Difference Between Ethanol and Methanol

Ethanol and methanol are nothing but two types of alcohols. Ethanol which is also known as Ethyl alcohol comes with two carbon atoms in its carbon skeleton. Meanwhile, methanol also known as Methyl alcohol consists of one carbon atom only. 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 it 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.

Difference 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 which consists of ethyl group in its carbon skeleton.

Methanol consists of methyl group in its carbon bond.

In terms of acidity, ethanol is a weak acid compared to water.

Methanol has acidity level higher than water.

Ethanol has a strong, burning odor and gives out bright blue flame.

Methanol is volatile and has a distinctive odor. It gives out bright white flame while burning.

Usually, ethanol is prepared by factory fermentation of food crops.

Methanol is mostly produced via synthetic processes.

Ethanol is the main ingredient in alcoholic beverages.

Since methanol is highly toxic it is not at all suitable for consumption. It is generally used in the production of chemicals like 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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