Difference Between Ethanol and Methanol

Ethanol and methanol are just two kinds of alcohols. Ethanol, that is also known as ethyl alcohol falls with the chemical structure with two carbon atoms. While methanol, also known as methyl alcohol is composed of only one carbon atom. Ethanol is usually produced by combining an ethyl group ( \(CH_{3}CH_{2}-\) ) to a hydroxyl group (-OH). Its formula is given as \(CH_{3}CH_{2}OH\).

Methanol is prepared by combining a methyl group ( \(CH_{3}-\) ) to a hydroxyl group (-OH). It is represented as \(CH_{3}OH\).

While the carbon number is the main difference between ethanol and methanol, these two feature some similarities. They both sound similar and are colorless liquids. So, they can be confused easily. However, methanol and ethanol are different types of alcohol or chemicals. They do have other different properties as well as uses.

Differences between Ethanol and Methanol

Now that we know a bit about the two alcohols, let’s dive into the the differences between ethanol and methanol.

Difference between Ethanol and Methanol
Ethanol is a type of alcohol with its carbon skeleton consisting of an ethyl ring. Methanol consists of in its carbon bond methyl group.
Ethanol is a poor acid compared with water, in terms of acidity. methanol is higher acidic than water
Ethanol has a heavy, burning smell and emits bright blue flame. Methanol is unpredictable and has a characteristic odour. When burning it gives off light white flame.
Ethanol is typically prepared by the fermentation of food crops from factories. Methanol is manufactured mainly by synthetic processes.
Ethanol is the primary ingredient of alcoholic beverages. Since methanol is highly poisonous it is not appropriate for use at all. Generally used in the manufacturing of products such as formaldehyde etc.

These are some of the differences between ethanol and methanol. To know more about alcohols or important differences between similar products and other chemistry topics, you can keep visiting BYJU’S or download our app for interesting content and learning experience.

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