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LAB ETHANOL that smells like RUM - (Nov/07/2013 )

So we have some 70% ethanol in the lab... and one batch of it smells VERY strongly like rum. As far as i can tell the most likely explanation is that it has formed an ester... (isobutyl propionate) but i am wondering if this is likely and/or how this reaction would happen, or if anyone has any other suggestions to solve this alcoholic mystery. And no, Capt jack sparrow has not been in the lab recently. 

-Jo Duyvestyn-

Unlikely. Contaminated with an ester - yes. Formed an ester - no.


No idea about the ester formation, though this is a possibility in low grade ethanol preparations.  It is also possible that the batch of ethanol was prepared from the ingredients used to make rum, and then distilled down.