|MadSci Network: Engineering|
Ethanol is miscible with alkanes, like butane. Why not float a layer of butane over a fermented wine having ~10% ethanol, allowing some of the ethanol to migrate into the butane, then distill the butane, leaving ethanol? Butane has a much lower heat of vaporization than water, so it seems like a repeated (or continuous) extraction of ethanol using butane would be much more energy-efficient than boiling the water-ethanol mixture to distill.
Re: Why not extract ethanol using butane instead of distilling from water?
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