Alcohols are important solvents and source substances for numerous productions in the chemical industry.
Alcohols with several OH-groups are used for polymerization. Apart from natural alcohols, such as for example glycerin, alcohols are produced by fermentation of basic substances containing starch or sugar.
Short-chained alcohols such as methanol and ethanol are concentrated by way of distillation. Longer-chained alcohols with lower steam volatility can be concentrated in falling-film evaporation plants. The separators are often equipped with scrubbing columns in order to minimize product losses via the steam phase.
The mostly concentrated alcohols in distillation plants are methanol, and ethanol. 2-propanole and n-butanol are concentrated in evaporation plants.