Distillation of Alcoholic Beverages

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Distillation of alcoholic beverages
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Abigail V. Duque*, Fallen Grace E. Dela Paz, Zyren P. Galarosa, Felix E. Galizdo Jr. Department of Biology, College of Science
Group 4

*Corresponding author; e-mail: abigailv.duque@yahoo.com
This experiment aimed to separate and calculate in percentage the alcohol content of a commercial alcoholic beverage by means of fractional distillation. Twenty milliliters of rum, with a proof of 72, and 36% alcohol content, underwent fractional distillation. An amount of 0.5 ml of distillate was collected in each test tube until the temperature reached 100. The volume of distillate collected was 15 ml, with an ethanol volume of 14 ml, giving a percentage ethanol of 70%. The large margin of error may have been caused by the inaccurate test tube calibration, tightly wrapped aluminum foil in the fractionating column, or the inconstant and fast distillation rate. Keywords: ethanol/ethyl alcohol, alcoholic fermentation, distillation, boiling point

Alcoholic beverages play an important part in daily life. Moderate consumption in a social environment is seen as a benefit for both body and soul. There is a great variety of alcoholic beverages for people to enjoy, something to suit almost everyone for almost every occasion (Buglass, 2011). However, despite having different types of alcoholic beverages, they all share a common base, ethanol or ethyl alcohol, an intoxicating psychoactive drug and the main alcohol component found in alcoholic beverages. Ethanol is developed naturally as a by-product of fermentation, a process wherein microorganisms consume sugars that are present. Compared to other alcohols, such as methanol, ethylene glycol, ethanol is non-toxic to humans (Booley, 2000). The foundation of all alcoholic beverages is fermentation, more specifically, alcoholic fermentation. As previously mentioned, this is a process wherein microorganisms convert sugars to carbon...
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