Related topics: carbon dioxide

First discovery of methanol in a warm planet-forming disk

An international team of researchers led by Alice Booth (Leiden University, the Netherlands) have discovered methanol-ijs in the warm part of a planet-forming disk. The methanol cannot have been produced there and must have ...

Improving the global budget for atmospheric methanol

New aircraft survey data show that although atmospheric chemistry above remote ocean regions is a considerable source of methanol production, the ocean's net methanol emission is minor.

Catalytic hydrogenation of carbon dioxide to methanol

Efficient conversion of CO2 is strategically significant for alleviating the energy crisis and achieving the goal of carbon neutrality. One promising conversion route is the hydrogenation of CO2 to methanol using a renewable ...

Water is key in catalytic conversion of methane to methanol

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory and collaborators have revealed new details that explain how a highly selective catalyst converts methane, the main component of natural gas, to ...

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Methanol

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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