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Scientists Turn Tequila Into Diamonds 249

MaxwellEdison writes "Researchers, oddly enough from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, have found a way to make diamond films using tequila. They were originally testing methods of creating the films with organic solutions like acetone when it was noticed the ideal ratios of water and ethanol turned out to be about 80 proof, or 40% alcohol. '"To dissipate any doubts, one morning on the way to the lab I bought a pocket-size bottle of cheap white tequila and we did some tests," Apátiga said. "We were in doubt over whether the great amount of chemicals present in tequila, other than water and ethanol, would contaminate or obstruct the process, it turned out to be not so. The results were amazing, same as with the ethanol and water compound, we obtained almost spherical shaped diamonds of nanometric size. There is no doubt; tequila has the exact proportion of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms necessary to form diamonds."'"
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Scientists Turn Tequila Into Diamonds

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 07, 2008 @06:34PM (#25682517)

    Informative posts get karma, funny ones do not.

  • Re:good news (Score:3, Informative)

    by bluefoxlucid ( 723572 ) on Friday November 07, 2008 @06:35PM (#25682519) Homepage Journal
    Some of us aren't interested in the mess until it's no longer a mistake. Of course... we always fuck that one up... and spend the rest of our lives lonely...
  • by eln ( 21727 ) on Friday November 07, 2008 @06:39PM (#25682577)

    Which is why God invented roofies.

    I'm going to hell, aren't I?

  • Re:It's inevitable (Score:5, Informative)

    by Stile 65 ( 722451 ) on Friday November 07, 2008 @06:44PM (#25682663) Homepage Journal

    It's hard to get 100% pure ethanol because ethanol is hygroscopic. This is part of the problem with using pure ethanol in vehicles (water ends up in your fuel without proper precautions), and why butanol may be a better choice for fuel.

    Also, I'm not sure why nobody's mentioned it, but vodka is about the closest you can get to a 60%-40% water/ethanol mixture. Very few if any extra chemicals. Why use tequila instead of vodka?

  • by Kamokazi ( 1080091 ) on Friday November 07, 2008 @06:45PM (#25682667)
    That's the other great thing about Slashdot readers....many of us are you can do whatever you want and just fade out of existence like the rest of us!
  • Re:It's inevitable (Score:5, Informative)

    by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Friday November 07, 2008 @06:49PM (#25682723)

    I'm not sure what goes into getting 100% ethanol, but I've heard you can't distill it that pure.

    In simple distillation it is impossible to get 100% ethanol. The highest purity you can get is 95.6% ethanol and 4.4% water because ethanol/water is an azeotrope []. There are several ways to get pure ethanol [], one of which is to add compounds like benzene which makes it unsuitable for human consumption.

  • Re:They probably... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Friday November 07, 2008 @06:55PM (#25682807) Journal

    This isn't the first time something like this has been done. Northern Blots involve the detection of RNA bound to a membrane by hybridizing it with a complementary radioactive RNA probe. Two things, to prevent non-specific binding of the probe to the membrane you need to block it with some inert protein. Powdered milk is a cheap convenient source of protein. In order to do they hybridization at a lower temperature, a little alcohol is used.

    Anyway, some genius figured that since Bailey's Irish cream contains milk and alcohol, you could use it in your hybridization buffer. Apparently it worked, it's even been used for published [] results. Generally formamide is used instead of ethanol these days, and the dry milk works just fine. Still, it's a clever way to get your liquor funded by your grant. ;)

  • by jarodss ( 243400 ) <> on Friday November 07, 2008 @07:14PM (#25683033) Homepage

    Tequila is a form of Mezcal, so you were probably just confused.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 07, 2008 @07:32PM (#25683203)

    Tequila and Diamonds might not work, but inflating sure does!

  • Re:It's inevitable (Score:3, Informative)

    by elgatozorbas ( 783538 ) on Friday November 07, 2008 @07:49PM (#25683363)
    Possibly related to that, water and alcohol form an azeotropic mixture []. In practice this mixture (of about 95%alcohol and 5% water) is the closest to pure ethanol you can achieve through distillation.
  • by argent ( 18001 ) <peter&slashdot,2006,taronga,com> on Friday November 07, 2008 @07:51PM (#25683383) Homepage Journal

    You have to scroll down pretty far to find it, so...

    These probes were radioactively labeled using the Megaprime DNA Labeling system (Amersham Pharmacia). The subsequent hybridization was performed according to Sambrook et al. (1989) with the following modifications: in 50% formamide, 5× SSPE, 0.5% SDS, 5% Bailey's Irish Cream Liquor, 50 g/mL heat denatured salmon sperm DNA at 42C overnight, the filters were subsequently washed to 65C in 0.1× SSC, 0.1% SDS.

  • by billstewart ( 78916 ) on Friday November 07, 2008 @08:44PM (#25683825) Journal

    That's kind of like skydivers' responses to the "why jump out of a perfectly good airplane?" jokes - "have you seen the airplanes we're jumping out of?".

    A few years back I was in Mazatlan with friends, and checked out tequilas in the local liquor store. The range of selections explained why one of the local restaurants was pouring the stuff like water - the cheap stuff was about $5/gallon. If you wanted Cazadores or drinks at a fancy bar, you still had to pay real money, but if you wanted ethanol that had been aged in plastic for no more than 15 minutes, and didn't have to pay US-level or Europe-level alcohol taxes, it doesn't actually cost that much to make.

  • by mako1138 ( 837520 ) on Friday November 07, 2008 @09:06PM (#25683989)

    By law, something called "tequila" has to be 51% blue agave. The remainder can be made up of cheap reducing sugar, with the practical result of producing hangovers.

    The good stuff is the 100% blue agave tequila. Unfortunately, since there's been an agave shortage in Mexico, prices have gone up in recent years. You have to pay $20 and up for (750mL) 100% blue agave these days.

  • Re:It's inevitable (Score:3, Informative)

    by budgenator ( 254554 ) on Friday November 07, 2008 @09:09PM (#25684017) Journal

    The reason 70% is used is because purer alcohols dehydrates the bacteria and causes them to go into a sporuative phase and more difficult to kill. Ethanol, EtOH is sometimes denatured with methanol and sometime with other alkanes like heptane. EtOH typically comes out of the still at 190 proof or 95%, if memory serves me correctly you can get it up to 98% with additional treatment but it's expensive.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 08, 2008 @04:18AM (#25686101)

    it's a spoof of old DeBeers commercials. They showed shadows of the people, with a real non-shadow diamond ring. The man gave the woman a diamond, and she was all happy and kissed him. And there was much rejoicing.

  • learn to use google (Score:2, Informative)

    by Dreen ( 1349993 ) <> on Saturday November 08, 2008 @10:48AM (#25687363)

    erm... Results 1 - 9 of 9 for "slashdot orgy". (0.15 seconds)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 08, 2008 @12:23PM (#25687867)
    Except, you know, these diamonds formed at 800 degrees according to the article. That's above any sane cooking temperature. They burn at ~1500 in air, but can be heated higher with a boric acid [] coating. So, no, there's no problem using diamonds on cookware.
  • by GooberToo ( 74388 ) on Monday November 10, 2008 @04:06AM (#25701119)

    Many people don't know this, but one of the *common* methods of diamond collection is to place a bucket around one's indentured slave and force them to crawl on their hands and knees in a line, placing the extremely common diamond into the bucket around their neck. It is said the noise is like that of a machine gun from the diamonds hitting the bottom of the buckets.

    Diamonds are so common, it is death to pick up a diamond outside purview of your employer. Otherwise, the market would be at risk of saturation - completely destroying the value and myth of diamond scarcity. Diamonds are literally as common as come pebbles in your area.

    To be absolutely clear, diamonds are not a scare, precious gem. Their supply is completely and utterly, artificially controlled. Before the 1940's, outside of major industry, nobody gave a crap about diamonds. It was only after one of the most brilliant marketing campaigns by DeBeers were diamonds suddenly highly sought after. And their value is solely, artificially controlled by supply and DeBeers' artificial rules of diamond quality and scarcity (the 4-C's).

    Two facts you should know about diamonds. Man made diamonds are vastly superior to naturally occurring diamonds and they are vastly cheaper than the artificially maintained price of non-industrial diamonds. And by "man made", I am not referring to CZ-diamonds. And two, diamonds by DeBeers are directly responsible for Apartheid in Africa. This is why they are often called, "blood diamonds."

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