Electronics grade alcohol

At Nedstar, we supply high-quality electronics grade (absolute) ethyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol and (extra neutral) anhydrous alcohol to the electronics industry and other sectors, where it is vital for maintaining the cleanliness of electronics equipment. The bulk transportation of alcohol is a demanding business. Timely delivery involves complex logistical, health & safety and legal challenges. In the electronics world, where reputations depend on reliability and precision, our clients can be sure of the purity, quality and timely delivery of Nedstar electronics grade products.

What is electronics grade alcohol?

Electronics grade alcohol is ‘pure’ alcohol (alcohol with anywhere from 0.5% to a few parts per million water content). Through normal distillation alcohol can only be distilled up to about 95% purity. The remaining 5% are mostly water, and possibly some minerals, which makes the solution unsuitable for cleaning electronic equipment. Electronics grade alcohol is created through a far more complex process known as azeotropic distillation, which separates so-called ‘azeotropes’ (mixtures that can’t be separated by normal distillation).

Why is it important to use electronics grade cleaning solution?

Electronics can easily be damaged if they come in contact with minerals or ionic compounds. These can disrupt the designed flow of electrons within a component, potentially causing it to short circuit or in some other way malfunction, sometimes doing irreparable damage. While the presence of water in a solution greatly increases the risk of corroding electronics equipment.

Some electronic equipment and components are more sensitive than others. If a semiconductor comes into contact with the wrong cleaning solution, containing even the minutest quantities of dissolved minerals, there is a good chance it will be damaged beyond repair. The same is true of more sensitive sensors. Circuit board plastics are tougher, but they can be subject to corrosion if exposed to the wrong cleaning solution, and then tend to be very costly to replace.

Ethanol for cleaning electronics

For cleaning electronics you should only use ultra-pure electronics grade ethanol, which is completely mineral-free and contains (almost) no water. Ethyl alcohol is not a particularly strong solution, but it is relatively inexpensive and ideal for such routine tasks as removing layers of accumulated dirt or corrosion. It also evaporates quickly, which is another advantage. A danger in using ethanol for cleaning electronics is that with even the purest grade ethanol there remains a minimal chance of the ethyl alcohol leaving surface oil traces after evaporation. For extremely sensitive electronics equipment such oil traces can result in malfunctions. So it’s a small risk, but one with a big potential downside.
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Isopropyl alcohol for the electronics industry

Isopropyl alcohol (also known as IPA, isopropanol or 2-propanol) is the most commonly used solvent in the electronics industry. This is because it is compatible with most materials used in electronics equipment and, unlike electronics-grade ethanol, never leaves oil traces.

Electronics-grade isopropyl alcohol dissolves a wide range of polar and non-polar soils, and is used to remove everything from fingerprints and light oils to flux residues and cutting fluids. It is also widely used for printed circuit board (PCB) assembly, cleaning and repair work, for which a minimum 99.9% grade isopropyl alcohol is advised.

And finally, because isopropyl alcohol is miscible in water and evaporates rapidly, it also works as a highly efficient drying agent.

Some common IPA electronics applications

The 99%+ purity of isopropyl alcohol means it is used for manufacturing virtually every kind of electronic products on the market today, including:

  • Desktops and laptops
  • Computer chips and components
  • Circuit boards
  • Fibre optics and connectors
  • Production equipment
  • DVD and CD lasers
  • Audio recorders
  • Control systems
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Isopropyl alcohol vs ethanol for cleaning electronics

Though ethanol for cleaning electronics is a slightly cheaper solution than isopropyl alcohol, and works fine in a great many contexts, the preferred electronics-grade alcohol across the electronics-related industries is isopropyl alcohol. Though other benefits may be a factor (for example, that isopropyl alcohol evaporates faster than ethanol), ultimately people choose isopropyl alcohol to clean electronics because it is the safest choice, especially for cleaning very sensitive components like sensors and semiconductor materials.

Denaturants

To create a denatured ethyl alcohol for electronics that fits your needs, we can customize it with your preferred combination of denaturants. The denaturing means lower taxes often apply to alcohol. Choose (a combination of) the following denaturants to create a product that meets your demands:

  • DEP
  • MEX
  • Bitrex
  • TSDA 1-9
  • TBA
  • IPA
  • Euro Denatured
  • Tipo A-D

Certifications

All our electronics grade alcohol is ISO 22000 certified and compliant with REACH. Additionally, we can certify your product as Kosher, Cosmos-approved, USP Grade or GMO-free. More information can be found on our certifications page.

See all certifications

Packaging

Exporting ethanol to countries worldwide from over 50 international suppliers requires the appropriate packaging. To make sure that your product arrives safely to its destination, Nedstar has a number of packaging options, suitable for any industry or amount of ethanol.

See all packaging options
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ISO tank

25,000 litres

Suitable for various transport modes such as ship or truck and ideal for the delivery of bulk quantities, guaranteeing safety and efficiency for your shipment.

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Tanktruck

35,000 litres

Large amounts of electronics grade ethanol, delivered directly to your doorstep. Our tanktrucks are a reliable and cost-effective way of receiving ethanol worldwide.

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Barge vessel

Up to 2,450 tonnes

Nedstar can provide you with orders shipped by various vessels overseas. Our logistics department specialises in intermodal freight transport, guaranteeing a smooth delivery over multiple modes of transportation.

Image of iso

ISO tank

25,000 litres

Suitable for various transport modes such as ship or truck and ideal for the delivery of bulk quantities, guaranteeing safety and efficiency for your shipment.

Image of truck

Tanktruck

35,000 litres

Large amounts of electronics grade ethanol, delivered directly to your doorstep. Our tanktrucks are a reliable and cost-effective way of receiving ethanol worldwide.

Image of boat

Barge vessel

Up to 2,450 tonnes

Nedstar can provide you with orders shipped by various vessels overseas. Our logistics department specialises in intermodal freight transport, guaranteeing a smooth delivery over multiple modes of transportation.

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