There was a tragedy in Russia involving the poisoning of Mr. Cider, a Kraft apple alcoholic cider. Many people all over the country went to the hospital and several people died. According to the preliminary version, methyl alcohol got into the drink instead of ethanol. How can you tell the difference between quality alcohol and deadly alcohol? We’ll tell you six ways to detect methanol in a drink.
Methanol will burn green, ethyl alcohol will burn blue. But this method is not safe, because burning methanol releases poisonous fumes.
2. Drop on a peeled potato
Ethyl alcohol will color it pink, and methyl alcohol will not change anything (but the potato must then be thrown away). This method is simple enough, but requires a potato.
3. Add a spoonful of baking soda
If it precipitates yellow, you are dealing with pure ethanol. The soda will simply dissolve in methanol. This method is not accurate because methanol may contain impurities that can affect the result.
4. Add manganese
Deadly methanol reacts with potassium permanganate. As a result, carbon dioxide is released and the liquid begins to boil. Ethyl alcohol will not give you any surprises, it just turns the color of manganese. This method is more accurate, but requires potassium permanganate.
5. Boil .
Methanol begins to boil before ethanol, at 64 °C. Ethyl alcohol starts boiling at 78 °C. But this method is also not safe, because when methanol boils, poisonous vapors are released.
6. Heat a copper wire
And then dip it into the alcohol. It smells like apple – you can drink it, it’s ethyl alcohol. The pungent chemical smell warns of dangerous methanol. This method is quite reliable because copper reacts only with methanol.
But how can you protect yourself from dangerous methanol in drinks?
First of all, you need to buy alcohol only from proven stores and manufacturers that have the appropriate quality certificates. You should also pay attention to the composition of the drink and the presence of flavorings.
But the surest way to protect yourself from dangerous methanol is not to drink alcohol at all. It may seem like an unpopular decision, but health is much more important than temporary pleasure.