CAS Registry Number: 67-56-1
Additional Names: Methyl alcohol; carbinol; wood spirit; wood alcohol
Molecular Formula: CH4O
Molecular Weight: 32.04
Percent Composition: C 37.49%, H 12.58%, O 49.94%
Line Formula: CH3OH
Literature References: Originally obtained by the destructive distillation of wood, now usually manuf from hydrogen and carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide, also by oxidation of hydrocarbons. Review: Faith, Keyes & Clark's Industrial Chemicals, F. A. Lowenheim, M. K. Moran, Eds. (Wiley-Interscience, New York, 4th ed., 1975) pp 524-529; L. E. Wade et al., in Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology vol. 15 (Wiley-Interscience, New York, 3rd ed., 1981) pp 398-415. Review of metabolism and toxicology: J. Liesivuori, H. Savolainen, Pharmacol. Toxicol. 69, 157-163 (1991).
Properties: Flammable, poisonous, mobile liq. Slight alcoholic odor when pure; crude material may have a repulsive, pungent odor. Burns with a non-luminous, bluish flame. d40 0.8100; d415 0.7960; d420 0.7915; d425 0.7866. mp -97.8°. bp760 64.7°; bp400 49.9°; bp200 34.8°; bp100 21.2°; bp60 12.1°; bp40 5.0°; bp20 -6.0°; bp10 -16.2°; bp5 -25.3°; bp1.0 -44.0°; nD15 1.33066; nD20 1.3292. Vapor density: 1.11 (air = 1). Flash pt, closed cup: 54°F (12°C). Ignition temp 470°C (878°F). Explosive limits (%-vol in air): 6.0 to 36.5. Crit temp 240.0°; crit pressure 78.5 atm. Specific heat at 20-25° = 0.595 to 0.605. Dipole moment 1.69. Miscible with water, ethanol, ether, benzene, ketones, and most other organic solvents. Forms azeotropes with many compds. Density, freezing and boiling point data of methanol-water mixtures: 10% methanol by vol (d425, fp, bp): 0.9836, -5°, 92.8°; 20% methanol: 0.9695, -12°, 87.8°; 30% methanol: 0.9572, -21°, 84.0°; 40% methanol: 0.9423, -33°, 80.9°; 50% methanol: 0.9259, -47°, 78.3°; 60% methanol: 0.9082, -57°, 75.9°. Methanol usually is a better solvent than ethanol, dissolves many inorganic salts, e.g., sodium iodide 43%, calcium chloride 22%, ammonium nitrate 14%, copper sulfate 13%, silver nitrate 4%, ammonium chloride 3.2%, sodium chloride 1.4%.
Melting point: mp -97.8°
Boiling point: bp760 64.7°; bp400 49.9°; bp200 34.8°; bp100 21.2°; bp60 12.1°; bp40 5.0°; bp20 -6.0°; bp10 -16.2°; bp5 -25.3°; bp1.0 -44.0°
Flash point: Flash pt, closed cup: 54°F (12°C)
Index of refraction: nD15 1.33066; nD20 1.3292
Density: d40 0.8100; d415 0.7960; d420 0.7915; d425 0.7866
CAUTION: Potential symptoms of overexposure are irritation of eyes, skin, upper respiratory system; dermatitis; headache, drowsiness, dizziness, vertigo, light headedness, nausea, vomiting, anorexia; weakness, fatigue; abdominal, back and leg pain; visual disturbances, dimness of vision, dilated pupils; optic nerve damage, bilateral blindness. See NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards (DHHS/NIOSH 97-140, 1997) p 200; Clinical Toxicology of Commercial Products, R. E. Gosselin et al., Eds. (Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore, 5th ed., 1984) Section III, pp 275-279.
Use: Industrial solvent. Raw material for making formaldehyde and methyl esters of organic and inorganic acids. Antifreeze for automotive radiators and air brakes; ingredient of gasoline and diesel oil antifreezes. Octane booster in gasoline. As fuel for picnic stoves and soldering torches. Extractant for animal and vegetable oils. To denature ethanol. Softening agent for pyroxylin plastics. Solvent and solvent adjuvant for polymers. Solvent in the manuf of cholesterol, streptomycin, vitamins, hormones, and other pharmaceuticals.