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The Impact of Acetic Acid on Measuring Ethanol Concentrations in Water and Human Serum Using Short-Wave Infrared Spectroscopy

Paprocki, S., Qassem, M. ORCID: 0000-0003-0730-3189 & Kyriacou, P. A. ORCID: 0000-0002-2868-485X (2023). The Impact of Acetic Acid on Measuring Ethanol Concentrations in Water and Human Serum Using Short-Wave Infrared Spectroscopy. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 24(3), 2980. doi: 10.3390/ijms24032980


Ethanol intoxication, although an elemental part of life in many places around the world, still presents several issues associated with excessive consumption. These issues range from drunk driving, violence, and antisocial behavior to self-harm, all exerting an increased cost on the society. Monitoring of intoxication levels can help to limit the impact of these issues by preventing the use of automobiles or heavy machinery and personal monitoring. Previous works on noninvasive measurement of ethanol tissue concentration for estimation of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) performed worst during the first hour of intoxication. Gas chromatography research of intoxication shows that levels of acetic acid rise together at a similar rate as those of ethanol after initial imbibement. In this research, short-wave infrared (SWIR) spectroscopy was utilized with the aim of establishing the interaction between ethanol and acetic acid in water and serum mixtures. The most consistent and clear correlation between ethanol and acetic acid was recorded at 2262 and 2302 nm wavelengths. Partial least-squares (PLS) analysis indicates that the most effective region for consideration in measurement of ethanol is the therapeutic window four (IV) due to high variance in vibration of carbon bonds. The behavior of spectra at different concentration ranges was examined and described in detail in relation to the consequence of alcohol measurement. The investigation concluded that ethanol shows distinctive regions of absorbance at wavelengths of 2262 and 2302 nm, with variations arising from increasing concentrations of acetic acid, whilst also showing that therapeutic window four is amongst the most influential regions of the spectrum for SWIR.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2023 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
Publisher Keywords: ethanol; acetic acid; short-wave infrared; spectroscopy; SWIR; human serum; water
Subjects: Q Science > QD Chemistry
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
T Technology
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
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