How is alcohol made?
Ethanol is commercially produced using a process called fermentation.
Many other alcohols can be made this way, but are more likely
to be produced by synthetic routes - from natural gas, oil
Fermentation is the process in which yeast breaks down sugar
into alcohol and carbon dioxide. Yeast are tiny single-celled
fungi that contain special enzymes responsible for this reaction.
The word equation for this process is:
alcohol + carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide gas bubbles out of the fermenting solution
into the air leaving a mixture of ethanol and water. It's
important that no air is present or the yeast will produce
ethanoic acid - the chemical found in vinegar.