Related topics: carbon dioxide

Methanol biotransformation to efficiently produce fatty alcohols

Methanol is a potential feedstock for biomanufacturing since it's easily obtained in an environmentally friendly manner. But it is still challenging to construct a microbial cell factory for methanol-based bioproduction due ...

Unexpected behavior seen in efficient catalysts for clean energy

Researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science and the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory have investigated the molecular-level dynamics at play when methanol converts to hydrogen via the ...

Reaction insights help make sustainable liquid fuels

Methanol, produced from carbon dioxide in the air, can be used to make carbon neutral fuels. But to do this, the mechanism by which methanol is turned into liquid hydrocarbons must be better understood so that the catalytic ...

Converting methane to methanol, with and without water

Chemists have been searching for efficient catalysts to convert methane—a major component of abundant natural gas—into methanol, an easily transported liquid fuel and building block for making other valuable chemicals. ...

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Methanol, also known as methyl alcohol, wood alcohol, wood naphtha or wood spirits, is a chemical with the formula CH3OH (often abbreviated MeOH). It is the simplest alcohol, and is a light, volatile, colorless, flammable liquid with a distinctive odor very similar to, but slightly sweeter than, ethanol (drinking alcohol). At room temperature, it is a polar liquid, and is used as an antifreeze, solvent, fuel, and as a denaturant for ethanol. It is also used for producing biodiesel via transesterification reaction.

Methanol is produced naturally in the anaerobic metabolism of many varieties of bacteria, and is ubiquitous in the environment. As a result, there is a small fraction of methanol vapor in the atmosphere. Over the course of several days, atmospheric methanol is oxidized with the help of sunlight to carbon dioxide and water.

Methanol burns in air, forming carbon dioxide and water:

Because of its toxic properties, methanol is frequently used as a denaturant additive for ethanol manufactured for industrial uses — this addition of methanol exempts industrial ethanol from liquor excise taxation. Methanol is often called wood alcohol because it was once produced chiefly as a byproduct of the destructive distillation of wood.

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