Date of Award
Open Access Thesis
Master of Science (MS)
Darrin L. Smith
Judith L. Jenkins
Margaret W. Ndinguri
Accurate determination of alcohol by volume (ABV) is necessary, but previously used techniques are proving inaccurate with new flavored spirits. Specifically, control experiments showed that increasing concentrations of sugar led to increasingly inaccurate ABV determination. We hypothesize the intermolecular forces present in these beverages are significantly altered by the presence of sugar, which in turn leads to the observed inaccuracies in ABV measured through distillation. We used additives such as NaCl and NaOH to strategically and systematically vary intermolecular interactions and the influences of these additives on ABV were tested through distillation, densitometry, and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR). Given the results based on NMR data and NaCl additions, intermolecular hydrogen bonding is not the direct cause of the ethanol retention. However, a direct correlation between increasing pH and increasing accuracy exists in some cases, suggesting that intramolecular forces may be the more dominant interactions affecting ABV determination. The final chapter of this work contains ideas to better understand the fundamental chemistry of these interactions, eventually leading to more robust measurements for ABV determination.
Copyright 2016 Armanda Fae McFadden
McFadden, Armanda Fae, "An Unprecedented Research Project into the Alcohol Retention Variation of Flavored Spirits" (2016). Online Theses and Dissertations. 398.