wood alcohol



wood alcohol defined in 1909 year

wood alcohol - Wood alcohol (pyroligneous acid, or pyroxylic spirit);
wood alcohol - Wood alcohol is one of the products of the dry distillation of woods, those chiefly used, stated in the order of merit, being birch, beech, elder, and oak. The seasoned and barked wood is placed in iron retorts, similar to, but larger than gas retorts, and heated to 400° to 500° F. (204½° to 260° C.) for usually 6 to 8 hours. The slower the distillation can be conducted the greater the yield of wood-alcohol, as a quick fire causes an evaporation of alcohol. The liquor from the distillation is run into pans, and left for the tarry matters to float, when they are skimmed off. The acetic acid present is neutralised by lime, and forms commercial acetate of lime. The remaining crude liquor is re-distilled, and affords crude wood alcohol. It is further concentrated by a second distillation and then rectified, to free it from tarry impurities, traces of acetic acid, and much of its characteristic odour.

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