Is ethyl alcohol flammable? [Everything You Need To Know]

In the fire department, when a large amount of ethanol or ethyl alcohol scatters, they must clear the area and try to stop the burning fire. Unfortunately, anytime anywhere, an accident may happen because alcohol can catch fire. 

There are so many pyromaniacs, and they think it is a flame of love, so most rookie firefighters are always with the work related to chemistry.

Basically, I am going to chew over the fat about the second simple alcohol, ethyl alcohol. To the best of my knowledge, some of you already know that alcohol is dangerous sometimes, and many probationary firefighters are curious to know is ethyl alcohol or ethanol flammable.

Yes, ethanol or ethyl alcohol is extremely flammable. If any liquid consists of more than 12% of ethyl alcohol, it is labeled as a highly flammable substance. Even liquid with 5-6% ethanol can catch fire quickly.

Is ethyl alcohol flammable

Also Read: Check out our other article about Is Jack Daniels Flammable Or Combustible?

here is the brief answer Is ethyl alcohol flammable?

Yes, ethyl alcohol is flammable because it reacts with oxygen and can lose a proton from the OH group. This is because the hydrogen of the OH group is better at receiving free hydrogen radicals. The common name of ethyl alcohol is ethanol.

Ethanol is colorless with a pervasive smell and it has a flashpoint that creates the burning properties if the oxygen is available by fire-catching objects. The boiling temperature of alcohol is 172.9 degrees Fahrenheit. The higher the temperature the higher the flammability of alcohol. If it is heated above its required temperature, it will catch fire.

Is Hand Sanitizer Flammable?

There are mainly two types of sanitizers: Alcohol-based and non-alcoholic-based sanitizers. Using alcohol-based sanitizer is better as it functions with antimicrobial properties which help to maintain hygiene and keep your hands clean.

Do you know most sanitizers are made of alcohol? such as ethyl alcohol and isopropyl alcohol. 

The alcohol-based hand sanitizers are highly flammable. You should not use any kind of fire after sanitizing hands with an alcohol-based sanitizer. Also, keep the sanitizer bottles away from heat and fire

Is 70% ethyl alcohol flammable?

70 % alcohol is definitely a flammable liquid and vapor which may let you to suffer from dizziness and can damage different parts of your body this alcohol can target your organs for instance livers, kidneys, and also eyes.

Is 75% ethyl alcohol flammable? 

Yes, 75% ethyl alcohol is very flammable air that causes explosions and different diseases can cause such as breathing difficulties as well as eye irritation you should wear protective clothing and keep away from flames, heat or sparks and fire catchable objects and gases.

689 degrees Fahrenheit is the autoignition point of pure ethyl alcohol or ethanol.

Is ethyl alcohol flammable at room temperature?

Ethyl alcohol is even flammable below room temperature. If the concentration is above 2.35 % by mass, it can be regarded as a flammable liquid and the boiling temperature of ethyl alcohol is 173 degrees Fahrenheit.

What is the difference between isopropyl alcohol and ethyl alcohol?

Isopropyl alcohol and ethyl alcohol are used in sanitizer and they have some similarities.


  • Both contain carbon, hydrogen, and hydroxyl group 
  • Both are alcohols 
  • Their structure is quite similar
  • They both can diminish the structures and properties of the protein, and fats in viruses and bacteria.
  • Both are flammable and can be applied as sanitizers or disinfectants.


The differences between ethyl alcohol and isopropyl alcohol are:

  • They have the main difference in the location of the hydroxyl group (OH) on their chemical structures.
  • The molecular formula of ethyl alcohol is C2H6O whereas the formula of isopropyl alcohol is C3H8O.
  • 172 .4 degrees Fahrenheit is the boiling temperature of ethyl alcohol and the melting temperature of ethyl alcohol is – 175 degrees Fahrenheit whereas – 116.32 degrees Fahrenheit is the boiling temperature of isopropyl alcohol and the melting temperature is -129. 1 degree Fahrenheit.
  • In ethyl alcohol, the hydroxyl group is attached to the first carbon so it is known as primary alcohol whereas in isopropyl alcohol hydroxyl group is attached to the second carbon so it is called secondary alcohol
  • The resulting product of ethyl alcohol is acetone whereas the resulting product of isopropyl alcohol is an aldehyde
  • Ethyl alcohol is a very basic compound whereas isopropyl alcohol is a complex compound that contains distortion or denaturation
  • You can’t drink ethyl alcohol but isopropyl alcohol can be used as beverages.

How can flammable and combustible Ethyl alcohol be a fire or explosion hazard?

Ethyl alcohol or ethanol is flammable and combustible and many alcoholic compounds are flammable and combustible which are vaporous components. Ethyl alcohol is a fire or explosion hazard as you know alcohol is a flammable component as it releases lots of heat due to the high temperature and if the liquid is flammable, it takes out large steam to burn properties with air in the surroundings.

As alcohol is combustible, it also burns when you apply heat and alcohol has liquid properties so it can flow easily and can catch fire with a wood cloth when the amount of oxygen is available enough. 

Also Read: Is Ink Flammable In Pen?

Can flammable or combustible ethyl alcohol be hazardous to your body? 

Flammable or combustible ethyl alcohol can be hazardous to your body as it is explosive so there can be a risk of fire. This compound is really harmful because it can raise the chance of cancers in your body and causes eye irritation such as stinging, tearing, or burning and damage to different parts of the organ and if you swallow it, it may damage your kidneys and liver.

Using excess alcohol on your skin can be dangerous as it will burn your skin and cause skin rashes or irritation such as swelling, redness, and pain. Always take consultation from the doctor as chemicals are sometimes more dangerous than you think.

If you are talking about disinfectants, using ethyl alcohol will be much more effective than isopropyl alcohol as the concentration of Ethyl alcohol is 70 to 90% whereas isopropyl alcohol is 40 to 60% against killing germs and viruses.

However, taking precautions while using these types of chemical compounds will be a good choice for you. Some of the safety of using ethyl alcohol and isopropyl alcohol are: 

  • When you are not using flammable liquids, which have a flash point of fewer than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, you should keep the container tightly with lids 
  • Keep ethyl alcohol and isopropyl alcohol in appropriate conditions.
  • Keep away from the children 
  • Always keep the bottles and containers away from the ignition sources.


I hope this article has given you a clear idea about the flammability of ethyl alcohol and some of the basic knowledge of isopropyl alcohol. If you have any questions regarding this please visit our homepage.

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