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Wikipedia Description Of Ethanol: Ethanol is a chemical compound and a simple alcohol. It is a volatile, flammable, colorless liquid with a slight characteristic odor.
PubChem Description Of Ethanol: Ethanol is a clear, colorless liquid rapidly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and distributed throughout the body. It has bactericidal activity and is used often as a topical disinfectant. It is widely used as a solvent and preservative in pharmaceutical preparations as well as serving as the primary ingredient in alcoholic beverages. Indeed, ethanol has widespread use as a solvent of substances intended for human contact or consumption, including scents, flavorings, colorings, and medicines.
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HOUSTON (ICIS)--US isopropanol (IPA) prices surged this week on heavydemand for hand sanitizerduring thecoronavirus (Covid-19) crisis, and there are no quick fixes for either the strong demand or the shortages of product. While European prices had risen to even higher numbers in the past month, US increases had been modest. However, prices surged this week, asdomestic IPA spot pricesare now assessed at 62-85 cents/lb ($1,367-1,874/tonne) FOB (free on board) US Gulf. IPA prices DEL (delivered) to the US Gulf are assessed at 64-90 cents/lb.
DOMESTIC IPA MARKETS Until this week, prices in the US were increasing at much smaller rates than in Europe, generally in the range of 5 cents/lb or less. However, this week was a tipping point for the domestic market, as the US response to thecoronaviruswas heightened.Isopropyl alcoholis used in manyhand sanitizers, which are in high demand among consumers because of their ability to kill germs. Hand sanitizers were among the first products to sell out at grocery stores and pharmacies, but demand has increased since then. It was believed that the US was not seeing the level ofIPA price increasesas in Europe since it had more ethanol. However, due to the increase in US exports to Europe as well as the rapid rise domestic demand, supply of IPA was nevertheless overwhelmed. One market participant said many producers were on sales allocations, but this could not be confirmed.
EXPORT MARKETS Last week, an export deal for Europe was heard at $1,350/tonne (61.24 cents/lb) CFR (cost and freight) Europe. Another was heard at $1,700/tonne CFR Europe. This week, prices for individual deals were heard for up to triple these numbers in Europe on imported IPA. However, these are not yet considered representative for the market. According to a market source, prices of exports to Asia in the past several days doubled, while another market participant said that Latin American demand began to heavily increase this week, but that there was almost no supply to provide to buyers there. Export prices now range from 57.52-95.00 cents/lb, although much higher individual spot prices were heard.IPAis asolventprincipally used in industrial and consumer products includingcosmetics and personal-care products,paints and resins,pharmaceuticals,food,inks and adhesives. It is also used in de-icers in the winter.US IPA suppliersincludeExxonMobil,Dow Chemical,LyondellBasell,Monument ChemicalandShell Chemical.
Hospitals and nursing homes are desperately searching for hand sanitizer amid the coronavirus outbreak and the ethanol industry is ready to step in to provide the alcohol, a key ingredient.
DES MOINES, Iowa -- As hospitals and nursing homes desperately search forhand sanitizeramid thecoronavirusoutbreak, federal regulators are preventingethanolproducers from providing millions of gallons of alcohol that could be transformed into the germ-killing mixture. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's roadblock has been frustrating thehealth careand ethanol industries, which have been calling for a relaxed regulation to deal with the public health care emergency. “Hand sanitizer is a big part of our lives,” said Eric Barber, CEO of Mary Lanning Healthcare, a hospital in Hastings, Nebraska. “We can’t get any. We order it and it’s just not available.” The problem for the ethanol industry is that most plants makefood-grade ethanol, one step below the highestpharmaceutical grade. But since the plants aren't certified to comply with stringent production standards designed to protect quality of medicines, foodingredientsand dietary supplements, the FDA doesn't want the alcohol used for a product to be applied to the skin. In addition, the alcohol is notdenaturedor mixed with a bitter additive to make it undrinkable. The FDA insists this step is “critical” because of cases of poisoning, sometimes fatal, among young children who have accidentally ingested hand sanitizers. An FDA spokesman said Thursday that regulators have already seen a rise in poisonings linked to hand sanitizers in recent weeks, “heightening this public concern.” The FDA is also skeptical of industry claims thatundenaturedsanitizers could be distributed in a way that would keep them away from children. “It is unclear what, if any, measure could be instituted to ensure that the product does not make its way into consumer hands, where children could have access,” FDA’s Jeremy Kahn said in an emailed statement. Facing a nationwide shortage, Barber said the FDA should temporarily relax regulations to allow alternative production. “You’re talking about alcohol. Does it matter if it's fuel grade or whatever the stuff is they’re trying to price gouge now? I think its common sense,” he said. “We may need to consider a range of possible solutions that were not on the table before the pandemic,” said Nancy Foster, a vice president with the group, in an emailed statement to the AP. TheConsumer Brands Association, formerly the Grocery Manufacturers Association, has had conversations with the FDA to push the agency to reconsider its guidelines. The group, which represents branded food, consumer products and beverage companies, said thathand sanitizer suppliesare running so low that its members have had to ration it out to workers in stores, distribution centers and manufacturing plants. "We need a temporary solution," said Mike Gruber, vice president of regulatory and technical affairs at the trade association. “This goes toward ensuring basic food safety practices.” Distillers that produce vodka, whisky and other alcoholic drinks have been given someregulatory waiversby theAlcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureauallowing them to produce hand sanitizer. Many have done that, but they produce much smaller volumes of alcohol than an ethanol plant could produce. They also receive a benefit in the Senate-passed stimulus bill. TheDistilled Spirits Council of the United States, which represents dozens of large and small distillers, applauded Congress for easing taxes ondistillers who make hand sanitizer. Under the stimulus package passed late Wednesday, distillers don’t have to pay federal excise taxes onalcohol used for hand sanitizerthrough Jan. 1, 2021. “Hundreds ofU.S. distillers are stepping up to produce hand sanitizerand they should not be hit with a huge tax bill for producing this much-needed item, especially at a time when so many of them are struggling,” said Chris Swonger, the group’s president and CEO. But the council said it’s urging the FDA to update its guidance and let distillers useundenatured alcoholforhand sanitizer. The stimulus bill requires distillers to follow the FDA’s guidance if they want to receive the tax breaks. The FDA has waived dozens of regulations in recent weeks to boost production of key medical supplies, including coronavirus tests, ventilators, gloves and hand sanitizers. Under the latest FDA guidelines, regulators maintain standards for alcohol, requiring new producers to use alcohol that meets federal or international standards for use in either drugs or food products. The regulatory hurdles are especially frustrating for Midwest ethanol producers who are facing plunging fuel demand and a petroleum fight between Saudi Arabia and Russia that caused prices to plummet. The factors are forcing more plants to curtail production and close. For ethanol producers relaxed rules, including a requirement of the hard-to-acquire denaturant, would allow them to step in an help in a national emergency. “If we could get the FDA to say yes you can use the beverage grade and for the duration of this emergency at least for some point in time here for the next two weeks you can waive thedenaturantwe would literally have millions of gallons of hand sanitizer available within a matter of days,” said Monte Shaw, CEO of Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, an ethanol trade group. “Every one of our plants has gotten contacted by people who want this stuff and we can’t send it to them.” Andrew Vrbas owner ofPacha Soap, a boutique soap shop in Hastings, Nebraska, had just finished renovating a 100,000-square-foot former bread factory as a project to boost the community. Now, he’s preparing to set up hand sanitizer production there to supply to hospitals. He’s received calls from hospitals in Nebraska, Florida and New York City seeking hand sanitizer. “We are literally three miles from a plant that has as muchethanolas you could imagine,” he said. “We’re sitting on millions of gallons of alcohol. If we could rally the federal government to say look if you just let us work with local ethanol producers we have the expertise, we have the ability to providehand sanitizer to hospitalsnot only in Nebraska but all across the country that are just reaching out through my network saying if you could send us hand sanitizer, we’re out.”