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METHANOL

DOI: 10.1615/AtoZ.m.methanol

Methanol (CH3OH) is a colorless, polar liquid that is miscible with water. It used to be known as wood alcohol due to the fact that it was first produced by wood distillation, industrially, methanol is produced by the catalytic synthesis of a pressurized mixture of Hydrogen, Carbon Monoxide and Carbon Dioxide or by steam reforming of Natural Gas It is flammable and at low to medium concentration in air it forms an explosive mixture. It is also toxic and if ingested in large quantities can lead to blindness. It is widely used as a fuel, as a solvent for celluloses and dyes, as a gasoline additive and as raw material in organic synthesis, especially for the production of formaldehyde and acetic acid (see Table 1 below).

Molecular weight: 32.04Critical temperature:512.6 K
Melting point: 175.6 KCritical pressure:8.1035 MPa
Normal boiling point:337.6 KCritical density:275.5 kg/m3

Table 1. Methanol: Values of thermophysical properties of the saturated liquid and vapor

Thermodynamic properties from deReuck, K. M. and Craven, R. J. B. (1993); transport properties and surface tension from Beaton, C. F. and Hewitt, G. F. (1989).

REFERENCES

Beaton, C. F. and Hewitt, G. F. (1989) Physical Property Data for the Design Engineer, Hemisphere Publishing Corporation, New York.

DeReuck, K. M. and Craven, R. J. B. (1993) International Thermodynamic Tables of the Fluid State -12, Methanol, Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford.

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