Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
Part of University of Groningen
Science LinX Pre University Students DIY Science Molecula



Ethanol is the chemical name for the alcohol that is present in beer and wine. Alcohol is both psychoactive and neurotoxic: it changes the way our brains work. Just a small quantity will make you feel good – just think of the mild euphoria caused by two glasses of wine. But for growing brains, for young people up to the age of about twenty-four, it can be very harmful.

Ethanol is created through the fermentation of sugars in fruit and grain. It is a biological and chemical process that happens if you leave fruit juice lying around for too long. People have been making alcoholic drinks in this way for over nine thousand years. Spirits require distillation, a process in which the alcohol is purified through heating and condensing.

As well as in alcoholic beverages, ethanol is used in fuels, such as bio-ethanol (or E10), which is available at petrol stations throughout Germany.

Last modified:12 April 2021 1.23 p.m.
View this page in: Nederlands