Scientists discover new 'architecture' in corn

New research on the U.S.'s most economically important agricultural plant—corn—has revealed a different internal structure of the plant than previously thought, which can help optimize how corn is converted into ethanol.

Yeast makes ethanol to prevent metabolic overload

Why do some yeast cells produce ethanol? Scientists have wondered about this apparent waste of resources for decades. Now, University of Groningen scientists think they have a solution: yeast cells produce ethanol as a 'safety ...

Carbon fuels go green for renewable energy

For decades, scientists have searched for effective ways to remove excess carbon dioxide emissions from the air, and recycle them into products such as renewable fuels. But the process of converting carbon dioxide into useful ...

Improving poplar biomass production under stress conditions

Inside the phytotron, rows of white industrial cabinets hide the life expected in a greenhouse. A peek through a square viewing port, however, reveals the green energy growing inside the bright chamber. These specific poplar ...

PNNL technology clears way for ethanol-derived jet fuel

ASTM International recently revised ASTM D7566 Annex A5—the Standard Specification for Aviation Turbine Fuel Containing Synthesized Hydrocarbons—to add ethanol as an approved feedstock for producing alcohol-to-jet synthetic ...

How biofuels from plant fibers could combat global warming

Scientists, companies and government agencies are hard at work on decreasing greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. In recent years, biofuels produced from corn have emerged as a fuel source to power motor vehicles ...

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Ethanol, also called ethyl alcohol, pure alcohol, grain alcohol, or drinking alcohol, is a volatile, flammable, colorless liquid. It is a psychoactive drug, best known as the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages and in modern thermometers. Ethanol is one of the oldest recreational drugs. In common usage, it is often referred to simply as alcohol or spirits.

Ethanol is a straight-chain alcohol, and its molecular formula is C2H5OH. Its empirical formula is C2H6O. An alternative notation is CH3-CH2-OH, which indicates that the carbon of a methyl group (CH3-) is attached to the carbon of a methylene group (-CH2-), which is attached to the oxygen of a hydroxyl group (-OH). It is a constitutional isomer of dimethyl ether. Ethanol is often abbreviated as EtOH, using the common organic chemistry notation of representing the ethyl group (C2H5) with Et.

The fermentation of sugar into ethanol is one of the earliest organic reactions employed by humanity. The intoxicating effects of ethanol consumption have been known since ancient times. In modern times, ethanol intended for industrial use is also produced from by-products of petroleum refining.

Ethanol has widespread use as a solvent of substances intended for human contact or consumption, including scents, flavorings, colorings, and medicines. In chemistry, it is both an essential solvent and a feedstock for the synthesis of other products. It has a long history as a fuel for heat and light and also as a fuel for internal combustion engines.

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