Fact Check: What Power Does the President Really Have Over State Governors? Ethyl alcohol is the form found in most alcoholic beverages. Compatibility of Metal Alloys in Neat Methanol Service. Methanol is used to produce other chemical derivatives, which in turn are used to produce thousands of products that touch our daily lives, such as building materials, foams, resins, plastics, paints, polyester and a variety of health and pharmaceutical products. Today, methanol is mainly produced industrially by hydrogenation of carbon monoxide. Methanol Fuel Forum in Trinidad and Tobago, The International Methanol Vehicle and Fuel Applications, Methanol Institute produced a methanol technical data sheet which shows methanol's general information on properties and applications. Municipalities and wastewater treatment plants also make use of methanol. Methanol has an odour that is similar to ethyl alcohol, the intoxicant of alcoholic beverages, but is a dangerous poison; many cases of blindness or death have been caused by drinking mixtures containing it. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Our latest podcast episode features popular TED speaker Mara Mintzer. Methanol also forms various types of fuel cells. This transforming capacity makes methanol create the basic chemical building blocks for many consumer products. A polar solvent, methanol acquired the name wood alcohol because it was once produced chiefly by the destructive distillation of wood. Is the Coronavirus Crisis Increasing America's Drug Overdoses? Methanol (CH3OH) is a liquid chemical used in thousands of everyday products, including plastics, paints, cosmetics and fuels. Methyl alcohol (CH3OH), also known as methanol or wood alcohol, is a light, colorless, flammable liquid at room temperature. It is also used in automotive antifreezes, in rocket fuels, and as a general solvent. Methanol and its derivative products such as ascetic acid and formaldehyde created via chemical reactions are used as base materials in acrylic plastic; synthetic fabrics and fibers used to make clothing; adhesives, paint, and plywood used in construction; and as … Because methanol has toxic properties, it is frequently used as a denaturant additive for ethanol manufactured for industrial purposes. Methanol is used to produce other chemical derivatives, which in turn are used to produce thousands of products that touch our daily lives, such as building materials, foams, resins, plastics, paints, polyester and a variety of health and pharmaceutical products. The chemical is also used to produce biodiesel via transesterification reaction. Methanol (CH3OH), also called methyl alcohol, wood alcohol, or wood spirit, the simplest of a long series of organic compounds called alcohols, consisting of a methyl group (CH3) linked with a hydroxy group (OH). It forms explosive mixtures with air and burns with a nonluminous flame. Today, methanol is most commonly produced on an industrial scale using natural gas as the principal feedstock. Methanol is a colourless liquid that boils at 64.96 °C (148.93 °F) and solidifies at −93.9 °C (−137 °F). It classifies as a basic alcohol, making it a cost-effective choice for producing gasoline and synthetic fuels. Its derivatives are used in great quantities for building up a vast number of compounds, among them many important synthetic dyestuffs, resins, pharmaceuticals, and perfumes. A look into elastomer and rubber materials which help prevent leakage of methanol liquid and vapors into the surrounding environment. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/science/methanol, Royal Albert Hall - The enduring legacy of Proms co-founder Sir Henry Wood, methanol - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). Omissions? An overall summary of material selection including information on standards, toxicity, and safety. Compatibility of Elastomers in Neat Methanol Service. ), The Secret Science of Solving Crossword Puzzles, Racist Phrases to Remove From Your Mental Lexicon. Methanol also … Detailed technical bulletin describing the appropriate metals and alloys for various applications. It is a light, volatile, colourless, flammable liquid with a distinctive alcoholic odour similar to that of ethanol. Pure methanol is an important material in chemical synthesis. Methanol is a polar liquid at room temperature. Methanol serves many uses: it comprises gasoline and fuel, facilitates energy generation and forms many chemicals and chemical products, including plastics, paint, resin film, windshield washer fluid and numerous pigments and dyes. Methanol also is a clean-burning, biodegradable fuel. Methanol converts triglycerides, making it suitable for producing biodiesel fuel. The important product methanol (Figure 1) is obtained from synthesis gas in the form of carbon monoxide and hydrogen (sometimes carbon dioxide and hydrogen). By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Methanol serves many uses: it comprises gasoline and fuel, facilitates energy generation and forms many chemicals and chemical products, including plastics, paint, resin film, windshield washer fluid and numerous pigments and dyes. Methanol, also known as methyl alcohol amongst other names, is a chemical with the formula CH3OH (a methyl group linked to a hydroxyl group, often abbreviated MeOH). In wastewater plants, methanol helps remove nitrogen from waterways. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. Methyl alcohol, or wood alcohol, is used for a variety of household purposes.…. Its derivatives are used in great quantities for building up a vast number of compounds, among them many important synthetic dyestuffs, resins, pharmaceuticals, and perfumes. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. It used in the manufacture of formaldehyde and acetic acid, in chemical synthesis, in antifreeze, and as a solvent. Methanol is used to produce methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), a gasoline component that improves air quality, and dimethyl ether (DME), a clean-burning fuel with similar properties to propane. Large quantities are converted to dimethylaniline for dyestuffs and to formaldehyde for synthetic resins. Methanol ranks among the most valuable substances due to its wide range of uses in various industries. Pure methanol is an important material in chemical synthesis. These cells appear in many consumer products, including electronics and vehicles. Methanol exists in a light weight and transports easily. Copyright © Methanol Institute Methanol is also a high-octane, clean-burning fuel that is a potentially important substitute for gasoline in automotive vehicles. It contains naturally high levels of ammonia, giving it power to remove bacteria and pathogens from water. This substance transforms into other substances, including acetic acid, formaldehyde and olefins. It is used as antifreeze, solvent, fuel, and as a denaturant for ethanol. This compound is also used as an antifreeze (an additive that is used to lower the freezing point of … Increasingly, methanol’s environmental and economic advantages are making it an attractive alternative fuel for powering vehicles and ships, cooking food and heating homes. Methanol is a clear liquid chemical that is water soluble and readily biodegradable, comprising of four parts hydrogen, one-part oxygen and one-part carbon, and is the simplest member of a group of organic chemicals called alcohols. It is completely miscible in water. The methanol derived from wood is used chiefly for rendering industrial ethyl alcohol unfit to drink. Corrections? Ingestion of methanol is toxic and may cause blindness and death. Large quantities are converted to dimethylaniline for dyestuffs and to formaldehyde for synthetic resins.