Re: [Histonet] Reagent Grade Alcohol

From:Pamela Marcum

At 09:59 AM 11/8/2005, Rene J Buesa wrote:
>I always used 100% (= "200 grade") ,bought in bulk tax exempted, ethanol. 
>Anything you need to do with "pure" ethanol will be simpler to calculate 
>(solutions, mixtures, etc.) with 100% ethanol. Besides that, the 
>"denatured" ethanol contains substances other than ethanol.
>Now, "reagent grade" sold by chemical companies with "impurities 
>certificates", are much more expensive and offer no advantage over the 
>type of "200 grade" ethanol I used to use.
>Rene J.
>"LeVier, Rebecca J"  wrote:
>Hello Histonetters,
>I was just wondering what everyone was using for alcohol. Does anyone
>see any differences in Reagent Grade Alcohol compared to LCB regulated
>alcohol? ...... Any information on this topic would be greatly
>Thanks in advance.
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Sorry those comments are misleading.  The 200 proof and 190 proof alcohols 
are taxed at $13.50 per proof (100 proof = 1 proof taxable)  so a gallon of 
200 proof ethanol is given a tax of $27.00 before you even get the price of 
the actual product.  Only tax exempt or non-profit organizations can afford 
to use these routinely as we do not pay this tax.

Reagent alcohols can be purchased that work very well however, you must 
read the MSDS as the original formula of 90% ethanol, 5% methanol and 5% 
isopropanol is now being sold with varying percentages of isopropanol and 
methanol.  These formula changes are legal so check the MSDS and if it is 
not a stable formula do not use it as it can cause many issues in your lab.

Example: 90% EtOH with 1 to 5% isopropanol and 1 to 5% methanol.  You would 
not know from lot to lot how much of the last two you have in the solution 
and it can effect your staining and processing when these are varied.  If 
you go to the internet and type in Reagent Alcohol you will be able to see 
a number of MSDS sheets for various companies and gauge which have stable 
formulas and which do not.  ALWAYS LOOK AT THE MSDS FOR ANY PRODUCT YOU 

Best Regards,

Pamela A Marcum
Manager, Histology Special Procedures
University of Pennsylvania
School of Veterinary Medicine
R.S. Reynolds Jr.  CORL
New Bolton Center
382 West Street Road
Kennett Square, PA 19348

Phone - 610-925-6278
Fax     - 610-925-8120
E-mail - 

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