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methanol

methanol, methyl alcohol, or wood alcohol, CH3OH, a colorless, flammable liquid that is miscible with water in all proportions. Methanol is a monohydric alcohol. It melts at -97.8°C and boils at 67°C. It reacts with certain acids to form methyl esters. Methanol is a fatal poison. Small internal doses, continued inhalation of the vapor, or prolonged exposure of the skin to the liquid may cause blindness. As a result, commercial use of methanol has sometimes been prohibited. Methanol is used as a solvent for varnishes and lacquers, as an antifreeze, and as a gasoline extender in the production of gasohol. Large amounts of it are used in the synthesis of formaldehyde. Because of its poisonous properties, methanol is also used as a denaturant for ethanol. Methanol is often called wood alcohol because it was once produced chiefly as a byproduct of the destructive distillation of wood. It is now produced synthetically by the direct combination of hydrogen and carbon monoxide gases, heated under pressure in the presence of a catalyst.

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methanol

methanol (methyl alcohol, CH3OH) Colourless, poisonous, flammable liquid, the simplest of the alcohols. It is obtained synthetically either from carbon monoxide and hydrogen by the oxidation of natural gas, or by the destructive distillation of wood. It is used as a solvent, petrol additive, and in rocket fuel and petrol. Properties: m.p. −93.9°C (−137°F); b.p. 64.9°C (148.8°F).

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methanol

meth·a·nol / ˈme[unvoicedth]əˌnôl; -ˌnōl/ • n. Chem. a toxic, colorless, volatile flammable liquid alcohol, CH3OH, originally made by distillation from wood and now chiefly by oxidizing methane. Also called methyl alcohol.

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methanol

methanol (meth-ă-nol) n. see methyl alcohol.

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methanol

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