well said Potter... although I was a "teen" when I made a copper rocket ship fueled by fruit juices and yeast made in the sun. The only emission was relatively pure ethanol
; not sure, but the thing never flew straight and constantly fell down, bumped into things, and crashed (looked pretty stupid)... a good note on liver damage as that sort of thing happens too often out of carelessness.
Further, I think the amount of alcohol
required for space travel is lethal to most humans, so I stuck to other healthy plants. Most importantly, I noticed the seniors didn't bite, so I came to only drink when they were around to buy.
A whole lot of mess may result from this, and as Docta said the substances' boiling points are so close together that more advanced techniques must be employed; ie. extractive distillation, which in this case could require several solvents.
Anyone properly experienced to perform this efficiently would surely go the much simpler route of purchasing their ethanol.... or distilling from wine, spirits, or the like - with very accurate distillation equipment - then further removing the excess water via adsorbent materials for dessication. Ethanol can only be distilled to a fraction around 95.6% v/v, and so the final step to purity would be achieved by passing the vapor stream through MORE hygroscopic materials (ethanol is hygroscopic); zeolites would be preferred at a smaller scale I'd imagine.
One question, would adding coarse/fine zeolites to the fractionating column of a simple glass distillation apparatus work and how much time should be allowed? In this situation let's say we're working with 90-95% alcohol.