Booze/Vinigar and Blindness

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its well known that drinking Methanol "Meths" (methyl alcohol) when processed in our body gets oxidised into Fomaldehyde, consquently effecting the optic nerve and sending us blind.

Ethyl Alcohol ( Ethanol) "booze" does not.

Ide like to know if it gets Oxidised in the same way as methanol, and result in Vinigar (Acetic acid) in our blood. and if not, Why not?

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it does get oxidised, but that is not the end of the metabolic pathway in question. if memory serves, alcohol is oxidised then eventually becomes acetyl aldehyde via esterification, and this is used in the Kreb's cycle (the main metabolic energy releasing pathway), as acetyl co-enzyme A (acetyl CoA).

this detail might be wrong, i suggest you check google or a library.

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Giles is right about it esterifying.

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Hmmm... ve done a little work with esters with regard to plastics in school, most esters are sweet almost fruity smelling, that would explain the smell on a drunks breath being very sickly sweet, and not at all like raw alcohol! thnx

so lemme see if Ive got this correct... some will oxidize and turn to vinigar but that will in turn react with the etanol to create the ester acetyl aldehyde? or would it be ethyl acetate? or ethanoate?

(its been a long time)

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Here's another thing I thought of while reading this thread... What about the OH group being substituted by a Cl by the HCl in your stomach?

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Hmmm... C2H5OH + HCl(aq).... Interesting!

Ide say from pervious experimentation Ive concted here, Ive never mannaged to get those 2 to react, if it were to be pure Chlorine then yes it sure does react, but with HCl(aq) it wont, it CAN be used as a catalyst however

but then you`de have to drink H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide) but even then the HCl(aq) would still be intact.

Cool question though

Interestingly enough, if someone were to be going into a Hypoglycemic shock, certain keytones are pressent in the blood, keytones and HCl COULD make Phorone (Very nasty substance) but probably not in sufficient quantities to cause much harm.

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The reaction was what we were told was used to create a reactant used in a recent prac, so I assume it's possible though I haven't done it myself. This is something like how it was explained if you are interested...

The HCl starts off by protonating the O, i.e. donating a hydrogen ion. Then the Cl displaces the whole protonated hydroxide and water is released

C2H5OH + HCl -> C2H5O+H + Cl -> C2H5Cl + H2O

The positive sign following the O should be above it, it denotes a protonated O. It's not C2H5O + H.

You end up with a nicely reactive product, these kinds of things are then used commercially to synthesise larger compounds by substituting the Cl for a carbon chain.

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