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Which of the following substances is added to denatured ethanol?
(A) Methanol
(B) Benzene
(C) Copper nitrate
(D) Chloroform

Last updated date: 13th Jun 2024
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Hint: A substance that would make the ethanol not suitable for drinking is added to the ethanol to make denatured alcohol. The denaturant should not react with ethanol or should not alter the chemical properties of ethanol.

Complete step by step solution:
Denatured ethanol is the ethanol with some impurity which is called denaturing agents. Denatured alcohol is not suitable for drinking purposes.
- We know that in some regions, alcohol is taxed by many governments. If we make pure alcohol available for the household products, then it can be a readily available source for drinking. So, if we do not denature that alcohol, people would drink it.
- Generally, methanol is added to the ethyl alcohol and that is harmful to us. Denatured alcohol is also called methylated spirit. It is also known as wood spirit or denatured rectified spirit. As methanol is added to ethanol, the alcohol solution becomes poisonous, foul in smell, bad in taste and nauseating.
- Methanol is the most widely used denaturant for alcohol. However, isopropyl alcohol, acetone, methyl ethyl ketone can also be used as denaturants.
- Generally, denatured alcohol contains around 5% of methanol.
- Hand sanitizer, rubbing alcohol and fuel for alcohol lamps include denatured ethanol.
- Thus, we can conclude that methanol is added to denatured ethanol.

Therefore, the correct answer is (A).

Note: Sometimes dyes or coloured compounds are also added to the denatured ethanol so that we can detect from the colour that this alcohol is denatured. Denatonium is the substance that makes the ethanol bitter in taste.