or for Europeans catabolised. I am trying to figure out what that word means!

Ethanol (CH3CH2OH), the active ingredient of alcoholic beverages, is almost always produced by fermentation - the carbohydrate metabolic pathway of certain species of yeast in the absence of oxygen.

It had been argued that alcohol impurities (congeners) were the cause of hangovers. However, it is more likely to be caused by ethanal, an oxidized intermediate form produced by the liver where alcohol is catabolisé.

Alcoholic beverages with greater than 40% of the volume are highly flammable.

In chemistry, the term alcohol refers to all organic compounds in which a hydroxyl group (-OH) is bound to a carbon atom, which in turn is connected to other carbon atoms or hydrogen. Other alcohols such as propylene glycol and polyols may be present so common in food and beverages, but it is not them alcohol. Methanol (one carbon), propane (three carbon), and butanol (four carbons) alcohols are all very common, but none of them can be eaten because they are toxic.

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I'd like to hear the experiences of both alcoholics and the victims of alcoholics, please.