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+ July 2012
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During the years of 2004/05 I studied a lot of chemistry based units. There was one class in particular that shed an enlightening concept of which I have not quite forgotten yet despite losing my varied chemistry books since then. The lecturer, a reputed individual, showed a demonstration in which a non-water liquid was placed in a jar/container and into this container a block of wood was placed. Within no time the cellulose (what wood is comprised) was quite simply completely dissolved without losing its molecular structure. That is, the lecturer just showed that turning wood into a liquid was possible! Apparently there are many industrial applications to this, and there is a long list of established different solvents (non-water based) that will dissolve an array of different non-water molecular structures. Ahem, now, this was a long time ago so I cannot remember the names of the solvents without my notes with ease. I believe that one of them was ‘toluene-ethylene-glycol’, and that in fact it could dissolve wood and plant matter so that the final solution was pretty much homogeneous and in one liquid phase. Taking a guess as to whether ‘TEG’ could be drinkable I would have to say, ‘yes’, but it would be rather toxic and not fit for human consumption. I would guess that toluene is the major toxic component, ethylene would be inert, and glycol, well… Let me rephrase that; I believe ethylene glycol is in fact ‘anti-freeze’ and that in low dosages it can be passed as a low health risk.

Regardless, when I saw that demonstration in class I postulated to the existence of alternative drinks that are not comprised of water – can you possibly imagine that if it were possible? If the correct solvent were found so as to dissolve a plant such as Aloe Vera and then people just drink this concoction which would lead to the development of a million more different drinks – more variety! Ok, let’s dismiss the notion that a drink not comprised of water (that in turn could be digested) could in fact exist. There is still ample marketable potential to utilize non-water based liquid of a plant such as Aloe Vera, this maybe for skin therapy, exhilarating massages and health treatments. I believe that the novelty that the application would be a liquid that is not water (the notion of oils come to mind, but the difference is this is not oil based but something new!) would be easily marketable as a new age fad – it could catch on and a vast array of different solutions could be developed for different more commonly used domestic needs and not just to industrial uses.

At the end of the day I do not consider myself a professional ‘chemist’, and I have no desire to create such a profanity to nature (lol) – I just can’t be bothered, so if anyone were to read this feel free to ‘steal’ this idea and any credit you wish (should the idea work) could be attributed to me. Of course, I can’t have been the only person who thought along these lines before, and if I am that would be just sheer blind luck. I really wish there was a drink out there that was not water-based, in fact I thought long and hard about this – I don’t think there is any asides from oils. Well, that is all I had to say…

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