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Old 07-22-2009, 09:57 PM   #1
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Default Effectively removing methanol from ethanol


I am researching the process of distillation, it is legal here in New Zealand. I have read about methanol that boils off before the ethanol boils, and it can kill you or cause blindness if even drank in small amounts (~10mm).

I am not confident to just dump the first 5% of distill (what if there is more? I want to take no chances!) so I read up about methanol and ethanol.

Methanol boils at 64.7 centigrade (148.4 Fahrenheit), while ethanol boils at 78.4 centigrade (173 Fahrenheit), hence the reason why you would discard the first little bit as it obviously boils first (I'm sure everybody knows this already).

So I would assume by bringing the ethanol to a temperature of say, 70 (no need to be exact, right?) centigrade I can boil until there is nothing else distilling, and then I increase the temperature to 78.4 (or 79/80 I guess) and boil off the ethanol.

Now another question is, if I want to distill thrice, would I need to repeat this process each time? Or would the first time remove all methanol. I guess I could be on the safe(er) side and boil at a lower temperature first.

And with the left over methanol, I can make nail-polish remover and sell it LOL.

Cheer, takahiro69

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Old 07-22-2009, 10:28 PM   #2
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Good to see another Kiwi in here! Sorry I can't help you though. I just wanted to point out that as this is an Amercian based forum, you will be lucky to get the questions you need answered as distillation is illegal there. As you are using an American forum, it is best not to flout their laws by trying to discuss it or you may get a 'short sharp shift' if you get my drift.

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Old 07-22-2009, 10:30 PM   #3
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There are plenty of distilling forums out there. I believe one is even called "distilling" and it's supposed to be very good.

This is a beer, wine, mead, cider and soda making site and we plan to keep it that way. There are plenty of other forums dedicated to distilling.

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