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22nd June 2024 (10 Topics)


Recently, at least 49 people have died, and around 100 others have been hospitalised after consuming hooch, or spurious liquor, in Tamil Nadu’s Kallakurichi.


  • It is a commonly used term for poor quality alcohol, derived from Hoochinoo, a native Alaskan tribe that was known to produce very strong liquor.
  • Unlike branded liquor which is produced in factories with sophisticated equipment and rigorous quality control, hooch is made in much more crude settings.
  • The fermented mixture which is distilled contains more than just consumable alcohol (ethanol). It also contains methanol, an industrial alcohol which is highly toxic for human beings.

Fact Box


  • It is an alternative fuel for internal combustion and engines, either in combination with gasoline or directly. It is less expensive to produce sustainably and is a less expensive way to reduce the carbon footprint. Recently, methanol fuel has been produced using renewable energy and carbon dioxide as a feedstock.
  • What is it- It is also known as methyl alcohol, it is colourless, light, and flammable liquid.
  • How it is made- It can be manufactured industrially, derived from coal, oil or biomass, wood, bagasse, grass, or agricultural wastes.
  • What are its uses- Antifreeze, solvent, and fuel
  • Pure methanol has been used in open wheel auto racing since the mid-1960s

Benefits of methanol

As fuel

  • Cheaper to produce compared to other fuels, safer than others because of low flammability, and wide variety of food stock can be used to produce methanol.
  • Use of methanol fuel reduces the exhaust emissions of certain hydrocarbon-related toxins such as benzene and 1,3 butadiene, and dramatically reduces long term groundwater pollution caused by fuel spills. Unlike benzene-family fuels, methanol will rapidly and non-toxically biodegrade with no long-term harm to the environment as long as it is sufficiently diluted.

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