Useful knowledge: how to determine methyl alcohol at home?

"By sight", especially not for a professional, it is practically impossible to distinguish ethyl alcohol, which is included in the composition of all alcohol in the world, from its technical counterpart - methyl. This leads to annual mass poisoning in Russia and the CIS countries, where the use of alcohol of unknown or suspicious origin has become a bad tradition.

how to determine methyl alcohol at home

But drinking a poor-quality counterfeit drink on an ethyl basis is not so bad (although in the pre-revolutionary classification ethyl alcohol was also equated with poisons). Methanol is the real enemy of the body. This is the strongest poison, which even in relatively small amounts can adversely affect the vessels and nervous system of a person, and most of all - on the state of vision, up to complete blindness. And the use of only 30 to 100 grams (for different people in different ways) of this substance can lead to death. Therefore, the question of how to determine methyl alcohol at home is not at all idle, but very urgent. Especially due to the fact that, according to experts, a huge amount of alcohol sold in our country is a fake!

We will tell about how to distinguish methyl alcohol from ethyl alcohol , what is the difference between them, in our article. We hope that the knowledge gained will help to avoid unnecessary incidents and the harmful effects of methanol when drinking alcohol.

how to distinguish methyl alcohol from ethyl alcohol what is the difference

How to determine methyl alcohol at home

Many people remember the recent events in the Czech Republic, where many people seem to have suffered from "branded" alcohol. And it contained this massive fake packaged in beautiful bottles, namely methanol. Therefore, information on how to determine methyl alcohol at home is important and relevant. Indeed, in terms of taste and smell, methanol is little distinguishable from ethanol. Of course, if you have a solution that contains only one type of alcohol, then you can determine the difference by various, rather simple, methods, which we will discuss below. But if it is a mixture of alcohols, then their content and quantity can be understood only by examining it in a laboratory.

how to distinguish methyl alcohol at home

Popular ways of determining

So: how to determine methyl alcohol at home ? The best ways are born empirically and are quite effective. The first one is the burning of alcohol. Pour experimental liquids into small dishes and set them on fire. We look closely at the color of the burning fire (and it will burn in any way, since the fortress is over 40 degrees) and compare. If it burns with a blue flame, then we have ethanol, and it can be consumed for drinking purposes (of course, if there are no other harmful impurities). If burning is accompanied by a green color of fire, then it is methanol. This rather simple and effective method for determining methyl alcohol at home will undoubtedly work if the solution is clean enough. And the method itself is based on some difference in the chemical composition of liquids.

Using potatoes

Using ordinary raw potatoes, this difference can also be determined. Potatoes need to be peeled and rinsed. We cut off a slice of the root crop and throw it into a small container where the test liquid is located: presumably ethyl or methyl alcohol. After a while (usually a couple of hours) the potato in methanol should change its color and become a pinkish tint. In ethanol, the lobule practically does not change color.

Formaldehyde test

For her, we will need copper wire and open fire. The wire should be precisely copper and peeled from the sheath. Pour the test fluid into a bowl. We heat the copper on a fire and sharply dip it into a liquid medium. If we have methanol in front of us, then an unpleasant and rather sharp smell of formaldehyde appears. Ethyl alcohol in this case is practically odorless (sometimes it may smell like apple aroma). As an option: add potassium permanganate to the liquid (buy at the pharmacy) and set fire to it. The smell easily determines the affiliation of alcohol to a particular group of methanol or ethanol.

how to determine methyl alcohol the best ways at home

Precautionary measures

If you suspect taking methanol, you should immediately call a doctor, and not wait: they say, it will pass and resolve itself. Signs of poisoning: sharp pain in the head, breathing is difficult, a person experiences malaise and weakness, pain in the abdomen and lumbar region, vomiting is possible. You can try to do a gastric lavage with the same magenta in a light aqueous solution. And by the way, it may be useful to know how to distinguish methyl alcohol at home, if the liquid that was consumed inside was not finished. And strangely enough, 10% ethyl alcohol is considered a good antidote!


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