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Determination of the level of ethanol in e-liquids

Ethanol is used to fluidify the solution to ensure better capillarity and favour vaporisation.

Detection method


Volume required


Analysis time

5 working days

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What is ethanol?

Ethanol also called ethyl alcohol is found in the formulation of certain e-liquids as an ingredient. It is used to fluidify the solution to ensure better capillarity and favour vaporisation of the e-liquid. Ethanol is also used as aromatic support in certain formulations. Thus, e-liquids using flavours on ethyl support contain a large amount of ethanol despite the absence of deliberate ethanol addition. This principle is also valid in many current consumer products containing food flavours.

What are the effects of ethanol on humans?

The effects of ethanol inhalation on humans are only notable with exposure to very high concentrations. These effects are essentially irritant and reversible over short periods. Ethanol is the object of a limit value for occupational exposure in France. According to INRS, it is 1950 mg/m3 over 8 hrs. With the amounts of ethanol present in an e-liquid, it is impossible to reach this value, and despite a large content of ethanol or a significant daily consumption.

Why analyse the level of ethanol in an e-liquid?

Vaping products are considered as chemical products. Therefore, they have to comply with the CLP information requirements (Classification for Labelling and Packaging). This is a European regulation which aims to prevent chemical risks. Thus, the presence of alcohol in an e-liquid must be given with its exact level on its label. The aim is to provide precise information to the consumer.

Moreover, since 2016 the manufacturers of e-liquids must declare on a European notification platform the composition of all the products containing nicotine (e-liquid and emission), in application of the TPD, the European directive on tobacco products. For this, all the components of an e-liquid having a concentration greater than 0.1% must be known and quantified. It is necessary then to know the precise concentration of ethanol present in the finished product in order to make this declaration.

Support from ingésciences

While inoffensive, the presence or absence of ethanol in an e-liquid has become a commercial argument in the vaping sector. Our OpenSciences laboratory analyses the exact level of ethanol for manufacturers of e-liquids and flavours. Our experienced team has developed methods suited to vaping products in liquid state.

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Check the level of ethanol in your products?