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The Science Behind Powdered Alcohol

Unknown Lamer posted about 7 months ago | from the perfect-for-space-exploration dept.

Beer 176

Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes "Last week, the US Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved Palcohol, a powdered alcohol product that you can either use to turn water into a presumably not-that-delicious marg or to snort if you don't care too much about your brain cells. It's the first time a powdered alcohol product has been approved for sale in the US, but not the first time someone has devised one, and such products have been available in parts of Europe for a few years now. Now you may be wondering, as I was, how the heck do you go about powdering alcohol? As you might expect, there's quite a bit of chemistry involved, but the process doesn't seem overly difficult; we've known how to do it since the early 1970s, when researchers at the General Foods Corporation (now a subsidiary of Kraft) applied for a patent for an 'alcohol-containing powder.'" It turns out the labels were issued in error, so don't expect it to be available soon. But it does appear to be a real thing that someone is trying to have approved.

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Now you too... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46811965)

...can turn water into wine.

Re:Now you too... (4, Funny)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 7 months ago | (#46811975)

...can turn water into wine.

Moped Jesus is pissed.

Re:Now you too... (2)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 7 months ago | (#46812061)

...can turn water into wine.

Moped Jesus is pissed.

From reading the comments on the bevlaw link, it seems that NASCAR Jesus is pissed, too. In the US English sense, at least.

Re:Now you too... (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about 7 months ago | (#46812207)

I saw more of the "wont someone think of the children" posts. Seriously people, if you are worried about your children getting alcohol you have weay bigger things to worry about.

Re:Now you too... (1)

Jason Goatcher (3498937) | about 7 months ago | (#46812273)

Maybe this is how Jesus originally did it. If God's been around forever, He knows all sorts of cool stuff that we don't. The next question is whether or not alcohol could be powdered by someone with the proper knowledge, but only primitive technology.

Re:Now you too... (5, Funny)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 7 months ago | (#46812309)

Maybe this is how Jesus originally did it. If God's been around forever, He knows all sorts of cool stuff that we don't. The next question is whether or not alcohol could be powdered by someone with the proper knowledge, but only primitive technology.

This is beginning to sound like a job for Powdered Toast Man.

Re:Now you too... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46812687)

Maybe this is how Jesus originally did it.

Nah. That wouldn't explain how "he could have turned wheat into marijuana."

Re:Now you too... (2)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 7 months ago | (#46813157)

Moped Jesus is pissed [wiktionary.org] .

If communion wine is really his blood, he must have been wasted 24/7.

Re:Now you too... (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 7 months ago | (#46812453)

Now you too......can turn water into wine.

Yes, bad wine apparently. Jesus did better. [biblehub.com]

Re:Now you too... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46812933)

How could he not do better, he's made of magic?

People might just take your research and you just a little more seriously if you didn't try to come across as one of them religious nutters at every opportunity.

First time? (2)

goombah99 (560566) | about 7 months ago | (#46811989)

I recall powedered alchohol cans when in the 1970s. The alchohol was enclosed in vesicles.

Re:First time? (5, Funny)

davester666 (731373) | about 7 months ago | (#46812039)

much more appealing than being enclosed in testicles.

Re:First time? (1)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 7 months ago | (#46812371)

+1 balls are funny

Re:First time? (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 7 months ago | (#46812125)

OK, I admit I had to look up "vesicle".

Stop laughing. It's been a quarter-century since I took a biology class

Re:First time? (1)

careysub (976506) | about 7 months ago | (#46812339)

I remember powdered alcohol being test marketed back then. Didn't know if it ever went big. This is 40 year old "food" technology.

It's just (1)

JustOK (667959) | about 7 months ago | (#46812003)

Cocognacicaine

Re:It's just (1)

necro81 (917438) | about 7 months ago | (#46813749)

Cocognacicaine

I'm just waiting to hear Arnold Schwarzeneggar say that on screen. [relevance [youtu.be] ]

Synthohol (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46812045)

This is one more step on the road to the synthohol we were promised.

Re:Synthohol (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46812069)

No, not really, why would you say that? First of all, it's spelled synthehol, if you're going to gobble up sci-fi fantasies learn to spell it, or at least make an effort to use existing technologies to look it up.

According to Wiki, "Synthehol is an artificial substitute for alcohol, allowing the drinker to experience the taste of alcohol without any adverse effects". Synthehol is a liquid, and has nothing to do with alcohol. Why does powdered alcohol mean "one more step" to you? And "one more"? What was the first one?

Oh, and "promised"? Who promised you anything in sci-fi? Star Trek was FICTION, people!

Re:Synthohol (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 7 months ago | (#46812341)

and nobody cares for the taste so fuck it.

however, several researchers have been researching for alcohol substitute that could be cleared from body with another substance.

however biggest problem with this research is simply that any such substance is either already labeled as a drug or gets labeled as a drug very fast. because alcohol is the only thing state wants you to use for druggy effects.

Trekies (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46812369)

Trekies are the FUCKING WORST. Jesus fucking christ.

Re:Synthohol (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about 7 months ago | (#46812959)

Star Trek was fiction, but man, let me tell you, Trekkies was fact.

But is it cheaper? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46812075)

I can get 1.75L of decent vodka for about $13/US. That gives me approximately 39 drinks at $0.33 per drink. How much does this stuff cost?

Because, you know, that's all that matters when you're trying to be wasted every day.

Re: But is it cheaper? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46812229)

I see you, too, have found the joys of Svedka.

Re: But is it cheaper? (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 7 months ago | (#46812241)

Given that unpretentious vodka is pretty much food-grade ethanol and water, plus packaging, distribution, and sin tax, and powdered alcohol would be food grade ethanol, some sort of dextrin, plus packaging, distribution, and sin tax, they'd have to be saving a lot of money on the reduced bulk and weight of the omitted water to do any better.

Given that, and given the obvious utility in alcohol concealment and infiltration scenarios, I suspect that they aren't even going for price parity with either the Not Too Much Methanol(tm) brand vodkas or the Tastes Like Piss And Turns to Piss!(tm) economy beer sector.

Re: But is it cheaper? (1)

bickerdyke (670000) | about 7 months ago | (#46813093)

If that was about reducing weight, they could start with selling higher concentrated spirits that need to be watered down to drinking strength. You'd have to add water to the powdered stuff, too...

Re: But is it cheaper? (4, Funny)

dbIII (701233) | about 7 months ago | (#46813255)

Given that, and given the obvious utility in alcohol concealment and infiltration scenarios

Good news, everyone! Ethanol suppository.

Re: But is it cheaper? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46813617)

i saw 96% for 4 euro last time i was in italy. just add equal volume water and you're set.

i don't understand vodka epicures, given that they distill all the taste out of it (and brag about purity on the label).

Re: But is it cheaper? (3, Insightful)

bloodhawk (813939) | about 7 months ago | (#46812311)

I can get 1.75L of decent vodka for about $13/US. That gives me approximately 39 drinks at $0.33 per drink. How much does this stuff cost?

Because, you know, that's all that matters when you're trying to be wasted every day.

Decent Vodka??? please tell me which brand sells decent vodka at that price? (genuinely interested as a vodka lover) and by decent I mean you should be able to tell the difference between it and metho!

Re: But is it cheaper? (1)

thejuggler (610249) | about 7 months ago | (#46812407)

It has to be Philips or Barton's and neither qualify as "decent". You might as well drink sterno. However, Luksusowa Vodka is decent (IMHO) and runs about $20/L.

Re: But is it cheaper? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46812709)

However, Luksusowa Vodka is decent (IMHO) and runs about $20/L.

It's more than decent. It's a luxury!

Re: But is it cheaper? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46812813)

Decent vodka? Just buy a bottle of Everclear and mix it with tap water, you can easily get the equivalent of 1.8L of vodka for $16-17.

Or, better yet, you could start drinking a spirit that actually has taste -- there are plenty to choose from.

Re: But is it cheaper? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46813141)

yuck, spoken like someone with their taste buds in their arse. just because you can't tell the difference in good and bad vodka doesn't mean that others can't.

Re: But is it cheaper? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46813153)

your lack of taste or understanding of Vodka suggests you must be American where it is common practise for the spirit manufacturers to buy ethanol and mix it with water and then sell it as vodka, this comes from extremely lax definition in the US of what can be classified as vodka.

Re: But is it cheaper? (1)

bloodhawk (813939) | about 7 months ago | (#46813253)

much of the vodka on the market today, especially the cheap crap, is little more than what you describe. but a good vodka DOES have taste, the taste varies from vodka to vodka based on the distillation process and filtration (if any). The crap that is passed off as vodka in most of the cheaper brands isn't even fit as a mixer.

Re: But is it cheaper? (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 7 months ago | (#46813635)

If the vodka has any taste other than the taste of alcohol, the distiller has failed (except in cases where it is specifically flavored such as vanilla vodka). Vodka is supposed to be a flavorless spirit. For that matter, there have been numerous blind taste tests and the results indicate that while people can distinguish between vodkas when they drink it neat they cannot do so when it is in a mixed drink (the tests mostly compared mid-level vodkas to premium vodkas, so there may be some difference between bargain basement vodka and good vodka).

Re: But is it cheaper? (2)

mmell (832646) | about 7 months ago | (#46812381)

It is if you're going to the ball game. Priced a beer at the local sports arena lately?

Re: But is it cheaper? (2)

mjwx (966435) | about 7 months ago | (#46812875)

I can get 1.75L of decent vodka for about $13/US. That gives me approximately 39 drinks at $0.33 per drink

It can also be used to strip paint.

Re: But is it cheaper? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46813059)

I'm envious. Over here the tax on alcohol is 75.86 USD/liter (501.41 SEK/liter). In addition to 25% VAT...

Re: But is it cheaper? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46813281)

I'm envious. Over here the tax on alcohol is 75.86 USD/liter (501.41 SEK/liter). In addition to 25% VAT...

You can't tell me that your country doesn't have moonshiners making illicit alcohol then.

That taxation level is unconscionable, and is highly regressive. I thought Scandinavia was all about equality, but apparently equality doesn't entail allowing the less wealthy to enjoy alcohol.

Re: But is it cheaper? (1, Funny)

sjwt (161428) | about 7 months ago | (#46813323)

Poor Scandinavians,

too busy enjoying good health care, education, not getting shot,not being murdered, not being hated by the majority of the world, not having mass shooting in school.. If only they had cheap Alcohol then they too could be like the pride of the world MERICA!

Re: But is it cheaper? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46813671)

You do know your comment is a logical fallacy, right? Critiquing a fault in another's claimed tenet does not imply that one's putative tenets are fault free. To wit: calling out a Scandinavian country on economic inequality is fine, because the US doesn't pretend to have economic equality, whereas Scandinavian countries extol their equality.

Besides, man, WTF? Aside from an attack on what you perceive to be US cultural failings, do you have anything constructive to add to the conversation... like, say, an explanation for why an ostensibly proudly egalitarian society has such a punitively regressive tax on a mild recreational drug that mankind has enjoyed for thousands of years?

Or, maybe, whether or not this punitive taxation actually does result in bootlegging there. We have already proven that the rule of law only goes so far in the US. Tax our drugs too highly and the masses are willing silently rebel and resort to the black market.

Then again, in Scandinavia, their prisons are basically run on the honor system and look like hotels. So, maybe they don't have bootlegging.

Re: But is it cheaper? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46813409)

"I can get 1.75L of decent vodka for about $13/US. That gives me approximately 39 drinks at $0.33 per drink. How much does this stuff cost?"

I guess it's like that old Doris Day movie, where the scientist created alcohol cookies to allow people to get a cheap buzz.

Boozer backpackers (4, Funny)

macraig (621737) | about 7 months ago | (#46812095)

What a boon for boozer backpackers: all the buzz but a tenth of the weight!

Re:Boozer backpackers (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 7 months ago | (#46812173)

120 proof in pure powdered form, if you mix it 1:1 by weight into water, you'll have something slightly less potent than Vodka or Rum, with 20% sugar in the mixture (from the powder coating.)

Re:Boozer backpackers (1)

dbc (135354) | about 7 months ago | (#46812197)

The real question is how it does at water purification. It should take care of bacteria, no problem. How it does on organisms like giardia, though, is more relevant to a backpacker. Compare the weight/bulk of powdered alcohol to other water purification methods, and you might have a winner.

Re:Boozer backpackers (3, Insightful)

Typical Slashdotter (2848579) | about 7 months ago | (#46812355)

This is not suitable for water safety, since you can't just drink alcohol to hydrate...

Re:Boozer backpackers (1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | about 7 months ago | (#46812437)

What about the times when people drank beer for all 3 meals because it was safer than the water?

Re:Boozer backpackers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46812479)

That was small beer [wikipedia.org] , which was only 1-3% alcohol (2-6 proof); basically the same as neer beer [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Boozer backpackers (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 7 months ago | (#46813277)

Unfortunately that has to be filed with Battle of Britain night fighter pilots having super night vision due to a high carrot diet - a cool sounding historical "factiod" that has caught on instead of being an actual fact. There was a paper about it within the last year that got a lot of press and it's probably even been used as a "weird news" filler in your local paper or morning news show.
As other posters have pointed out there was also the low alcohol small beer but it turns out that water was drunk more than that or anything else in the Middle Ages.

Re:Boozer backpackers (1)

bickerdyke (670000) | about 7 months ago | (#46814151)

we,, I guess that went well where a clean well was available...

So that paper is most likely right, but probably doesn't rule out that there were areas where beer was safer than water, it has been cooked at least once.

Re:Boozer backpackers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46812457)

You sound like the typical Slashdotter...always naysaying

Re:Boozer backpackers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46812255)

Or for about 20% more weight you could carry 200 proof and a packet of kool-aid.

Obama is Jumping For Joy Juice (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46812101)

Palcohal will make a great cocktail for the anus and Obama deftly knows all too well.

Ha ha

All I need to know is one thing... (2)

LoRdTAW (99712) | about 7 months ago | (#46812133)

Can I smoke it?

Re:All I need to know is one thing... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46812277)

You can smoke anything. But with ethanol being rather flammable I don't think it would really accomplish anything.

Re:All I need to know is one thing... (1)

sound+vision (884283) | about 7 months ago | (#46812327)

FWIW I think ethanol along with many other alcohols can be vaporized without combusting. Personally I have done some kitchen chemistry with isopropanol. While evaporating it in a smallish room, it built up to a noticeable odor in the room and I think the buzz I got was a little more than placebo. Kinda like drinking the stuff, or huffing correction fluid or acetone. Not that I recommend doing any of this - but airborne delivery of alcohol seems plausible. probably would irritate the fuck out of your throat

Re:All I need to know is one thing... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46812591)

My sister did this once accidentally. She decided to make jello shots one day, and instead of boiling the water she boiled the vodka. Oops, she got pretty drunk from that.

Alcohol vapors and rapid drunkenness (1)

billstewart (78916) | about 7 months ago | (#46812935)

I've occasionally heated up liquor to pour over a dessert before flaming it. Brought it to near-boiling in the microwave, and carrying it over to the table where we were going to serve it was ... entertaining. It goes right through your sinuses into your bloodstream, faster than drinking it, but I'd much rather drink it.

This powdered alcohol does keep telling you not to snort it; says it'll get you drunk but be unpleasant, and certainly with the flavored versions I'd expect that to be true. (Even with the unflavored ones, seems like a nose-ful of carbohydrates isn't really what you want.)

Re:Alcohol vapors and rapid drunkenness (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 7 months ago | (#46813241)

Even with the unflavored ones, seems like a nose-ful of carbohydrates isn't really what you want

You're waiting for the alcohol drenched beef jerky/bacon strips?

Half and half cream and alcohol?

Re:Alcohol vapors and rapid drunkenness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46813429)

"This powdered alcohol does keep telling you not to snort it; says it'll get you drunk but be unpleasant, and certainly with the flavored versions I'd expect that to be true. (Even with the unflavored ones, seems like a nose-ful of carbohydrates isn't really what you want.)"

Just as with pill-snorters who have to cope with all sorts of filling material, it's not about what you want, it's about what you need.

Re:All I need to know is one thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46813421)

"FWIW I think ethanol along with many other alcohols can be vaporized without combusting. Personally I have done some kitchen chemistry with isopropanol. While evaporating it in a smallish room, it built up to a noticeable odor in the room and I think the buzz I got was a little more than placebo."

If you fill your own wine into bottles, you can get more than a buzz from inhaling the vapors of the spilled wine under your nose. Once I filled 250 bottles in an afternoon and they found me hours later on the floor.

Re:All I need to know is one thing... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46812695)

Smoking is for faggots, broseph.

Re:All I need to know is one thing... (3, Interesting)

physicsphairy (720718) | about 7 months ago | (#46812887)

Yes, although you wouldn't ignite it, you would simply apply a heat source to drive the alcohol out from the granules and into the vapor phase. You can do the same with regular alcohol.

I wouldn't recommend it however: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A... [wikipedia.org]

Re:All I need to know is one thing... (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about 7 months ago | (#46813165)

Forget smoking, I'm waiting for the first reports of someone ending up in hospital because they tried to snort the stuff.

poison (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 7 months ago | (#46812137)

Sounds like the perfect way to get rid of someone you don't like. They look like they drank themselves to death and you could slip it into their cheeseburger.

Re:poison (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about 7 months ago | (#46812261)

I'm pretty sure if you "slipped" enough powdered alcolhol to kill someone into their cheeseburger they would notice the taste. Hell, at those levels you could probably smell it from the next room!

Re:poison (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46812621)

How is putting powdered alcohol in a burger different from putting moonshine in a soft drink? Unless this is somehow vastly more concentrated and easy to consume without noticing than normal alcohol, that wouldn't be particularly easy.

Unless they are either exceptionally tolerant or exceptionally sensitive, most people will pass out or throw up before being able to consume a lethal (for them) dose of alcohol.

Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46812149)

Let me know when they figure out to make powdered water instead!

Wake up! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46812195)

Re:Wake up! (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about 7 months ago | (#46812263)

That's not really powdered water anymore than a sponge is solid water.

Re:Wake up! (3, Insightful)

careysub (976506) | about 7 months ago | (#46812343)

Neither is the powdered alcohol solid alcohol. It is all the same.

Re:Wake up! (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about 7 months ago | (#46813017)

Fair enough.

Re:Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46813603)

Crushed ice?

Not approved yet (1)

NoKaOi (1415755) | about 7 months ago | (#46812163)

From http://www.iflscience.com/chem... [iflscience.com]

It has now come to light that Palcohol received approval for their label, not the product. A representative for the federal bureau said that the approval was made in error, though details were not provided about how the error occurred. Palcohol creator Mark Phillips was not available for comment, but agreed to surrender the approvals this afternoon. Phillips will likely re-evaluate the situation and try for approval on his labels again.

There is a reason we don't have powdered alcohol (2)

superdude72 (322167) | about 7 months ago | (#46812265)

This will be approved when the powder has a weight, volume, and alcohol content comparable to the liquid forms currently on the market. Which kind of defeats the purpose.

On a tangent, there is no technical reason for rubbing alcohol to be made of isopropyl alcohol (not fit for human consumption), rather than ethanol (basically the same thing as vodka.) There is no technical reason that vodka should cost so much more than rubbing alcohol. This is all due to government regulation. Powdered alcohol will not be allowed to fit through the cracks.

Re:There is a reason we don't have powdered alcoho (1)

careysub (976506) | about 7 months ago | (#46812375)

... There is no technical reason that vodka should cost so much more than rubbing alcohol. This is all due to government regulation. Powdered alcohol will not be allowed to fit through the cracks.

This should be news to no one. The high sin/public health tax on alcohol (theories of the tax vary) is a key and very prominent feature of public alcohol policy. Most people feel it should be heavily taxed - public discussion of the issue is limited almost exclusively to whether it should be higher still. Powdered alcohol will be regulated no differently.

You're right. The reasons are purely legal. (1)

mmell (832646) | about 7 months ago | (#46812399)

It is so that rubbing alcohol may be sold without further precautions. That's why it's labelled 'denatured'. Anybody notice something about the price of rubbing alcohol (say, the 70%abv stuff) versus the potable variety?

Re:You're right. The reasons are purely legal. (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 7 months ago | (#46813303)

It's regulated in my country which makes it almost as much of a pain to get hold of as lab ethanol but more expensive.

Re:There is a reason we don't have powdered alcoho (1)

mewyn (663989) | about 7 months ago | (#46812645)

Food grade equipment and starting stock is the reason. Sure there's the "sin tax" for governments to get more money out of alcohol, but that's not the bulk of the difference. The bulk of the price difference is from the fact that you're starting with food grade materials and using food grade stills and other equipment. With non-food-grade alcohol distillation they can throw whatever they want in and, if it's a little impure, or contains some toxins it doesn't matter because no one is supposed to drink it. There is usually a lot of stuff you don't want to drink in that 5% that's in rubbing ethanol; including methanol, toxic esters, turpentine, etc; due to the stock they typically start with. Denaturing isn't just because the gum'mint doesn't want you to drink it, it's that it's not all that safe to drink to start with. And if you decide to cry "oh, why not just 100% pure ethanol", going over 95% ethanol is exceedingly hard to do and gets to be really, really expensive with each added percentage point (or fraction there of).

Rubbing alcohol vs. denatured alcohol vs. drinking (3, Informative)

billstewart (78916) | about 7 months ago | (#46812967)

In the US, "rubbing alcohol" usually refers to isopropyl alcohol, not ethanol, and it's medical-use purity. And you can absorb alcohol through your skin, so you wouldn't want toxic impurities in it.

That's different from "denatured alcohol", which is usually some combination of ethanol and things that are bad for you, and it's the version that's not food-grade, it's paint-thinner-grade solvent.

The strongest distilled ethanol-water combinations are about 96% ethanol, which has a lower boiling point than pure ethanol; if you want to get it any drier than that, you need to add some kind of other organic solvent such as benzene, so that you can boil off the alcohol-water-benzene mixture at an even lower temperature, leaving the ethanol and less or no water. But you're not normally going to do that for food-grade alcohols, because you don't want any remaining benzene, and because 96% is too strong to be actually drinkable anyway; maybe you'd want a stronger alcohol if you wanted to dissolve some flavoring that's less soluble with the remaining water content, but 96% is usually strong enough to do the job pretty well.

Re:Rubbing alcohol vs. denatured alcohol vs. drink (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 7 months ago | (#46813933)

That's different from "denatured alcohol", which is usually some combination of ethanol and things that are bad for you, and it's the version that's not food-grade, it's paint-thinner-grade solvent.

I don't even use denatured alcohol for cleaning things. You can buy pure IPA in gallon steel cans (or even five gallon cans!) at most hardware stores. The only time I've gotten it cheaper is in those rare cases when the grocery outlet has 70% IPA, but usually it's only 50% and less than 70% won't adequately clean many varnishes and so on off of the metal surfaces where I tend to use IPA — in automotive applications. I refill my bottles and then add water to make my own 75%-ish bottles for less-demanding jobs.

They've been dicking around with paint thinner, too! Now you often can't get real toluene, they have some kind of substitute. That sucks, because it's got a bunch of specific uses as a thinner for stuff other than paints, like silicone.

Re:There is a reason we don't have powdered alcoho (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 7 months ago | (#46813321)

going over 95% ethanol is exceedingly hard to do

Around a century ago in Germany there was some Schnapps just a bit beyond that point. Not so hard to distill off some more water with just a little bit of Benzene in the mix. Of course if it doesn't poison you immediately there is cancer to look forward to.
I think there's some varieties of high purity lab ethanol with similar additives to make it easier to distill.

Re:There is a reason we don't have powdered alcoho (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46813375)

This will be approved when the powder has a weight, volume, and alcohol content comparable to the liquid forms currently on the market. Which kind of defeats the purpose.

On a tangent, there is no technical reason for rubbing alcohol to be made of isopropyl alcohol (not fit for human consumption), rather than ethanol (basically the same thing as vodka.) There is no technical reason that vodka should cost so much more than rubbing alcohol. This is all due to government regulation. Powdered alcohol will not be allowed to fit through the cracks.

Pure isopropyl is excellent for cleaning optical surfaces and dissolving muck. Much better than ethanol or methanol for some times of muck and certain types of surface. Eye glasses, camera lenses, telescopes and binoculars, screens and monitors, projectors etc. Anywhere you have a precision lens mirror or glass where a smear affects the quality of the image.

How many calories? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46812275)

My only problem with alcohol is it doesn't like my waist line but it loves leaving me wasted.

Re:How many calories? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46812413)

given the alcohol is encapsulated in sugar crystals I imagine it would be like drinking a vodka with a couple of teaspoons of sugar added calorie wise.

"marg"? (1)

DogDude (805747) | about 7 months ago | (#46812385)

either use to turn water into a presumably not-that-delicious marg

Don't tell me to Google "marg", because if it is a word, it's a stupid word. I really doubt that it's a word, though.

Re:"marg"? (1)

mjwx (966435) | about 7 months ago | (#46812909)

either use to turn water into a presumably not-that-delicious marg

Don't tell me to Google "marg", because if it is a word, it's a stupid word. I really doubt that it's a word, though.

Marg is a contraction of the name Margaret in Australia.

To be honest, all of the Marg's I've met have been over 50 and definitely not what I'd call delicious.

Re:"marg"? (1)

GrahamCox (741991) | about 7 months ago | (#46813107)

It's short for Margarine. I assume that's what they're talking about anyway. Very common short form where I come from (UK).

Re:"marg"? (1)

pjt33 (739471) | about 7 months ago | (#46813115)

It's an abbreviation for "margarine", which is a butter substitute. I don't know what it has to do with powdered alcohol, though.

Re:"marg"? (2)

starsky51 (959750) | about 7 months ago | (#46813607)

I assumed it was short for Margarita, a tequila-based cocktail which is not that delicious to start with.

Re:"marg"? (1)

Talderas (1212466) | about 7 months ago | (#46814079)

Get out of here with your context sensitivity. Marg obviously stands for margarine, margaret, or marginal. In other cases it's a negative slang for Maginot Line.

Wow slashdot has gotten stupid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46812615)

Actual cool story. Novel chemistry. Could have large far reaching social implications.

Default view. The TWO comments i see at default view are some lame shit about powdered toast man. And can i smoke it.

Back to reddit. where i expect stupid shit like that.

Missing link (1)

q043x (256014) | about 7 months ago | (#46812843)

So, where is the link to the DIY instructions for the creation of powdered Vodka & Redbull?

more slashadvertisements (1)

ruir (2709173) | about 7 months ago | (#46812905)

Their site is irresponsible, and the evident reverse psychology of "do not USE IT EVERYWHERE" seems to be written by a 13-year old. Slashdot at its best...the moderation system is failing us.

Re:more slashadvertisements (1)

eam (192101) | about 7 months ago | (#46813651)

Well, DUH.

#irc.trooltalk.com (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46813039)

morn1ng. Now I have stagnant. As Linux

Gluhwein (1)

StripedCow (776465) | about 7 months ago | (#46813455)

Mix this with self-heating powder, and you can make the perfect on-the-go gluhwein!
https://heatermeals.com/how-se... [heatermeals.com]

How flammable is it? (1)

jasenj1 (575309) | about 7 months ago | (#46813645)

Alcohol stoves are fairly popular with backpackers. Would this powder be an effective way to carry more fuel? Would it be a fire hazard - especially if it became airborne?

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