Denatured Ethanol with n-heptane

Are there any safety concerns to using denatuered ethanol for extraction/winterization. Looking for safety precautions in regards to
extraction: dumping buckets/skin contact
Winterization: effectiveness, efficiency
Recovery: does the solvent ratio 95/5 maintain itself when recovering and reusing as much solvent as possible
decarb: mild exposure to fumes safe?

lab runs hemp biomass->winterized crude-> distillate.

the cost seems too good to be true, we are considering switching over but am looking for some input first. Thanks!

1 Like

I use the stuff all the time. The heptane and EtOH form an azeotrope so they always (from what I understand) recover in the same ratios. Winterization efficacy seems on par with 190+ proof ethanol. Haven’t noticed any adverse reactions with skin contact, but, I always minimize that anyway. The bp is a little bit higher, so I run the rotovap a few degrees higher, and get the same recovery speed. We decarb under vac, so are not exposed to the fumes.

Edit: I should mention that I don’t extract with it, only post-processing.


This is a safety concern due to the inability to know what really is in a product. Make sure your denatured alcohol doesn’t have other unwanted things mixed in. Also just be safe when handling solvents.


I would just stick with non-denatured 200 Proof food grade alcohol.

If you have an alcohol recovery device then just recycle and reuse as it’s not cheap.

One gallon lasted me 4 months because I used the rotovap.


too expensive- we order 2-300 gallon/month

You cant put a price on people’s health, safety, and lives.


May I ask what makes you make this statement?

Heptane when of acceptable purity is a very clean solvent. As long as the denatured alcohol is made up of high purity ingredients and handled correctly I don’t understand why it would pose any health risks.

How is going from 190proof to 200proof acoumplished in a “USDA Organic” manner?

I’m sure @drPaul, @QGA, or any number of chemists we have lurking around here could use benzene to get there (organic chemistry anyone?), but I wouldn’t want to drink it, and as it becomes 190 the moment it hits the cannabis, I don’t see why you’d bother…

Except maybe that you haven’t read of the benefits of 190 over 200proof for our target plant Iso vs ethonal - #3 by OilArt


You would be surprised what happens in out area. Testing is not required at all, yet. So pol knowingly sell tainted extracts, and flowers

I’ve used EverClear for the longest time. The corn smell is unbearable and sticks to almost every extract I made using it. Also the 200 proof just strips everything easier I’ve noticed a difference. Ig I could buy pure 190 proof but I feel like it’s not as effective. Maybe EverClear is just total bs and I need to try the pure 190 proof.

Yep. 200 strips fats and waxes better than 190. Giving folks who don’t measure yield in mg (kg) cannabinoids the impression that they’re getting a better yield. Same with iso.

Did you follow that link and read before responding?


No I’m just answering based off of experience and what I’ve used. I read in beyond the buds by Ed Rosenthal that denatured alcohol isn’t ideal for extraction but is used for cleaning the material prior to butane extraction.

I’ll read the files when I’m back at my laptop, thank you again for that link. So much information, I cant wait to read it all!!! :smile: I’m extremely glad I joined this site because i enjoy answers.


My apologies, I was referencing this comment, not yours.

1 Like

I feel the same way about wanting to work with N-Pentane

According to the article linked, that methanol contamination was in a product labeled NON-denatured alcohol i.e. the people had the natural assumption it was completely safe. If it had been actually labeled denatured, people probably wouldn’t have drank it in the first place.


True indeed


I almost ordered a 5g pail of their non-denatured a few weeks ago. Glad I stuck with my normal guy.

Who wants fingerprints anyways


So i’m somewhat new to this but I’ve been trying to figure out how to avoid paying the excise tax on this. Can anyone fill me in on whether or not you can take denatured alcohol. Throw it in the rotovap and just recollect all your ethanol to make it food grade. I.e - evap the ethanol out and throw away the 4-5% that’s left in the roto. Would this be a feasible option?


The azetrope is too small to seperate. If it were that easy, all of us would be doing just that.