HAZARDS OF DENATURED ALCOHOL.
Although the use of denatured alcohol and its manufacture and sale without revenue tax were expected to make a large increase in its sale, the result has not been so perceptible as was expected when Congress legislated on the subject. The cheaper manufacture of industrial alcohol is now rendered possible from the waste of sugar factories, potatoes, waste-products of fruit and canning factories, stalks of Indian corn, sorghum and bagasse, and even sawdust and wood pulp. Of the inflammability of alcohol (denatured or other) the Underwriters’ Bureau of New England tints report: “Absolute alcohol gives off inflammable vapors at 51 Fahr.; alcohol of eighty per cent, strength gives off vapors at 68° Fahr.; and that of fiftyper cent, at 75¼° Fahr. Vapors reach the’final limit of inflammability when about four per cent. A solution containing but one per cent, of alcohol will give off vapors containing thirteen per cent., these vapors being both inflammable and explosive. The vapors are explosive between the limits of 4 and 136, this being an explosive range of 9.6, while benzine has a range of only 2.3. However, vapors of alcohol will not ignite from pure radiated heat and low temperatures as gasoline does, but require a temperature of 176° I ahr. and an open flame or electric arc to be exploded. Alcohol above ninety-five per cent, ignites readily, when cold, and above sixty per cent, is more inflammable than kerosene. Since its flame is almost devoid of free carbon particles, it has very little heat-radiating power. Alcohol has the objectionable property of being very diffusible, and will penetrate almost anv substance, except glass and metals. It also leaks readily when mixed with water. When spilled, alcohol evaporates very quickly. Owing to its ability to mix readily and in all proportions with water, it is far superior to most other volatiles. When diluted to half its strength, it cannot burn ami will not spread fire as in the case of gasoline.” The denaturants designated by the law are methyl alcohol, which must be partly purified wood alcohol; pyridin, an unpleasant smelting liquid entering into the composition of bone tar, and benzine.