Mention the word alcohol and many pupils will sit up with added interest. At KS3 pupils can build a simple fermenter, using yeast, sugar and warm water. Bubble the CO2 through limewater, too. The product can be distilled in a demonstration and the percentage of alcohol and degree proof (measured originally by combustion of gunpowder!) discussed.

Alcohol as a fuel (Brazil runs its vehicles on alcohol, why not the UK?). You can also "burn" a pound;5 note soaked in alcoholwater with flames, but it is not consumed. At KS4 and KS5 the simple properties of alcohol including oxidation with acidified dichromate allow a simple breathalyser to be designed. KS5 students could consider detailed blood interactions and learn some neuropharmacology.

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