Funny Thing Happens When Gold is Put into Alcohol | Science News

Funny Thing Happens When Gold is Put into Alcohol | Science News


Welcome To Strange Science News Researchers at Rice University have demonstrated
a new way to distil alcohol from water – using light and nano-particles made of gold. The method uses less energy than conventional
thermal distillation and produces a more concentrated distillate, up to 99% instead of 95%. They laced a mixture of water and ethanol
with gold–silica nanoparticles and shone laser light on the suspension from above to
heat it. When light hits a nanoparticle it both absorbs
photons, becoming warmer, and scatters photons, which can be picked up by its neighbours,
increasing their temperature. It is more efficient and requires substantially
less energy than conventional heating because only the top part of the liquid needs to be
heated to boil instead of the entire volume. No mention on how the gold nanoparticles would
be removed from the solution afterwards however. The scientists joke, if this catches on, instead
of making moonshine, people will be making alcohol called sunshine. For more information about this story, please
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