fusel oil

fusel oil

[fyoo-zuhl, -suhl]
noun
a mixture consisting chiefly of amyl alcohols obtained as a by-product in the fermentation of grains.

Origin:
1855–60; < German Fusel bad liquor

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World English Dictionary
fusel oil or fusel (ˈfjuːzəl)
 
n
a mixture of amyl alcohols, propanol, and butanol: a by-product in the distillation of fermented liquors used as a source of amyl alcohols
 
[C19: from German Fusel bad spirits]
 
fusel or fusel
 
n
 
[C19: from German Fusel bad spirits]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
fusel oil   (fy'zəl)  Pronunciation Key 
An acrid, oily, poisonous liquid occurring in the distillation products of fermented alcoholic liquids. Fusel oil is a mixture of amyl alcohols, fatty acids, and esters. It is used in paints, plastics, and varnishes, and in the manufacture of explosives.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

fusel oil

a mixture of volatile, oily liquids produced in small amounts during alcoholic fermentation. A typical fusel oil contains 60-70 percent of amyl alcohol (q.v.), smaller amounts of n-propyl and isobutyl alcohols, and traces of other components. Before industrial production of synthetic amyl alcohols began in the 1920s, fusel oil was the only commercial source of these compounds, which are major ingredients of lacquer solvents. The fusel oil alcohols are apparently produced during fermentation from amino acids. In industrial alcohol plants, fusel oil and ethyl alcohol are recovered from the fermented liquors and separated by distillation. In the beverage industry, fusel oil is ordinarily allowed to remain in the finished products. The amount present in a 100 proof distilled alcoholic beverage is typically between 0.5 and 2 grams per litre (0.07 and 0.3 ounce per gallon).

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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