In the context of human consumption, alcohol is usually referred to ethanol. Know that the alcohol component of all alcoholic beverages is ethanol. There are several names alcohol is known for such as ethyl alcohol, drinking alcohol and grain alcohol. Other characteristics of ethanol are its pungent odor, its flammability, it is colorless and slightly noxious to the smell. Through yeast fermentation of sugar, ethanol can be manufactured. It is advantageous for alcoholic beverage companies to use ethanol as a very good solvent as the chemical blends well with essential oils, flavorings and fatty additives. Know that ethanol that is derived from grain or corn can be used as an alternative automobile fuel too.
As mentioned, the common name of ethanol is ethyl alcohol, but also named as pure alcohol, grain alcohol and drinking alcohol. This colorless liquid, a description of this chemical, is also observed to be soluble in water. You will note that this liquid has a slight odor, would taste sweet when being diluted, but on the other hand, if undiluted or concentrated, would give a very strong taste, leaving you a burning aftertaste.
Ethyl alcohol, for your knowledge, is the alcohol that is found in several alcoholic drinks like brandy, beer, or whiskey. When there is fermentation or a chemical breakdown of sugar by yeasts, ethyl alcohol is produced. Corn, wheat and barley, which are plants and grains, are the sources of ethyl alcohol. When you mill the grains and ferment them with yeast, ethanol is produced.
In the field of medicine, alcohol is used as an antiseptic and as a disinfectant. Medical wipes and antibacterial hand sanitizers contain alcohol, and these are used in hospitals and related facilities in order to contain the spread of bacteria. Before your skin is injected, alcohol is also used to sterilize your skin. There is also sterilization of various medical equipment before and after use in hospitals and medical clinics.
For the purpose of sanitizing and disinfecting, note that it is isopropyl alcohol you are using. Petroleum and coal are the fossil fuels where isopropyl alcohol comes in the form of propane. To prevent consumption, there is a toxic substance being added to isopropyl alcohol making it denatured. Be aware that isopropyl alcohol is not advisable to use as solvent for extracts, because by doing this, it can leave behind an unwanted contaminants on your extracts.
Ethyl alcohol is said to be safe to use as solvent in various products like culinary extracts, essential oils, tinctures, and concentrates.
To minimize impurities that can cause contamination of your tinctures and extracts, you can use food grade ethyl alcohol.