Denatured alcohol

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Clear, colorless liquid composed of ethanol mixed with a toxic denaturant. The added denaturant makes the alcohol unfit for consumption. Examples of denaturants are methanol, Benzol, Ether, tert-butanol, Gasoline, Methyl isobutyl ketone, Pyridine or brucine. Denatured alcohol is sold as a shellac thinner, but some denaturants may effect the quality of other varnishes. Denatured alcohol is exempt from many of the taxes placed on alcoholic beverages.

Synonyms and Related Terms

methylated spirit (Br.); reagent alcohol; denatured spirits, denatured ethanol

Other Properties

Miscible with water, acetone, ether, benzene

CAS 64-17-5
Melting Point -114
Density 0.8
Boiling Point 78

Hazards and Safety

Toxic by ingestion. Inhalation and contact cause irritation.

Dangerous fire hazard when exposed to flames. Flash point = 13C.

Mallinckrodt Baker: MSDS

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • R. J. Gettens, G.L. Stout, Painting Materials, A Short Encyclopaedia, Dover Publications, New York, 1966
  • Reed Kay, The Painter's Guide To Studio Methods and Materials, Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1983
  • Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993