Molar Mass of Ethanol and Other Main Facts

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Originally published Jun 28, 2017, updated Feb 24, 2021
Molar Mass of Ethanol and Other Main Facts

What do you know about ethanol? Do you know what the molar mass of ethanol is? Perhaps this is the first time that you are hearing of it. You may know ethanol as ethyl alcohol. If in case you are not aware what type of alcohol this is, this is the type of alcohol that you can find in beverages. To be straight, this is the type of alcohol that you can drink. You already know the effect of alcohol in your body. There will be times when you will consume just enough to give you the confidence that you never thought you had. At times, you may drink too much that you practically have to crawl your way home. No matter how you use alcohol, perhaps you have never paid attention to what it truly is or what it is made out of. Certainly, you have never paid attention to the molar mass of ethanol.

Let us try to be more scientific this time; ethanol is a type of volatile liquid that becomes available through the process of fermentation. If you have encountered fermentation while studying, it is likely that one of your experiments was included in making your very own alcoholic beverage. Perhaps you have paid attention to the molar mass of ethanol then but you have forgotten how important it is.

There are times when ethanol can be produced naturally. For example, there are some overripe fruits that contain certain levels of ethanol because the fruit’s carbohydrates have become fermented on their own. Some animals such as the Pentailed Treeshaw will specifically try to search for fruits that already contain ethanol but most animals would not want to have anything to do with fruits that already contain this substance.

Usually, when certain carbohydrates are fermented, these carbohydrates can form ethanol. As you know, this clear, colourless liquid is easily absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract. If you think that it remains there, then you are mistaken. It spreads out all over the body. It also has certain effects. It can be a depressant which can help people relax but in large quantities, can also cause people to become more aggressive and unpleasant. The amount of ethanol taken inside the body will have varying effects also depending on the age and the gender of the person who is taking it.

Now that you already know details about it that will let you understand its effect? Now is the time to know more about ethanol scientifically. Before the molar mass of ethanol will be discussed, knowing more about the formula itself will help you understand it further. The formula of Ethanol is C2H6O. This means that it is made out of three elements mainly carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. The number of atoms that are available is clearly seen in the formula as well. It contains 2 atoms of carbon, 6 atoms of hydrogen and 1 atom of hydrogen.

These elements that can be found in ethanol actually have various >atomic weights. Carbon has an atomic weight of 12.0107, hydrogen has an atomic weight of 1.00794 and oxygen has an atomic weight of 15.9994.

If in case you are confused with what a molecular weight is, this is the current mass of the substance that is being measured. It should be declared in an atomic mass unit. The molecular weight is different from the molar mass which is what we are trying to get presently. The molar mass, on the other hand, is the mass of one mole of the substance that is being measured. The unit that is used to express the molar mass is g/mol.

If you would try to find out the molar mass of ethanol without trying to compute it on your own, this is possible. There are a lot of websites that are making it easier for people to understand the details that they may not otherwise have known. Some sites would simply require the name of the compound that will be measured and automatically, the molar mass will be computed. You should know by now that the molar mass of ethanol is 46.0864 g/mol.

Getting to Know Ethanol Further

You may be wondering now why is molar mass considered to be important. Molar mass highly depends on the atomic masses of the elements that are part of the compound. As a result, this type of computation is known to be precise and accurate. Of course, there are still some inaccuracies available especially depending on the elements and the compounds that are being computed but for the molar mass of ethanol, you can be sure that this is what you are searching for.

There are some people who are not aware that to a certain extent, ethanol can become flammable. For instance, if a substance contains 40% ethanol, it will catch fire if it is exposed to a temperature that is higher than 29 degrees Celsius. Of course, there is a need for another source that will ignite the whole thing. This is the reason why there are some drinks and some food products that can burn for a certain period of time. This is actually quite delightful to watch.

There may be different grades of ethanol that are available but this will not have any effect on the molar mass of ethanol. At this point, you may be curious to find out more about the different grades of alcohol that are available such as the following:

    • Denatured Alcohol - This is the type of alcohol that is considered to be unfit for drinking. Usually, there are some agents present that are not considered to be safe for human consumption.
    • Absolute Alcohol - Have you ever wondered what is absolute in some of the substances of ethanol that you have seen? This means that it only contains a little amount of water. Based on the description, you can already tell that this is not fit for human consumption as well. This is mainly used in the lab.
    • Rectified Spirits - This is the type of ethanol that is known to be effective for human consumption. They may usually contain about 94% ethanol and other compounds that will make it safe for drinking. Of course, depending on the drink, the amount of alcohol that is available may be adjusted.

Do remember once again that no matter what type of ethanol you will come across, the molar mass of ethanol will remain the same. Of course, ethanol is also one compound that can be mixed well with other compounds to form new ones. Some ethanol may be transformed into ester which means that it can already be placed in some soap and other beauty products.

When ethanol is dehydrated, it may form diethyl ether which means that it can already be ethylene. If in case you are not too sure what ethylene is, this is a type of chemical that is mostly used in the chemical industry. This is widely used too because this can be effective in agriculture in order to let the fruits of various plants and trees to ripen. Of course, there are some issues that are being thrown against ethylene by those who are concerned about the environment in general. It is important to note that ethylene also stems from ethanol. The molar mass of ethanol may not be used here now because you are already tackling another compound.

Based on the things that are mentioned above, what do you think are the facts that you learned that you will get to use in your everyday life? More often than not, you may become disinterested with something because you do not know how it can be useful for you. Now you know that the molar mass of ethanol, as well as other facts and details about it can help you understand some of the things that you encounter from time to time.

Henrique Bertulino
Head of Customer Success

Mens Sana in Сorpore Sano. Holistic organic lifestyle)