What Is Methanol And What Is It Made From

Methanol is made up of methyl or wood alcohol which has the chemical formula CH3OH. It is a colourless clear liquid mixed with water and highly toxic. Ingestion of even small amounts of methanol can cause blindness or death.

Methanol is basically a compound belonging to the group of monohydric alcohols. Methanol is highly toxic and approximately 10 ml of the substance can cause severe central nervous system problems.

Methanol and ethanol both are clear liquids are indistinguishable to taste but It is much easier to carry out an analysis of methyl alcohol in the toxicology laboratory.


  • 1

    One of the main and modern ways of taking methanol is due to the reaction of carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen H2) at high temperatures and pressures, using zinc-copper catalysts.

  • 2

    There is a very simple and intuitive qualitative reaction associated with the process to test alcohol. It can be taken with a thin copper wire, for example, under the flame of a spirit lamp or a lighter and after quickly putting it in a test tube or other small container. The main thing in this case will be the smell. Take a metal mug and fill it with test liquid. Put it on the stove and turn the burner.  Methyl alcohol boils at 64oS, ethanol - at 78oS.

  • 3

    If it smells like rotten apples, it is a sign of acetaldehyde (acetaldehyde), it can be classified as ethanol and if there be a sharp, unpleasant, burning smell, the smell of formaldehyde (formic aldehyde), it can be classified as methanol.

  • 4

    Drain a small amount of alcohol in a transparent container and add baking. Drip tincture of iodine into the mixture. Ethanol with iodine forms iodoform as a reaction with yellow colour. Methanol is transparent and does not precipitate.

  • 5

    For example, it is possible to perform the reaction of the methanol spirit with potassium permanganate in acidic medium. If this is formed formaldehyde, it is followed by reaction with an acid. Coloured compound and the degree of color indicate the presence and initial concentration of methyl alcohol.

  • 6

    Try the popular method for determining the chemical composition of alcohol. Toss the peeled potatoes into the liquid for a few hours. Pink colour indicates methyl alcohol while the blue colour illustrates ethyl.

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