Ethanol Education, All, Denatured Ethanol, Ethanol, Undenatured Ethanol

How to Choose the Right Ethanol

ethanol manufacturing plant

Choose the right ethanol for your business.


erstanding the Qua

lities of Ethanol

Choosing the right ethanol requires an understanding of regulation along with the goal of the project. Im

pressively, ethanol (ethyl alcohol) provides versatility used across industries from pharmaceuticals to cosmetics to fuel production. But not all ethanols are equal – their quality can differ depending on the source, production method, and purity level.

Generally, foo

d-grade ethanol, pharmaceutical-grade ethanol, and industrial-grade ethanols sell on the open market with certain restrictions imposed by Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). Inter

estingly, food-grade ethanol powers the food and beverage industries. Second, pharmaceutical-grade produces botanical extracts, medicines and pharmaceuticals. Lastly, industrial-grade serves to produce fuels, solvents, and cleaning solutions.

Ethanol quality matters for several reasons, particularly in various industries such as pharmaceuticals, food and beverage production, cosmetics, or fuel production. Ethanol quality can have an enormous effect on the effectiveness, safety, and overall outcomes of products and processes – here are a few key reasons why its quality matters:


Safety and Purity: High-grade ethanol ensures its products and processes do not contain impurities, contaminants, or harmful substances that could wreak havoc with human health, performance issues, or compromise other sensitive applications. Ethanol intended for human consumption or sensitive applications must adhere to stringent purity standards to guarantee consumer protection.


Consistency and Reliability: Ethanol quality ensures consistency in its chemical composition and properties, which is critical for industries requiring precise formulations or standardized processes. Consistent quality allows manufacturers to achieve reliable product results while keeping production consistent from batch to batch.


Product Performance: Ethanol quality can directly impact product performance and efficacy. In pharmaceuticals, the purity of ethanol is vital in upholding active ingredient integrity and stability; for fuel applications, it affects combustion efficiency and emissions, while cosmetics/personal care products utilize high-quality ethanol that contributes to desirable sensory attributes and optimal performance.


Compliance: Industries that utilize ethanol must comply with various regulatory standards and requirements regarding its quality and purity for use in their products to remain compliant with regulatory bodies like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), United States Pharmacopeia (USP), or any other relevant authority. Failing to do so could have serious legal repercussions and negatively impact a company’s reputation.


Process Efficiency: Ethanol quality can have a severe effect on manufacturing processes. Impurities or low-grade ethanol may lead to equipment corrosion, reduced efficiency, or the need for additional purification steps; higher-quality ethanol reduces these issues while guaranteeing smooth production processes with decreased risk of equipment damage or downtime.


Customer Satisfaction: Ethanol quality can dramatically impact the overall quality and performance of products made with it, leaving customers expecting products to meet specific standards or deliver the benefits intended by manufacturers – increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty in turn. Manufacturers can meet or surpass customer expectations using high-grade ethanol, leading to more customer loyalty over time.

Lab Testing Methods for Quality

Various laboratory testing methods verify the quality of ethanol. Two common ones include FCC (Food Chemicals Codex) and USP (United States Pharmacopeia) monographs. Hence, they specify quality standards and purity requirements for food ingredients, including ethanol. Subsequently, these monographs also apply to medicines and medical devices that utilize this substance.

Choose the Right Ethanol: Types of Ethyl Alcohol

Choosing the right ethanol grades factor in quality and denaturing. There are generally three categories of an ethanol formula: pure ethanol, specially denatured alcohol and completely denatured alcohol.

Completely Denatured Alcohol

CDA (Completely denatured alcohol) is ethanol treated with chemicals like n-heptane or methanol to make it unfit for human consumption. CDA products have no excise taxes and are mainly in industrial applications like paint production or varnish manufacturing.

Specially Denatured Alcohol

Secondarily, SDA (Specially denatured alcohol) is denatured ethanol blended with chemicals that make it unfit for human consumption. SDA formulas are popular in sanitizers, disinfectants, and other personal care products.

Undenatured Ethanol

Lastly, undenatured ethanol refers to pure alcohol with zero additives. Uses for pure ethanol include food and supplement manufacturing and as a solvent in pharmaceutical or botanical oil extraction industries.

Simple Solvents Can Help

For optimal results, it is crucial to carefully consider ethanol purity grades (laboratory grade ethanol, USP grade ethanol, USP grade ethanol and technical grade ethanol) and denaturing requirements.


[To learn more about the different grades of ethanol, click here]

Finally, choosing the right ethanol for your application is critical for its safety and efficacy. At Simple Solvents, we provide expert guidance when ordering our solvents.