Ethanol query

Hi everyone.

So I have found 2 types of ethanol waiting for details of another supplier.

1: 96% ethanol/ 4% iso
2: 99.9% / 0.1% bitterants

But here are some questions.

Can I remove the Iso prior to doing a wash?
Can the bitterants be removed?

What processes will be needed to make them safe to use?


What denaturant is used ? That may shed some light on its method of removal.

I’m assuming you’re looking at denatured Ethanol because food grade is too expensive, or is only available at lower proof.

Long term, you’re going to want a recovery still in each production location.

If you start with the recovery still, and put just a hair more work into it, you can use it to turn 100proof vodka, or 5% sorghum beer into 190proof.

given the choice between 4% Iso, and 1% unknown bitterants, I’d go with the known evil…because we know it’s not all that evil… <2x worse than EtOH based on LD50 in rats (I’ve heard ~5x in humans, but can’t find that data).

There are thousands of users extracting cannabis with 91% Isopropanol. many on a commercial scale. Iso is inexpensive enough that most small scale users don’t bother reclaiming their solvent.


Have you looked at I order my ethanol from Rocky Mountain Reagents and they recently suggested this product instead. I haven’t made the switch yet. I’m still trying to figure out if i can use it with the small amount of heptane in my winterization process or if i need to remove it with my rotovap first.


IMO, Heptane denatured Ethanol is a good fit for folks making crude for distillation. It’s not ideal for folks with earlier endpoints who want to retain terpenes.

What is/are your desired endpoints?

Can you explain how you’d separate the higher boiling point heptane from your alcohol in a rotovap? Collect the Ethanol & leave the heptane in the boiling flask?

I believe you’ll find your rotovap doesn’t have quite the resolving power you need. ideally you’d want a reflux still.


I will be using it just for crude for distillation. Im not using it on material that terps would need to be retained. I will be winterizing and scrubbing to be ran through my VTA wiped film.

I was hoping that i might be able to dial in my roto to leave the heptane behind with a small amount of etoh. A reflux still would have been my backup plan but would put me in a position where I would need to clean my 710spirit outside of my licensed facility. If I can just leave it in solution that was the ultimate goal to avoid the drinkable ethanol tax.

Thank you for you insight!!

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Then you don’t need to worry about removing the heptane as a separate step. it will wander off to whatever purgatory you send your terps to when you devolatilize.

Or stay with your recovered Ethanol.

Depending on how warm you run your ethanol recovery.

OP’s situation is different. They are listing local ethanol sources and asking for advice. Also targeting ingestibles as an endpoint.

Call Jay Romano first. He is the solvent delivery man. Just like the Schwann’s guy but less ice cream and more tanes.

Apis Labs
Jay Romano
IG: @coltrane422


Thanks a lot Cat! Happy to help … with all solvent needs. I love saving my customers time and money

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Ok here is more information on the products referred to above.

No. 2 - is 99.9% Absolute / Anhydrous ethanol

I take it the denaturants are methanol and acetaldehyde?

Sodium bisulfite can react with aldehydes. It should remain weakly soluble in the alchol, filtration can be performed to remove the reacted bisulfite. Having never done this experiment I couldn’t tell you the outcome. After removing the aldehydes you may fractionally distill your etoh to remove unwanted residues, water, and methonal.
The acetic acid will carry over as an azeotrope.