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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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  • Re:It's inevitable (Score:4, Interesting)

    by philspear ( 1142299 ) on Friday November 07, 2008 @06:33PM (#25682507)

    Uh, I'm not sure I follow your logic there, even though I agree with the end result. TFA points out they had discovered this by using ethanol and water mixed. They made mixes from pure alchohol and water, it was only after they found the ideal ratio that someone realized it was the same as tequilla. Had prohibition been going on, they would have discovered the real money making part: the ratio of water to alchohol needed to make diamonds.

    Interestingly, most labs that use ethanol for things like sterilization get most of it not in the form of pure ethanol but 70% ethanol. There seem to be two causes for that in the US, one is of course that higher-purity ethanol is harder to make, I'm not sure what goes into getting 100% ethanol, but I've heard you can't distill it that pure. The other is that the 70% stock is usually denatured, it often has methanol added. The addition of methanol makes it undrinkable (er, well you could drink it, but you'd go blind and die if you drank enough of it) and also makes it taxed less.

    I wonder if these guys weren't trying to cut down on laboratory costs, maybe methanol reduces the efficiency (ruling out the denatured alchohol), but the non-methanol contaminants in tequilla don't. Maybe tequilla is a lot cheaper than even denatured alchohol in Mexico.

  • Oh that's just great (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Adam Hazzlebank ( 970369 ) on Friday November 07, 2008 @06:44PM (#25682659)
    How's 200 bottles of Tequila going to look on my next grant application?
  • Re:sounds like... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Neanderthal Ninny ( 1153369 ) on Friday November 07, 2008 @07:56PM (#25683419)

    Actually that is what my research organization does, it researches the yeast that make starches & carbohydrates into alcohol and carbon dioxide.
    However the amount of real alcohol we make is small since we are really looking at the yeast in tiny volumes so in month we get about an shot glass.
    It is interesting that they found a way to get all of those disparate molecules and separate them and get and carbon coating in a diamond arrangement. Most of the time you get a black graphite layer or some buckyballs.

  • by RenderSeven ( 938535 ) on Friday November 07, 2008 @08:19PM (#25683659)
    Depends on the girl. As someone said, a woman should dress as expensively as getting her undressed will be. Three carats of VVF will usually get you more than 3 shots of Cabo Wabo. Both together will get you absolutely *mauled* though.
  • by budgenator ( 254554 ) on Friday November 07, 2008 @08:50PM (#25683865) Journal

    What the hell are diamonds good for ?

    dude, durable non-stick cook wear, greases and oils stick to diamonds like nobody's business, that's how they separate the diamonds from gravel commercially, the diamonds stick to the greased slush box and the gravel washes out. With diamond coated cook-wear just a teaspoon (5ml) of oil sticks to the diamond coating and your eggs don't and it's tough enough to actually survive everyday use. Diamond coating would blow teflon and silverstone out of the water!

  • Applications? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dripdry ( 1062282 ) on Saturday November 08, 2008 @12:10AM (#25685199) Journal

    What are the applications?

    I know a metallurgist who has developed a cheap method of growing diamond onto ferrous surfaces. Is this a possible method for growing diamond on non-ferrous surfaces?

    I know there are a lot of jokes floating around here, but could the applications be useful? Can we grow diamond ball-bearings or something? Ideas?

    Come on, this is Slashdot. We joke around, but SOMEBODY must know some uses for this idea.

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