Alcohol was around for centuries as a component of wine and beer*, but it was not identified as a separate compound. The first person who discovered pure alcohol (ethanol) by distilling wine was a well known Iranian/ Persian alchemist by the name of Mohammad ibn Zakaria Razi (864-930 AD). He was born in the city of Ray, south of Tehran/ Iran. He is considered one of the greatest alchemists of all time and his work remained in use for over 10 centuries. He not only discovered alcohol, and the use of alcohol in medicine, but also discovered sulfuric acid. Razi wrote 184 books and articles in several fields of science. *As early as ancient Mesopotamia, the Sumerians made an alcoholic substance fermented from wheat and other materials.