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In the news recently is 'Palcohol', powdered alcohol, that you add to water or existing liquids to make it alcohol. Presumably this would dissolve and break apart into alcohol and {some other compound}.

What could bond to ethyl alcohol in order to: 1) Create a solid, and 2) Not be disgusting as a side product?

Most things have some associated taste, $\ce{NaCl}$ is certainly out. If the 'other' components somehow combined to $\ce{H2O}$ or a gas like $\ce{O2}$ or $\ce{CO_2}$ that might remove any residual taste.

What would be in the list of available combinations with ethyl alcohol that are safe to consume, gaseous, or don't otherwise add weird tastes to the liquid?

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up vote 11 down vote accepted

Cyclodextrins, which comprise a class of cyclic carbohydrates, use their properties of being hydrophobic within their ring(s), yet hydrophilic outside. Alcohol can be put inside these rings. Then, the entire molecule is still capable of dissolving in water, releasing the encapsulated alcohol molecules. (src)

This popsci link has one way of making edible powdered alcohol. A nice casual step-by-step tutorial, actually...

Still you want to maintain a balance between maximizing alcohol (or do you?) and having the powder "feeling wet" due to high absorption of alcohol.

Also this may be a relevant Wikipedia article.

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Perfect, thanks! – Ehryk Apr 22 '14 at 7:20

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