C₂H₅OH - Ethanol

Ethanol is a colorless liquid with a typical smell. The chemical structure is polar in one end due to the OH-group and therefore the molecules can dissolve in various solvents.

Even a low ethanol concentration causes irritated eyes or skin. Occupational exposure limits for a 8-hour reference period is 500 ppm (1000 mg/m³) and level limit is 1000 ppm (1900 mg/m³).

Breath Alcohol Concentration (BrAC) and Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC).

There is two different ways of measuring alcohol concentrations. In certain countries, alcohol limits are determined by the breath alcohol concentration (BrAC), not to be confused with blood alcohol concentration. But most "in field" tests are done with a BrAC method even if the law is based on BAC levels. This is due to the fact that BrAC is relatively fast and almost as accurate as BAC. The BrAC test will indicate if a BAC test is needed and thereafter a BAC test can be done at, for example, the police station or hospital.

Our sensors would not be accepted in the court of law in many countries due to the fact that they are based on the BrAC method, but they could be used at workplaces and by law enforcement officers.



IR spectrum of ethanol C₂H₅OH 


The broadest peak in the IR spectrum of ethanol comes from O-H stretches, similar to O-H bonds in water. This absorption at about 2.9 µm. Other strong stretching modes are C-H at 3.3 µm and C-O at 9.5 µm\URL{NISTethanol}.