Ethyl Alcohol. A clear, colorless, and flammable oxygenated hydrocarbon. The type consumed as alcoholic beverages (brandy, rum, whisky, etc., and called just 'alcohol') is produced by the natural process of fermenting grapes, malt, sugar cane juice, etc. The type used as octane enhancer or alternative automotive fuel is derived from grain, corn, or catalytic hydration of ethane gas. High concentrations of ethanol in human body can interfere with the brain functions and can cause poisoning. When mixed with gasoline (usually in the proportion 85 percent ethanol to 15 percent gasoline), it is known as gasohol. Also called grain alcohol or grain spirit.