Methanol 1lt 99.8%
CAS Number: 67-56-1
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). It is a light, volatile, colourless, flammable liquid with a distinctive alcoholic odour similar to that of ethanol (drinking alcohol). A polar solvent, methanol acquired the name wood alcohol because it was once produced chiefly by the destructive distillation of wood. Today, methanol is mainly produced industrially by hydrogenation of carbon monoxide.
Methanol is the simplest alcohol, consisting of a methyl group linked to a hydroxyl group. With more than 20 million tons produced annually, it is used as a precursor to other commodity chemicals, including formaldehyde, acetic acid, methyl tert-butyl ether, as well as a host of more specialized chemicals
Chemical Formula: CH3OH
Molecular weight: 32.04 g mol−1
Boiling point: 64.7 °C
Melting point: −97.6 °C
Density: 0.792 g/cm
Appearance: colourless liquid
Methanol has low acute toxicity in humans, but is dangerous because it is occasionally ingested in large volumes, often together with ethanol. As little as 10 mL (0.34 US fl oz) of pure methanol can cause permanent blindness by destruction of the optic nerve. 30 mL (1.0 US fl oz) is potentially fatal. The median lethal dose is 100 mL (3.4 US fl oz), i.e., 1–2 mL/kg body weight of pure methanol. The reference dose for methanol is 0.5 mg/kg in a day. Toxic effects begin hours after ingestion, and antidotes can often prevent permanent damage. Because of its similarities in both appearance and odor to ethanol (the alcohol in beverages), it is difficult to differentiate between the two; such is also the case with denatured alcohol, adulterated liquors or very low quality alcoholic beverages. However, cases exist of methanol resistance, such as that of Mike Malloy who was the victim of a failed murder attempt by methanol in the early 1930s.
Methanol is a traditional denaturant for ethanol, the product being known as “denatured alcohol” or “methylated spirit”. This was commonly used during the Prohibition to discourage consumption of bootlegged liquor, and ended up causing several deaths.
Methanol is used as a solvent and as an antifreeze in pipelines and windshield washer fluid. Methanol was used as an automobile coolant antifreeze in the early 1900s. As of May 2019, methanol was banned in the EU for use in windscreen washing or defrosting due to its risk of human consumption.
In some wastewater treatment plants, a small amount of methanol is added to wastewater to provide a carbon food source for the denitrifying bacteria, which convert nitrates to nitrogen gas and reduce the nitrification of sensitive aquifers.
Methanol is used as a destaining agent in polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis.
Direct-methanol fuel cells are unique in their low temperature, atmospheric pressure operation, which lets them be greatly miniaturized. This, combined with the relatively easy and safe storage and handling of methanol, may open the possibility of fuel cell-powered consumer electronics, such as laptop computers and mobile phones.
Methanol is also a widely used fuel in camping and boating stoves. Methanol burns well in an unpressurized burner, so alcohol stoves are often very simple, sometimes little more than a cup to hold fuel. This lack of complexity makes them a favorite of hikers who spend extended time in the wilderness. Similarly, the alcohol can be gelled to reduce risk of leaking or spilling, as with the brand “Sterno”.
Methanol is mixed with water and injected into high performance diesel and gasoline engines for an increase of power and a decrease in intake air temperature in a process known as water methanol injection.