A bottle of cheap tequila is good for making margaritas or forgetting a night out. But a team of Mexican scientists have discovered a new use for the potent liquor: forming diamonds. It just so happens that the popular Mexican alcohol is the ideal compound for creating one of the hardest substances on Earth.Researchers at the National Autonomous University of Mexico have been experimenting with ways to create lab-grown diamonds from organic solutions. In determining what compounds are ideal for creating diamonds, they realized that the proportions of chemicals are similar to those in tequila: According to PhysOrg:
"To dissipate any doubts, one morning on the way to the lab I bought a pocket-size bottle of cheap white tequila and we did some tests," [Luis Miguel] Apátiga said. "We were in doubt over whether the great amount of chemicals present in tequila, other than water and ethanol, would contaminate or obstruct the process, it turned out to be not so. The results were amazing, same as with the ethanol and water compound, we obtained almost spherical shaped diamonds of nanometric size. There is no doubt; tequila has the exact proportion of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms necessary to form diamonds."
And, as much as tequila diamonds sound like a novelty (and are bound to inspire a lot of jokes about alch-emy), the discovery could greatly improve the industrial production of hard, heat-resistant diamond films. The research team is currently looking to contract with a tequila producer and plans to start large-scale production of its agave-derived diamonds in 2011. Scientists Turn Tequila into Diamonds [PhysOrg]