Methanol - CH3OH

What is Methanol?

Methanol is a simplest alcohol with a chemical formula CH3OH. It consists of a methyl group linked with a hydroxy group. It is also known as Wood alcohol or Methyl alcohol. It has a distinctive odor which is milder and sweeter than ethanol. It is volatile and does not have color. It is a flammable, light, poisonous liquid. Consumption of methanol is toxic and can cause blindness. It is widely used in the manufacture of acetic acid and formaldehyde. Robert Boyle was the first to isolate methanol in the year 1661. It was produced by the distillation of boxwood (Buxus). Nowadays methanol is prepared by the direct combination of carbon monoxide gas and hydrogen in the presence of a catalyst. It is a common laboratory solvent. It is a frequent denaturant additive in the manufacturing of ethanol.

Properties of Methanol – CH3OH



Molecular Weight/ Molar Mass

32.04 g/mol


792 kg/m³

Boiling Point

64.7 °C

Melting Point

-97.6 °C

Methanol structure – CH3OH

Methanol structure

Uses of Methanol (CH3OH)

  • It is used in polymers after getting converted to formaldehyde
  • It is used to produce hydrocarbons
  • It is used as a precursor for methyl ethers, methylamines, and methyl halides
  • It is used as a fuel for internal combustion engines
  • It is an excellent energy carrier
  • It is used in wastewater plants
  • It is used as a fuel in boating stoves and camping
  • It is used as an antifreeze
  • It is used in the synthesis of chemicals
  • Pure methanol is used in the manufacture of perfumes, resins, and pharmaceuticals

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The ‘black rust’ on silver is ______.