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HalvorNorse
02-25-2011, 05:24 AM
A guy I know is trying to distill alcohol from hand sanitizer with a few of his 'buddies'. He's not very bright and has been bragging his ass off about how rich it's going to make him.
This is made possible by a mutual friend, who has some basic knowledge in chemistry, and who claims that its a simple matter to distill pure alcohol from alcohol-based hand sanitizers. I'm not sure whether to believe him or not.
I admittedly don't know much about the subject, so I decided to post here to get some feedback on whether or not this is feasible- again, while I know almost nothing about the subject, it just seems too easy/good to be true.

Mutant Funk Drink
02-25-2011, 05:30 AM
Bad idea. What you're looking for is ethanol, not isopropyl alcohol. Iso will fuck you up in a bad way. Unless he has some way to convert the iso to ethanol he sounds like a fool. He'd be better off either brewing his own hooch or getting proper drinking alcohol from bottles of peppermint extract.

virgil caine
02-25-2011, 05:37 AM
is he in a prison or something even in a Muslim country that bans booze it would be much simpler to distill it than fuck around trying to extract it from hand sanitizer

DiStOrTiOn
02-25-2011, 09:17 AM
Bad idea. What you're looking for is ethanol, not methanol. Methanol will fuck you up in a bad way. Unless he has some way to convert the methanol to ethanol he sounds like a fool. He'd be better off either brewing his own hooch or getting proper drinking alcohol from bottles of peppermint extract.

it would be a bad idea... if you were right about it being methanol-which it doesn't contain, and cannot contain by law in the US.

DiStOrTiOn
02-25-2011, 09:25 AM
is he in a prison or something even in a Muslim country that bans booze it would be much simpler to distill it than fuck around trying to extract it from hand sanitizer

it would be easier to distill from mash, but its not a stupid idea at all. hand sanitizer is like, 60-80 proof straight up ethanol and costs less than most vodkas

it doesnt work though. it bumps a lot and the distillate still has some kind of gel or oil that carries over and precipitates when you go to dilute it down to drinkable levels, and it doesnt seem to be removed even by fractioning. im sure you could drink it still but even the worst vodkas would be better

BungHole
02-25-2011, 02:43 PM
it doesnt work though. it bumps a lot and the distillate still has some kind of gel or oil that carries over and precipitates when you go to dilute it down to drinkable levels, and it doesnt seem to be removed even by fractioning. im sure you could drink it still but even the worst vodkas would be better

This.

I wouldn't be caught dead putting that shit in a still.

Here's the list of ingredients for a common brand of hand sanitizer:
Active Ingredients
Ethyl Alcohol - 65 %Antiseptic

Inactive Ingredients
Water , Isopropyl Alcohol , Glycerin , Carbomer , Aminomethyl Propanol , Fragrance , Propylene Glycol , Isopropyl Myristate , Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice , Tocopheryl Acetate , FD&C Yellow No. 5 (Tartrazine) , FD&C Blue No. 1
Okay, so right of the bat, we have isopropanol contamination. Sure there's a lot of ethanol in there, but with isopropanol being the third most abundant ingredient, it's going to either taste like shit or maybe even get you sick. Most people simply wouldn't want to drink rubbing alcohol.

God forbid you burn the glycerin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acrolein)....

Carbomer is probably the gelling agent shit distortion is referring to.

Amino propanols are likely to steam distill out and contaminate the distillate.

Fragrance. That's a big one. That means some totally fucking random volatile essential oil that will easily come over in a distillation, making your distillate taste like hand sanitizer. Even in small amounts, that isn't good. Like distortion said, it's probably very hard to remove.

The rest is going to just dirty up your equipment.

I doubt you will die, but it's much more trouble than it's worth. I knew a girl in middle school who drank hand sanitizer to get drunk at school. She didn't die. But she probably killed herself somehow, by now.

Go to the super market, buy a can of tomato paste, some packets of baker's yeast and ten pounds of sugar. Should cost you between ten and fifteen dollars. Mix all of this with five gallons of water and keep it at room temperature for a week or two (whenever the bubbles stop forming). You'll end up with five gallons of 14 % ABV sugar wash. You could distill this and get a couple liters of high proof neutral spirits.

You're friend who is bragging is an idiot, and your friend who has some "basic knowledge in chemistry" should know better.

How would he even distill it? Do they have access to the equipment?

EDIT: Someone on this board actually distills ethanol from generic mouthwash. That would be a much better bet. I think he said it still has the minty taste, but it's safe. I think he switched to sugar wash (corn syrup, actually) because it's cheaper.

Hydro?

atara
02-25-2011, 02:58 PM
A guy I know is trying to distill alcohol from hand sanitizer with a few of his 'buddies'. He's not very bright and has been bragging his ass off about how rich it's going to make him.
This is made possible by a mutual friend, who has some basic knowledge in chemistry, and who claims that its a simple matter to distill pure alcohol from alcohol-based hand sanitizers. I'm not sure whether to believe him or not.
I admittedly don't know much about the subject, so I decided to post here to get some feedback on whether or not this is feasible- again, while I know almost nothing about the subject, it just seems too easy/good to be true.

Dude, even if this worked, it's still fucking stupid.

There are plans to sell ethanol at $2/gallon. Personally, I think it's fucking stupid because there are way better alternatives (http://www.biobutanol.com/), but, I mean, alcohol isn't expensive for any reason but taxes. If you want to sell illegal alcohol, buy some reagent grade shit (http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/catalog/ProductDetail.do?lang=en&N4=459844|SIAL&N5=SEARCH_CONCAT_PNO|BRAND_KEY&F=SPEC). Or just a prodrug. (http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/catalog/ProductDetail.do?lang=en&N4=U2500|SIGMA&N5=SEARCH_CONCAT_PNO|BRAND_KEY&F=SPEC)

Hydroponichronic
02-25-2011, 05:42 PM
A guy I know is trying to distill alcohol from hand sanitizer with a few of his 'buddies'. He's not very bright and has been bragging his ass off about how rich it's going to make him.
This is made possible by a mutual friend, who has some basic knowledge in chemistry, and who claims that its a simple matter to distill pure alcohol from alcohol-based hand sanitizers. I'm not sure whether to believe him or not.
I admittedly don't know much about the subject, so I decided to post here to get some feedback on whether or not this is feasible- again, while I know almost nothing about the subject, it just seems too easy/good to be true.My buddy did this a couple of times with a couple of brands. You'll never get the fragrance out, and it'll always taste like extreme ass. Otherwise, it's drinkable.

Bad idea. What you're looking for is ethanol, not methanol. Methanol will fuck you up in a bad way. Unless he has some way to convert the methanol to ethanol he sounds like a fool. He'd be better off either brewing his own hooch or getting proper drinking alcohol from bottles of peppermint extract.
Most hand sanitizers don't contain methanol.

Hydroponichronic
02-25-2011, 05:50 PM
If you really want a cheap, OTC source of alcohol:

Well, [my buddy]'s a cheap dude who doesn't like to spend money on anything and so he gets dollar store mouthwash (500mL x 26.9 ABV) which distills out to about a $6 handle of liquor.

Well, the first and most important step is to find a location where the distillation of alcohol is not prohibited by law.

:shifty:

Next, you would set up a still, fill it with mouthwash, and run it so it's producing distillate at roughly 3mL/min. This would be a pretty slow boil because if you were to run it quickly it foams up and carries impurities over. This is because mouthwash is denatured with what is essentially a soap that would cause GI-disturbances if ingested. You know how soap creates bubbles if churned up, right? Same thing occurs during distillation. This distillation is run until half of the initial volume of liquid added has distilled over.

Though, a better test is to have a spoon near the still, and when half of the volume has distilled over, put a few drops of the stuff dripping out of the still into the spoon, and see if it burns when exposed to a flame. if it burns on contact, then it is > 35% abv, which means it's still worth running. When the stuff dripping out of the still is no longer flammable, it's not worth running anymore.

Luckily, the first distillation described above will remove 95% of the soap, as well as other gakk. After the first distillation, the stuff will still have a ballzload of methyl salicylate and a really strong taste, and for that reason it is best to distill it twice. Luckily, though, the second distillation can be run at up to 6mL/min, by which time the distillate should be roughly 75% ABV and pretty free of impurities. This distillation should be run until three quarters of the volume has distilled over or the distillate is no longer flammable.

Some notes:
My buddy's condenser uses 3/4" dia tubes and leaky thinfoil (like tin foil, but cheaper) seals, so the presence of air in his condenser apparatus would not be surprising. Using a shitty condenser might be something that people might do, so keeping a flame away from it seems a pretty important piece of advice.
Though, let me make this clear: when you flame test a distillate, be sure you do so at least 5 feet from the condenser. The condenser tube/coils will contain alcohol liquid and vapors, as well as oxygen. Needless to say, conducting a flame test right next to the tube outlet would likely result in loss of eyes and/or face.

Mutant Funk Drink
02-25-2011, 06:02 PM
I meant isopropyl guys, not methanol. Sorry.

Hydroponichronic
02-25-2011, 06:24 PM
I meant isopropyl guys, not methanol. Sorry.

Well, in that case, if it's only like 5% iso, it's still safely drinkable. See the few threads I made about it in NFHC. The only good reason not to drink iso is that the buzz it gives isn't as good as ethanol.

Jesus' Son
02-25-2011, 06:26 PM
why can't one just go to the store and pay 10 bucks for some cheap liquor? Seriously. Wtf. Or get some vanilla extract if you're that cheap

ilovechronic
02-25-2011, 06:34 PM
LOL. :facepalm: did he miss that there's a liquor section at most everystore? Also that there is better sources of alcohol to use to distill.

inb4lock
02-25-2011, 06:54 PM
Distilling ethanol from hand sanitizer will be a mess. You're dealing with many similar boiling compounds, as well as possible ethanol/denaturant azeotropes that will be impossible to separate through normal distillation. Even with a fractionating column, your distillate will likely end up being a mixture of ethanol, IPA, and fragrance additives. In short, it will taste like shit, and probably poison you.

There are far better sources out there.

Aperson444
02-26-2011, 02:00 AM
Iso BP = 82.5 C
EtOH BP = 78 C

Have fun with that. Mouthwash is a more viable option, especially more generic brands. Though you could look around for some shit containing ethanol. There might be some hand sanitizer that's just ethanol, a gelling agent and fragrance. You're better off distilling safrole from sassafras bark.

DiStOrTiOn
02-26-2011, 02:16 AM
Iso BP = 82.5 C
EtOH BP = 78 C

Have fun with that. Mouthwash is a more viable option, especially more generic brands. Though you could look around for some shit containing ethanol. There might be some hand sanitizer that's just ethanol, a gelling agent and fragrance. You're better off distilling safrole from sassafras bark.

mouthwash contains oils too that carry and it's just as nasty to drink.

what is safrole going to do for him when he cant even distill alcohol? what an idiotic suggestion on your behalf. shame on you for being stupid

Unholy Batman
02-27-2011, 07:58 AM
can you maybe get rid of oils shaking with a nonpolar like dcm? Something thats immiscible with alcohol/water.

DiStOrTiOn
02-27-2011, 08:31 AM
can you maybe get rid of oils shaking with a nonpolar like dcm? Something thats immiscible with alcohol/water.

probably but once you start using solvent you're increasing the cost to the point where you ought to just buy ethanol.

you need a solvent thats not only immiscible with alcohol but also miscible with the oils. sounds like a lot of trial and error to find a solvent that works, and has low toxicity in case of residue

Unholy Batman
02-27-2011, 07:07 PM
it would be mad funny if you can just shake that shit with some DCM and drink it.

Spence_tron
03-02-2011, 02:53 AM
There's mouthwash like hydro said, but some fragrances/flavors will carry over.

Another method is to brew alcohol with turbo yeast. Turbo yeast has nutrients added to a high alcohol % resistant strain of yeast, allowing ~6.5 gallons of 14-20% alcohol to be brewed in only 1-4 days (depending on amt. of sugar added). The alcohol can be siphoned off once the yeast settles then distilled, or it can be ran through an activated carbon filter and drank as is. My friends used to filter it, mix in koolaid, and sell it to highschoolers as "riot punch". edit: Btw, they/I used Alcotec turbo yeast.

And I'd also like to note that common pressure cookers are easily converted into nicely sealed distillation setups with flexible copper tubing, hoseclamps, and a 5gallon bucket full of ice water.