paint brushes

What is ethyl alcohol

Ethanol, also known as ethyl alcohol and drinking alcohol, is the main type of alcohol found in many popular adult beverages. In its preprocessed form, ethyl alcohol is a colorless liquid that exhibits a slight odor and is also highly volatile and flammable. The production of ethyl alcohol involves the fermentation of sugars, with yeast serving as the catalyst facilitating a chemical reaction. It is also possible to produce ethyl alcohol via various petrochemical methods.

If you’re not satisfied with your current ethyl alcohol distributor, Brenntag can help. As a top chemical and ingredient distributor in the U.S., we provide high-quality ethyl alcohol products backed by the best service and support in our industry.

Buy various grades of ethyl alcohol

Buy ethyl alcohol online

yellow paint

Ethyl Alcohol uses and applications

The use of ethyl alcohol is not limited to the production of drinking alcohol — it also serves a wide range of medical and sanitary purposes. Its ability to kill germs makes it a popular ingredient in antiseptic products such as the hand sanitizers and wipes many people purchase at the grocery store.

Higher concentrations of the material can dissolve many water-insoluble medications. Crystallized, evaporated ethyl alcohol forms a compound called sodium sulfate, which is the active ingredient in many household cleaning products.

Another common ethyl alcohol application is in the production of engine fuel. You can find it in various concentrations in gasoline used to power vehicles in countries around the globe, including the United States. Ethyl alcohol has also been used as rocket fuel and in other types of lighter rocket-powered aircraft.

Ethyl alcohol’s miscibility in water makes it highly amenable to use as a solvent. As such, it serves as a main ingredient in paints and coatings as well as personal care products such as deodorants, perfumes, and mouthwash. Its combination of a low melting point and minimal toxicity allows ethyl alcohol to be used as a cooling bath and as the fluid in alcohol thermometers.

Some homes have ethanol fireplaces to provide heat or for ornamentation purposes.


Ethyl alcohol is a colorful liquid with the chemical formula C2H6O. It features a molar mass of 46.07 g·mol−1, a density of 0.7893 g/cm3 (at 20° C), a melting point of −114.14 ± 0.03° C (−173.45 ± 0.05° F) and a boiling point of 78.24 ± 0.09° C (172.83 ± 0.16° F).

Ethyl alcohol is classified as a central nervous system depressant that is typically administered orally or topically or, in some instances, by inhalation, or suppository.


If you’re looking to buy ethyl alcohol in the United States, Brenntag, N.A. can meet all your needs. We’re an experienced chemical and ingredient distributor known for providing high-quality products, exceptional service, and unmatched expertise. Contact us to learn more today.

Complete the form to start the conversation

This document is for informational purposes only. You accept sole responsibility for reading and complying with the Safety Data Sheets (SDS’s), as well as any other safety information, relating to the products listed herein. The information contained herein is based on Brenntag’s knowledge at the time of publication or release and not on any publications, independent studies, empirical evidence or other form of verification. You should not use or rely on any statements contained herein as a basis for any representations or warranties to your customers or end users as to the safety, efficacy or suitability of any product or for purposes of ensuring your compliance with any laws or regulations. Brenntag makes no warranties, express or implied, as to the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained herein or as to fitness of any product for any particular purpose. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as an authorization to use or an inducement to practice any patent, trade secret or other intellectual property right. Before producing and distributing any product, it is your sole responsibility to adequately test and document the performance of the product and acquire any required intellectual property rights. You assume all risks for failing to do so and Brenntag shall not be liable (regardless of fault) to you, your employees, customers or end users or any third party for direct, special or consequential damages arising out of or in connection with the furnishing or use of this information. Please contact your local Brenntag representative if you have any questions about this information.