Skeletal formula of methanol with some explicit hydrogens added
Spacefill model of methanol
Stereo skeletal formula of methanol with all explicit hydrogen added
Ball and stick model of methanol
Pronunciation l/
Preferred IUPAC name
Methanol [1]
Other names
Columbian spirits
Methyl alcohol
Methyl hydrate
Methyl hydroxide
Methylic alcohol
Pyroligneous spirit
Wood alcohol
Wood naphtha
Wood spirit
3D model ( JSmol)
3DMet B01170
ECHA InfoCard 100.000.599
EC Number 200-659-6
MeSH Methanol
PubChem CID
RTECS number PC1400000
UN number 1230
or CH
Molar mass 32.04 g mol−1
Appearance Colorless liquid
Density 0.792 g/cm3 [2]
Melting point −97.6 °C (−143.7 °F; 175.6 K)
Boiling point 64.7 °C (148.5 °F; 337.8 K)
log P −0.69
Vapor pressure 13.02 kPa (at 20 °C)
Acidity (pKa) 15.5 [3]
−21.40·10−6 cm3/mol
1.33141 [4]
Viscosity 0.545 mPa·s (at 25 °C) [5]
1.69 D
Hazards [10]
Safety data sheet See: data page
GHS pictograms The flame pictogram in the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) The skull-and-crossbones pictogram in the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) The health hazard pictogram in the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) [6]
GHS signal word Danger [6]
H225, H301, H311, H331, H370 [6]
P210, P233, P240, P241, P242, P243, P260, P264, P270, P280, P301+310, P303+361+353, P304+340, P330 [6]
NFPA 704
Flammability code 3: Liquids and solids that can be ignited under almost all ambient temperature conditions. Flash point between 23 and 38 °C (73 and 100 °F). E.g., gasoline Health code 1: Exposure would cause irritation but only minor residual injury. E.g., turpentine Reactivity code 0: Normally stable, even under fire exposure conditions, and is not reactive with water. E.g., liquid nitrogen Special hazards (white): no codeNFPA 704 four-colored diamond
Flash point 11 to 12 °C (52 to 54 °F; 284 to 285 K)
470 [7] °C (878 °F; 743 K)
Explosive limits 6–36% [8]
Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):
LD50 ( median dose)
5628 mg/kg (rat, oral)
7300 mg/kg (mouse, oral)
12880 mg/kg (rat, oral)
14200 mg/kg (rabbit, oral) [9]
64,000 ppm (rat, 4 h) [9]
33,082 ppm (cat, 6 h)
37,594 ppm (mouse, 2 h) [9]
US health exposure limits ( NIOSH):
PEL (Permissible)
TWA 200 ppm (260 mg/m3) [8]
REL (Recommended)
TWA 200 ppm (260 mg/m3) ST 250 ppm (325 mg/m3) [skin] [8]
IDLH (Immediate danger)
6000 ppm [8]
Related compounds
Related compounds
Supplementary data page
Refractive index (n),
Dielectric constantr), etc.
Phase behaviour
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
N verify ( what is YesYN ?)
Infobox references

Methanol, also known as methyl alcohol among others, is a chemical with the formula C H3 O H (often abbreviated MeOH). Methanol acquired the name wood alcohol because it was once produced chiefly as a byproduct of the destructive distillation of wood. Today, industrial methanol is produced in a catalytic process directly from carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen.

Methanol is the simplest alcohol, being only a methyl group linked to a hydroxyl group. It is a light, volatile, colorless, flammable liquid with a distinctive odor very similar to that of ethanol (drinking alcohol). [11] However, unlike ethanol, methanol is highly toxic and unfit for consumption. At room temperature, it is a polar liquid. It is used as an antifreeze, solvent, fuel, and as a denaturant for ethanol. It is also used for producing biodiesel by transesterification reaction.

Methanol is produced naturally in the anaerobic metabolism of many varieties of bacteria and is commonly present in small amounts in the environment. As a result, the atmosphere contains a small amount of methanol vapor. However, in only a few days, atmospheric methanol is oxidized by sunlight to produce carbon dioxide and water.

Methanol is also found in abundant quantities in star-forming regions of space and is used in astronomy as a marker for such regions. It is detected through its spectral emission lines. [12]

Methanol when drunk is metabolized first to formaldehyde and then to formic acid or formate salts. [13] These are poisonous to the central nervous system and may result in blindness, coma, and death. Because of these toxic properties, methanol is frequently used as a denaturant additive for ethanol manufactured for industrial uses. This addition of methanol exempts industrial ethanol (commonly known as " denatured alcohol" or "methylated spirit") from liquor excise taxation in the US and some other countries.


Human metabolite

Methanol is poisonous to the central nervous system and may cause blindness, coma, and death. However, in small amounts, methanol is a natural endogenous compound found in normal, healthy human individuals, concluded by one study which found a mean of 4.5  ppm in the exhaled breath of subjects. [14] The mean endogenous methanol in humans of 0.45 g/d may be metabolized from pectin found in fruit; one kilogram of apple produces up to 1.4 g methanol. [15]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Metanol
العربية: ميثانول
অসমীয়া: মিথানল
تۆرکجه: متانول
বাংলা: মিথানল
Bân-lâm-gú: Kap-sûn
беларуская: Метанол
български: Метанол
bosanski: Metanol
català: Metanol
čeština: Methanol
Cymraeg: Methanol
dansk: Metanol
Deutsch: Methanol
eesti: Metanool
Ελληνικά: Μεθανόλη
español: Metanol
Esperanto: Metanolo
euskara: Metanol
فارسی: متانول
français: Méthanol
Gaeilge: Meatánól
galego: Metanol
한국어: 메탄올
Հայերեն: Մեթիլալկոհոլ
hrvatski: Metanol
Bahasa Indonesia: Metanol
interlingua: Methanol
íslenska: Metanól
italiano: Metanolo
עברית: מתנול
Basa Jawa: Metanol
қазақша: Метанол
Кыргызча: Метил спирти
Latina: Methanol
latviešu: Metanols
Lëtzebuergesch: Methanol
lietuvių: Metanolis
magyar: Metanol
македонски: Метанол
മലയാളം: മെഥനോൾ
Bahasa Melayu: Metanol
မြန်မာဘာသာ: မက်သနောလ်
Nederlands: Methanol
日本語: メタノール
norsk: Metanol
norsk nynorsk: Metanol
occitan: Metanòl
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Metanol
polski: Metanol
português: Metanol
română: Metanol
Runa Simi: Methanul
русский: Метанол
Scots: Methanol
shqip: Metanoli
Simple English: Methanol
slovenčina: Metanol
slovenščina: Metanol
српски / srpski: Метанол
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Metanol
suomi: Metanoli
svenska: Metanol
Türkçe: Metanol
українська: Метанол
Tiếng Việt: Methanol
Winaray: Methanol
粵語: 甲醇
中文: 甲醇