Ethanol, also called alcohol, ethyl alcohol, and drinking alcohol, is a chemical compound, a simple alcohol with the chemical formulaC
5OH. Its formula can be written also as CH
2−OH or C
5−OH (an ethyl group linked to a hydroxyl group), and is often abbreviated as EtOH. Ethanol is a volatile, flammable, colorless liquid with a slight characteristic odor. It is a psychoactive substance and is the principal type of alcohol found in alcoholic drinks.
Ethanol is naturally produced by the fermentation of sugars by yeasts or via petrochemical processes, and is most commonly consumed as a popular recreational drug. It also has medical applications as an antiseptic and disinfectant. The compound is widely used as a chemicalsolvent, either for scientific chemical testing or in synthesis of other organic compounds, and is a vital substance utilized across many different kinds of manufacturing industries. Ethanol is also used as a clean-burning fuel source