Absolute Alcohol Definition and Formula

This is the chemical structure of ethanol.
This is the chemical structure of ethanol. Andy Crawford and Tim Ridley / Getty Images

Absolute alcohol is a common name for the chemical compound ethanol. To qualify as "absolute," the ethyl alcohol must contain no more than one percent water. In other words, absolute alcohol is liquid alcohol that is at least 99 percent pure alcohol by weight.

Ethanol is a colorless liquid with molecular formula C2H5OH. It is the alcohol found in alcoholic beverages.

Also Known As: ethanol, ethyl alcohol, pure alcohol, grain alcohol

Alternate Spellings: EtOH

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Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Absolute Alcohol Definition and Formula." ThoughtCo, Jan. 10, 2018, thoughtco.com/definition-of-absolute-alcohol-604996. Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2018, January 10). Absolute Alcohol Definition and Formula. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/definition-of-absolute-alcohol-604996 Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Absolute Alcohol Definition and Formula." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/definition-of-absolute-alcohol-604996 (accessed January 22, 2018).