Methanol, also known as methyl alcohol and wood spirit, is an organic chemical with the formula CH3OH (a methyl group linked to a hydroxyl group, often abbreviated as MeOH). It is a light, volatile, colorless, and flammable liquid with a distinctive alcoholic odour similar to that of ethanol (potable alcohol). Methanol is produced by hydrogenation of carbon monoxide and is used as a precursor to other commodity chemicals, including formaldehyde, acetic acid, methyl tert-butyl ether, methyl benzoate, anisole, peroxyacids, and a host of more specialized chemicals.

Methanol is present in small amounts in normal, healthy human individuals, and can be metabolized from pectin found in fruit. It is produced by anaerobic bacteria and phytoplankton. Methanol is also found in abundant quantities in star-forming regions of space and is used in astronomy as a marker for such regions. In 2006, astronomers using the MERLIN array of radio telescopes at Jodrell Bank Observatory discovered a large cloud of methanol in space 463 terameters (288 billion miles) across.

Methanol's history can be traced back to the ancient Egyptians using a mixture of substances, including methanol, obtained from the pyrolysis of wood. Pure methanol was first isolated in 1661 by Robert Boyle, who produced it via the distillation of buxus (boxwood). The term "methylène" was introduced in 1834 by French chemists Jean-Baptiste Dumas and Eugene Peligot, who introduced the word "methylène" to organic chemistry.

The first process to produce methanol synthetically was presented by French chemist Paul Sabatier in 1905, suggesting that carbon dioxide and hydrogen could be reacted to produce methanol. German chemists Alwin Mittasch and Mathias Pier developed a means to convert synthesis gas into methanol and received a patent. The modern low pressure methanol (LPM) process was developed by ICI in the late 1960s, with the technology patent long since expired.

During World War II, methanol was used as a fuel in several German military rocket designs, under the name M-Stoff and in a roughly 50/50 mixture with hydrazine, known as C-Stoff. The use of methanol as a motor fuel received attention during the oil crises of the 1970s, with over 20,000 methanol "flexible fuel vehicles" (FFV) introduced in the U.S. and low levels of methanol blended in gasoline fuels sold in Europe during the 1980s and early 1990s. Automakers stopped building methanol FFVs by the late-1990s, switching their attention to ethanol-fueled vehicles.

In the early 1970s, Mobil developed a process for producing gasoline fuel from methanol. Between the 1960s and 1980s, methanol emerged as a precursor to the feedstock chemicals acetic acid and acetic anhydride.

What is the CAS Number of Methanol?

The CAS Number of Methanol is 67-56-1

What is the Molecular Formula of Methanol?

The Molecular Formula of Methanol is CH4O

What is the Molecular Mass of Methanol?

The Molecular Mass of Methanol is 32.04

What is the SMILES Notation of Methanol?

The SMILES Notation of Methanol is CO

What is the InChI Notation of Methanol?

The InChI Notation of Methanol is InChI=1S/CH4O/c1-2/h2H,1H3

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