Powdered Alcohol

What is Powdered Alcohol and What are its Dangers?

Ordinarily, alcohol is in a liquid form. It tends to easily change and explode. It can boil at 78 degrees Celsius, which is a boiling point that is slightly lower than that of water. There is no way to turn liquid alcohol into a powder, only into a solid if it is frozen at negative 114 degrees Celsius. Once the temperature is raised, however, it will immediately turn back into a liquid.

What is Cyclodextrin?

Powdered Alcohol

Powdered Alcohol

Someone finally figured out how to make powdered alcohol. A company called “Palcohol” has developed a method that uses host-chemistry to trap the alcohol in a circular molecule, probably cyclodextrin. These molecules can be described to be shaped like ice cream cones, only if the bottom of the cone has been bitten off. There is a cavity which will allow alcohol and other substances to be hidden within it. This molecule is commonly used in different medications, including alprostadil, a drug commonly used to treat erectile dysfunction disorder, and ziprasidone, which is an anti-psychotic that is used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Even Febreeze includes cyclodextrin because it enhances its odor fighting properties. The reason alcohol can be turned into a powder when it is inside a cyclodextrin molecule is because it doesn’t evaporate.

How Can Powdered Alcohol be Used?

Powdered alcohol can be used in a variety of ways. The most common way is to simply add water and allow the alcohol to turn back into its ordinary, liquid form. By transforming it into a powder, it will be easier to transport very large amounts of it to different locations. Another way that it could be used is to snort it through the nose. This would cause the alcohol to get to the brain much more quickly, since it wouldn’t have to go through a person’s bloodstream. This would allow a person to get drunk much more quickly than he or she would otherwise.

What are the Dangers?

There are a large number of different dangers that are associated with using powdered alcohol as it is intended, when water is added and it turns back into a liquid, and as a substance to be snorted.

Overconsumption:
Powdered alcohol is a new phenomenon. It has not even been fully implemented on the market, due to a product labeling error. As a result, no one truly knows what their own respective limits are with regards to this substance. There is a very high chance that a person could put far more than can be handled of this substance into his or her body without even realizing it. It would result in a loss of motor functioning and an inability to perform certain tasks or ensure one’s own safety. Until there is a clear way of understanding how far a person is able to go with powdered alcohol, its newness will be an inherent risk.

Damaging Nerves:
When powdered anything, be it alcohol or a controlled substance or even a powdered candy, is snorted, it damages the nerves inside of the nose. This could damage a person’s sense of smell in the long run and cause him or her a great deal of pain. The nasal tissue could become inflamed and start to bleed for seemingly no reason.

Hard to Judge:
Many people still do not understand precisely how much alcohol is in a drink that has been around for centuries and, as a result, will drink more than can be easily handled. Powdered alcohol will be even harder to judge because the amount of alcohol that is contained in the powder can easily be changed without causing any noticeable physical changes. A great deal of powdered alcohol can also be consumed in one way or another without being difficult. Consuming a large amount of liquid alcohol, on the other hand, can be difficult due to the liquid mass.

Cyclodextrin Problems:
Although cyclodextrins are inherently safe, there is one size of the molecule, known as the beta-cyclodextrin, which can case damage to the kidneys.

There are risks when using a new product and powdered alcohol is no exception. Because it can be easily transported and consumed in large amounts with no real knowledge of limit, there is the potential for it to do a great deal of harm.