# Methanol

Figure 1. Space filling model of methanol, the white is hydrogen,black is carbon, and the red is oxygen.[1]

Methanol is the simplest alcohol, and is also known as methyl alcohol. It is colourless, highly flammable, and at typical temperatures and pressures is a liquid. [2] Unlike ethanol, methanol cannot be ingested, as consumption may result in blindness, neurological damage, and damage to the nervous system.[3]

Methanol is used in the production of chemicals, as well as in the manufacturing of polyester fibers, acrylic plastics, and various pharmaceuticals. As well as being a major component in windshield washer fluid, methanol is used as an additive in gasoline.[4] When added to gasoline it serves as an antifreeze and octane booster to give the fuel a better, cleaner burn.

Like many hydrocarbon derivatives, methanol undergoes combustion (see simulation at bottom of page) when combined with heat and oxygen. This reaction releases energy, carbon dioxide, and water.

## Properties

Below is a table of some of the basic properties of methanol.

 Chemical formula CH3OH Molar mass 32.04 grams/mole [5] Energy density[6] 22.7 MJ/kg Melting Point -93.9oC[2] Boiling Point 64.96oC[2]

## Combustion Animation

Methanol is used as a combustible fuel. Below is an animation showing the net reaction that occurs during the hydrocarbon combustion of methanol.

## References

1. Ben Mills. (2015, Jan. 28). Methanol-3D-vdW [Online]. Available: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Methanol-3D-vdW.png#mediaviewer/File:Methanol-3D-vdW.png
2. (2015, Jan. 28). Properties of Methanol [Online]. Available: http://www.methanol.org/technical-information/properties-of-methanol.aspx Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "properties" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "properties" defined multiple times with different content
3. (2015, Jan. 28). Methanol Hazard Summary [Online]. Available: http://www.epa.gov/ttnatw01/hlthef/methanol.html
4. (2015, Jan. 28). Methanol Principle Uses [Online]. Available: http://www.epa.gov/ttnatw01/hlthef/methanol.html
5. (2015, Jan. 28). Physical Properties of Pure Methanol [Online]. Available: http://www.methanol.org/Technical-Information/Resources/Technical-Information/Physical-Properties-of-Pure-Methanol.aspx
6. http://physics.info/energy-chemical/

## Authors and Editors

Allison Campbell, Kailyn Stenhouse, Jason Donev
Last updated: June 25, 2018
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