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Alcohol/Ethanol Denaturing to Fight COVID

Helping Distilleries convert to FDA/WHO Hand Sanitizer 

Bitrex /Denatonium Benzoate-USP/NF to Produce SDA 40-B


To fight COVID19 crisis we are helping distilleries everywhere convert from production of liquor to the FDA/WHO hand sanitizer. 

How does Bitrex go in Hand Sanitizer?  

Bitrex is the Bitterest Stuff on Earth.  In non-liquor ethanol production Bitrex is used as a “denaturant” to stop diversion of ethanol into the highly taxed liquor market.  Denatured alcohol is not taxed, and Bitrex is there to protect that tax revenue.  Undenatured ethanol is taxed at up to $27.00 per gallon in the USA, and at similar rates around the world.

Since 1960, Bitrex has been used as an alcohol denaturant.  The Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) of the US Treasury Department regulates alcohol.   The formula TTB requires is called Specially Denatured Alcohol 40B (yes, the “B” is for Bitrex) or for short “SDA-40B”.  The law on this formula is found in the Code of Federal Regulations at 27 CFR 21.76.  The FDA approved use of Bitrex as an alcohol denaturant for alcohol used in a wide range of cosmetics, toiletries and personal care products.  Further, FDA approved the use as a pharmaceutical excipient, thus it is specified in the ethanol for OTC drug Hand Sanitizer.

We are working with everyone that we can, from local Rose City Distillers here in Portland, OR to the national trade organization Distilled Spirits Council of the United States. (


SDA-40B Formula: 1/16th of an ounce of Bitrex/Denatonium Benzoate-USP/NF; 0.125% t-Butyl Alcohol*; 100 Gallons 190 or 200 proof Ethanol

*Please look up the latest version of the "Policy for Temporary Compounding of Certain Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer Products During the Public Health Emergency Immediately in Effect Guidance for Industry” for information regarding the manufacture of Hand Sanitizer.

Heads Up!   Bitrex is EXTREMELY bitter.  Only 4 Ounces treats 6400 gallons of ethanol for SDA-40B.  Please consult with us about handling this safe but unique chemical.

​We are used to working in crisis management – our job is preventing poisonings- we help protect children and over 400 consumer brands. We respond quickly:


1) Bitrex is in-stock and orders usually ship the same day.


2) We are immediately available to help with the unique and critical issues of handling the bitterest stuff on earth in beverage plants. Phone, Text, Email.


3)  We are ready to consult as manufacturing chemists on both the SDA-40B and Hand Sanitizer. 

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We are proud to be a part of the US Chemical Industry to support the important work of the manufacturers of hand sanitizers, respirator fit testing solutions and cleaning products so critical during this unprecedented time.

Bitrex and Market Actives are active members in the American Cleaning Institute (ACI), ISSA - The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association, and American Chemical Society (ACS).

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