Denatured alcohol?

Help. I am originally from the UK but now live in Dubai (by the way
anyone else on this list from Dubai ?) what is denatured alcohol ?

Thanks Paul Townsend

Denatured alcohol is ethanol which has been contaminated
intentionally with a toxic substance to make it undrinkable. A
common contaminant is benzene C6H6. This forms a constant boiling
mixture (azeotrope) which can not be separated with a simple
distillation. Isopropanol is often used as a substitute.


Denatured alcohol is Ethanol (drinking alcohol) which has been
denatured (or contaminated) with Methanol (poisonous) AND other
solvents to prevent human consumption. If you need a formula, I can
get it for you. Dav Barzilay, Lord of the Rings

Paul, denatured alcohol is Ethyl alcohol (the non-poisonous sort)
that has had some other chemical added to it to make it absolutely
undrinkable; poisonous! This makes it possible to buy Ethyl alcohol
(denatured) for various chemical (manufacturing or analytical) uses
without having to pay the very high taxes, get the license, etc. that
are involved in buying pure Ethyl alcohol. There are different sorts
of denatured alcohol, to which different denaturing agents have been
added, because for some of the uses to which it is put, one
denaturing agent would cause problems, while another will not.


Hi Paul,

what is denatured alcohol ?

Denatured alcohol is an alcohol that was potentially consumable by
humans, but has a poison added to it to make it unfit for human

Alcohol is not expensive to produce. Since it is a pleasurable drink
to many folks, alot of governments apply a hefty tax to consumable
alcohol. To insure that they get their tax, the governments required
all alcohol on which tax is not paid by the mfgr. must be rendered
unfit for human consumption. This is done by adding a poison of some
kind to the pure alcohol. Usually there’s a colorant added as well
to differentiate it from pure alcohol, since pure alcohol is clear.
Thus the term ‘denatured’ (no longer natural). In the US most
‘denatured’ alcohol has a purple colorant added.


Hi Paul, denatured alcohol is the stuff you can buy at the pharmacy
or hardware store, off the shelf. I’m no chemist – I use the
undenatured stuff in perfumes – but I think it is denatured so that
it will make people gag if they try to drink it. Many chemicals,
synthetic and/or natural, are used to denature it and to reduce its
proof or percentage. I’m hoping Jon in NZ will give us the technical
info! HTH - Elna

A long time ago when I worked in a hospital, it was called “Spirits
of Fermenti” so the local alcoholics would not have a clue and drink
it all up.